Car Crashes without Cars: Lessons about Simulation by Paul M. Leonardi

By Paul M. Leonardi

Each workday we strive against with bulky and unintuitive applied sciences. Our reaction is mostly "That's simply how it is." Even know-how designers and office managers think that convinced technological alterations are inevitable and they will convey particular, unavoidable organizational adjustments. during this ebook, Paul Leonardi bargains a brand new conceptual framework for realizing why applied sciences and corporations swap as they do and why humans imagine these adjustments needed to take place as they did. He argues that applied sciences and the enterprises during which they're constructed and used aren't separate entities; really, they're made from a similar development blocks: social corporation and fabric business enterprise. through the years, social enterprise and fabric organisation turn into imbricated--gradually interlocked--in ways in which produce a few alterations we name "technological" and others we name "organizational." Drawing on a close box examine of engineers at a U.S. vehicle corporation, Leonardi indicates that because the engineers constructed and used a a brand new computer-based simulation know-how for car layout, they selected to alter how their paintings used to be geared up, which then introduced new alterations to the technology.Each imbrication of the social and the fabric obscured the actors' prior offerings, making the ensuing technological and organizational constructions appear like they have been inevitable. Leonardi means that treating organizing as a strategy of sociomaterial imbrication permits us to acknowledge and act at the flexibility of data applied sciences and to create greater paintings firms.

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Extra info for Car Crashes without Cars: Lessons about Simulation Technology and Organizational Change from Automotive Design

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As Wiebe Bijker, Thomas Hughes, and Trevor Pinch (1987b) point out, constructivist studies of knowledge making and a renewal of interest in the study of technological development led to the beginning of a new research program on the social construction of technology development. 5 Pinch and Bijker offered the initial formulation of the SCOT approach in 1984. In their critique of deterministic models of evolutionary change, Pinch and Bijker (1984) proposed an alternative theory that explains how social practices shape the development of new technologies.

Bimber argues that of the three definitions of determinism identifiable in writings on technology and society, the most pervasive and by far the most wide-reaching account is that of “logical sequence,” or what he later calls “nomological” (Bimber 1994). Such an account holds that society evolves along a fixed and predetermined path, regardless of human intervention, and that the path is itself given by the incremental logic of technology. In a nomological account of technological determinism, technological and social change don’t vary by level of analysis, as Rosenkopf and Tushman might suggest.

First, it recognizes that technologies are as much social as they are material: The material properties of technologies are configured through social relations and used in social contexts. Second, it recognizes that technologies themselves are constitutive features of the organizing process, not orthogonal to it. “Notions of mutuality or reciprocity,” Orlikowski elaborates, presume the influence of distinct interacting entities on each other, but presuppose some a priori independence of these entities from each other.

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