Knowledge in the making: practitioner-driven systems development in a community

Anna-Liisa Syrjänen

Abstract


This work contributes to the field of information
systems and examines how practitioner-driven
systems development is shaped by long-term theories-
in-use on practitioners’ actual domain and community
formation at grass-root level. The topic is approached
as an in-situ infrastructuring process in a non-profit
community where information technology (IT) is
developed by non-IT-professionals. Such an approach
to IT design is tentatively conceptualized as ‘organic’
infrastructuring, i.e. IT transformation  done by
practitioners whose work is conditioned by aspects of
their domain, community and its raison d’être and
realized in domain-specific IT developed
continuously in everyday usage. The study shows how
certain parts of infrastructures are difficult to
approach by IT-driven design and demand the raison-
d’être scope and practitioners’ local expertise.
Continuous systems development is particularly
useful in communities of practitioners who seek new
knowledge, work on open questions or with
constantly changing topics.


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