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Making Mobile Meaning :expectations and experiences of mobile computing usefulness in construction site management practice

by Löfgren, Alexander, PhD

Abstract (Summary)
During the last decade, anticipated and realized benefits of mobile and wireless information and communication technology (ICT) for different business purposes have been widely explored and evaluated. Also, the significance of ‘user acceptance’ mechanisms through ‘perceived usefulness’ of ICT applications has gained broad recognition among business organizations in developing and adopting new ICT capabilities. However, even though technology usefulness is regularly highlighted as an important factor in ICT projects, there is often a lack of understanding of what the concept involves in the practical work context of the actual users, and how to deal with the issues of usefulness in organizational ICT development processes.This doctoral thesis covers a 1,5 year case study of a mobile computing development project at a Swedish international construction enterprise. The company’s mobile ICT venture addressed the deficient ICT use situation of management practitioners in construction site operations. The study portrays the overall socially shaped development process of the chosen technology and its evolving issues of usefulness for existing construction site management practice. The perceived usefulness of mobile computing tools among the ‘user-practitioners’ is described as emergence of ‘meaningful use’ based on initial expectations and actual experiences of the technology in their situated fieldwork context. The studied case depicts the ongoing and open-ended conversational nature of understanding adequate ICT requirements in work practice, and the negotiation of mobile computing technology design properties between users and developers over time towards the alignment of diverse personal, professional and organizational needs and purposes of ICT use. The studied introduction of mobile computing technology in construction site management fieldwork practice serves as an illustrative actual example of how to interpret, understand and approach issues of usefulness and user acceptance of ICT resources in operative work contexts when managing ICT development processes in organizations.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Kungliga Tekniska högskolan

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:TECHNOLOGY; Industrial engineering and economy; Mobile computing; Construction site management practice; ICT development; Usefulness; User acceptance; Learning; Meaning

ISBN:978-91-7415-131-2

Date of Publication:01/01/2008

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