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Article
Publication date: 28 October 2022

Claire Dambrin and Bénédicte Grall

This paper highlights how technical devices last in organizations. Instead of focusing on the usual implementation or short-term post-implementation phases, this study…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper highlights how technical devices last in organizations. Instead of focusing on the usual implementation or short-term post-implementation phases, this study aims to explore what happens to established technical devices.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors build on a 10-year in-depth longitudinal case study examining a CRM package, a type of Enterprise Resource Planning system specialized in customer relationship management, in a door-drop advertising company. This case is based mainly on 35 interviews and four weeks of non-participant observation, made over three different periods.

Findings

Drawing on the literature on drift and maintenance, this study investigates two tensions foregrounding lasting: one regarding the degree of human intervention on the technical device (object being maintained vs object maintaining itself) and one regarding the relationship to the initial expectations towards the technical device (relinquishment of certain hopes vs regeneration of interests). This case combines these tensions and allows to highlight four alterations in the CRM system to show how apparently stable devices keep on changing.

Social implications

In a time of resource exhaustion, it is important to reflect upon our relationships to information technology and their modalities of lasting. By stressing that uses emerge from relinquishment and reduction, the authors wish to help organizations move towards more sustainable engagement with their technical devices in the long run.

Originality/value

Lasting is not just a matter of being maintained in a context of threat but also builds upon the capacities of a technical device to maintain itself. The self-alteration dynamics that the authors come up with, shedding and ramification, offer a dedramatized interpretation of maintenance that complements studies on institutional maintenance. The results also contribute to studies on technological drift. The authors stress that drifts are triggered by ties that run out, in particular, discontinuation of maintenance in the system. The durability of technical devices in organizations thus does not consist in always more uses or functionalities, but is also made of reductions and relinquishment.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 October 2022

David Lallemant, Rebecca Bicksler, Karen Barns, Perrine Hamel, Robert Soden and Steph Bannister

Despite decades of social science research into disasters, practice in the field continues to be informed largely from a technical perspective. The outcome is often a…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite decades of social science research into disasters, practice in the field continues to be informed largely from a technical perspective. The outcome is often a perpetuation of vulnerability, as narrowly defined technical interventions fail to address or recognize the ethical, historical, political and structural complexities of real-world community vulnerability and its causes. The authors propose that addressing this does not require a rejection of technical practice, but its evolution into a critical technical practice – one which foregrounds interdisciplinarity, inclusion, creativity and reflexivity, as means to question the assumptions, ideologies and delimited solutions built into the technical tools for understanding risks.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors present findings from three events they designed and facilitated, aimed at rethinking the engineering pedagogy and technical practice of disaster risk management. The first was a 2-day “artathon” that brought together engineers, artists and scientists to collaborate on new works of art based on disaster and climate data. The second was the Understanding Risk Field Lab, a 1-month long arts and technology un-conference exploring critical design practices, collaborative technology production, hacking and art to address complex issues of urban flooding. The third was a 4-month long virtual workshop on responsible engineering, science and technology for disaster risk management.

Findings

Each of these events uncovered and highlighted the benefits of interdisciplinary collaboration and reflexivity in disaster risk modeling, communication and management. The authors conclude with a discussion of the key design elements that help promote the principles of a critical technical practice.

Originality/value

The authors propose “critical technical practice” which foregrounds principles of interdisciplinarity, inclusion, creativity and reflexivity, as a means to question the assumptions, ideologies and delimited solutions built into the technical tools for understanding climate and disaster risk.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 September 2022

Ayman Yasin, Luae Al-Tarawneh, Fadia El-Issa and Abdallah Al-Zoubi

This study aims to investigate students’ satisfaction, self-efficacy and perceived competencies in a ‘technical writing and communication skills’ course after the switch…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate students’ satisfaction, self-efficacy and perceived competencies in a ‘technical writing and communication skills’ course after the switch of teaching the course from face to face to fully online during and after COVID-19. The study also measured the Achievement of Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology course learning outcomes (CLOs).

Design/methodology/approach

A descriptive cross-sectional survey design approach was adopted in this study. Students were asked to respond to an online survey after completion of the course to measure the target parameters. The data of 250 respondents, analyzed with IBM SPSS Statistics 28, show high scores on all constructs.

