Looking for the designers: Transforming the 'invisible' infrastructure of computerised office work [Book Review]

AI and Society 7 (4):323-344 (1993)

Desktop computerisation is a widespread phenomenon that affects many women office workers. So far, much of the discussion of this topic treats these workers as ‘users’ while the need for them to (re)design their work and information systems tends to be ignored.This paper applies both conventional and social analytic notions of information systems design to archetypal secretarial work groups, and argues that hitherto under-recognised elements of system design are endemic to desktop computerisation. Case studies which examine how office groups have created information systems and associated work practices, largely through their own efforts, illustrate how this design work can be accomplished. The informal, localised processes of collaborative problem solving, development and sharing of local expertise are important ingredients in this achievement. Broader mobilisation efforts can also play a role
Keywords Desktop computerisation  Informal design  Office work  Systems design  Women's work
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DOI 10.1007/BF01891415
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