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Clifford Nass & Laurie Mason

In: Organizations and Communication Technology

Chapter 3: On the Study of Technology and Task: A Variable-Based Approach

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On the Study of Technology and Task: A Variable-Based Approach
On the study of technology and task: A variable-based approach
Clifford Nass
Laurie Mason

If one were to categorize the numerous studies of communication technology and organizations, two clear types would emerge: object-centered and actor-centered. One set of studies would be object-centered; that is, the researcher has initiated these studies because the technology, as a material thing, has some particularly interesting feature or features. Usually these studies are motivated by the uniqueness (and usually newness) of a technology. Rather than looking for similarities across technologies, the justification for performing a study is that this technology, as a material object, is different from all previous technologies.

These object-centered studies have a number of other features in common. First, they tend ...

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