Findings

Statistically significant differences among gender, field of study, grade point average (GPA) level, type of school attended and attainment of English proficiency certificate were detected for students in terms of their baseline perceived competencies, achievement of CLOs and self-efficacy scores. In addition, gender, field of study, GPA and holding an international English proficiency certificate had statistically significant effect, whereas the academic level and type of school were insignificant.

Research limitations/implications

First, the data had been collected through survey only. A limitation of this method is that there could be survey fraud. Second, as some respondents found the survey long, their responses might have been less reliable. Moreover, as the survey was entirely conducted online, this may have caused limited sampling, because some respondents are less likely to have internet access/disconnection and respond to online surveys. Furthermore, this research had focused on studying the impact of an online course on university students’ achievement in a Jordanian university, this limits the generalizability of the result to students of other levels and classes, or ones studying in other universities or living in different countries.

Practical implications

Because of its impact on effective teaching and achievement, educators need to pay much attention to self-efficacy when designing new curricula for different environmental contexts. Furthermore, it is apparent that some courses, such as “technical writing” can be taught fully online without affecting students’ performance and achievement. Because educators always look for ways that make teaching effective, they may need to consider online platforms for teaching specific courses, hence save time, effort and resources.

Originality/value

A course on technical writing and communication skills offered to undergraduate engineering and information technology students at Princess Sumaya University for Technology was switched from face to face to fully online modality during the COVID-19 pandemic in the period 2020–2021. The effect of such massive and sudden transformation on students’ achievement and satisfaction called for immediate scrutiny of the prospect and expectancy of online learning.

Article
Publication date: 27 September 2022

Erin Jade Twyford and Roba Abbas

This paper aims to present a preliminary exploration of the intersections between the accounting and information systems (IS) disciplines. Using the illustrative example…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present a preliminary exploration of the intersections between the accounting and information systems (IS) disciplines. Using the illustrative example of the COVIDSafe app, released by the Australian federal government in response to the “wicked problem” of COVID-19, we demonstrate the value of interdisciplinarity to broaden the boundaries of accounting beyond a technical orientation to encompass social and moral considerations.

Design/methodology/approach

We apply a high-level view of socio-technical theory derived from the IS discipline by using a close-reading method of publicly available media and federal government sources related to the COVIDSafe app collected between April 2020 and April 2021. This theoretical lens allows for an enhanced understanding of the technical, environmental/regulatory, and social subsystems relating to accounting and accountability while supporting interdisciplinary reflection.

Findings

Addressing complex and wicked problems in accounting requires interdisciplinary approaches, whereby the accounting discipline must move beyond its technical origins. Dialogue between the accounting and IS disciplines is necessary to gain a deeper appreciation of the social, technical and moral implications of accounting in context.

Research limitations/implications

Viewing accounting beyond a technical practice through collaboration between accounting and IS offers a theorisation to consider the multi-dimensional nature of complex societal challenges. This theorisation can support the advancement of our practice and research meaningfully toward a view of accounting that centres on ideas of the public interest and the betterment of society. There remains much scope for progressing this dialogue, and we commend other scholars to engage in interdisciplinary work on the boundaries of accounting.

Originality/value

This study illustrates opportunities for accounting and IS approaches to solving “grand challenges”. Further, the study answers multiple calls for interdisciplinary discourse in accounting scholarship by contributing a socio-technical framing toward addressing complex challenges in our calculative era by initiating a dialogue that moves beyond accounting's traditional technical practice or the “accounting information systems” context.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-372X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 January 1950

A.L. GARDNER

Introduction THE problem of communication of ideas and results between scientists of different native languages is not new. For many centuries a solution to the problem…

Abstract

Introduction THE problem of communication of ideas and results between scientists of different native languages is not new. For many centuries a solution to the problem was found in the use of Latin as the international language of the Church and of the educated classes, but this solution vanished with the passing of Latin as the language of scientists. Since that time there has been an enormous growth and ramification of science and technology, with a corresponding increase in the volume of scientific and technical publication. As the papers of value to the scientist are published in any one of a number of languages, there has been an increasing demand for the services of technical translators; for the scientist cannot afford to ignore foreign work on his subject, and he cannot as a rule read all the languages in which that work is published.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1949

E.W. PARKER

In the following notes the term ‘Correspondence’ has been broadly interpreted, to cover all the occasional and incidental sources of unpublished information which may be…

Abstract

In the following notes the term ‘Correspondence’ has been broadly interpreted, to cover all the occasional and incidental sources of unpublished information which may be of service to the technical department of an organization. No attempt has been made to cover such material as laboratory notes, research reports and the like, since these fall normally within the scope of technical records, with which this session is not primarily concerned.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

Article
Publication date: 1 April 1981

Dorothy Griffiths

The problem of how to weight technical expertise is familiar to anyone concerned with the design and implementation of company job evaluation schemes, and nowhere is this…

Abstract

The problem of how to weight technical expertise is familiar to anyone concerned with the design and implementation of company job evaluation schemes, and nowhere is this problem more acute than in Research and Development (R & D) departments. Here, typically, there are large numbers of highly qualified technical specialists who both deserve and demand promotion on the basis of their technical contribution. Yet, because technical staff have relatively few of the kind of responsibilities which carry high weighting on most job evaluation schemes, they rarely warrant higher grading on conventional criteria. And where they are promoted, their excellence as scientists wins them promotion into research management. In a recent study conducted by the author, concerning the reasons why R&D staff in a large UK company sought posts elsewhere in the organisation, the belief that promotion was easier to get outside R&D was one of the most important factors. A dual ladder system may offer a partial solution to this problem. By a dual ladder is meant the establishment of two parallel hierarchies within R & D: a management ladder and a ladder for technical specialists. The two ladders carry different responsibilities but equivalent rewards and status. In theory, at least, a distinction is made between responsibility for resources, located on the management ladder, and responsibility for technical merit, located on the technical ladder.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Article
Publication date: 15 February 2008

A. MacLennan

The purpose of this paper is to list and demonstrate areas in which research needs to be carried out, or questions answered, in order to raise the quality of technical education.

1110

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to list and demonstrate areas in which research needs to be carried out, or questions answered, in order to raise the quality of technical education.

Design/methodology/approach

The area of technical education expanded very rapidly in the late 1950s, and there was little comprehensive knowledge regarding the philosophy and practice. Areas of technical education that needed research included: how far does success in a school subject such as English or mathematics correlate with success in a technical subject? For how many and which courses at technical colleges does a student need to have more or less than average intelligence? What techniques can be used to fill any gaps existing in a student's knowledge before he embarks on a technical course? Are all students to receive the same industrial experiences (e.g. operating machines, bench work, drawing office, etc.)?

Findings

The paper lists six main areas in which research into technical education needs to be carried out: selection for courses; variety within classes; co‐ordination with industry; teaching methods; libraries; and technical education as a subject.

Originality/value

The paper is one of the first to suggest that educational research had been hitherto neglected, and that there is a need for research to be carried out into the relatively new area of technical education. The paper lists areas of technical education which need to be investigated in order to raise the quality of the field.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 50 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 April 2010

Hung‐Fan Chang

The purpose of this study is the analysis of innovation in technology‐intensive industry strategy, by applying scenario analysis (SA) to master the development of the…

2259

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is the analysis of innovation in technology‐intensive industry strategy, by applying scenario analysis (SA) to master the development of the market information and competitive environment. This study will utilize the technical development of the Sony video tape recorder (VTR) as a case study, and then provide more adequate decision information on the technical development strategy (TDS) planning process.

Design/methodology/approach

Scenario analysis (SA) strategy assessment model will construct a future technical development model based on current data. The forecasting model of the cycle period is applied to future market technical innovation. Therefore, applying SA in this study can effectively connect historical information to the analysis of technology development.

Findings

This study used the Sony VTR TDS as a case study that provides a strategy assessment model in a technology‐intensive industry for technical development strategy planning as the basis of decision‐making to aid technical forecasting. Result found that the R&D department is the core lifeline for the development of a company, and TDS is affected by the orientation of customer demand with impact on the development of TLC to form the cycle period of uncertainty.

Originality/value

This model applied the properties of TDS assessment to grasp the development trend in the market, and it can enable the R&D department to integrate technical push and market demands pull. In turn, this results in a gain in the competitive edge for technical innovation through a combination of strategies and regulations.

Details

Business Strategy Series, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-5637

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 February 2008

A.E. Howard

This paper aims to examine technical education in various types of secondary schools, and suggests three levels of technical courses to be taught in secondary schools.

1772

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine technical education in various types of secondary schools, and suggests three levels of technical courses to be taught in secondary schools.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper discusses the differences between technical schools and colleges, and vocational technical courses taught in “academic” secondary schools; it recognizes that technical schools also attract students of a high academic quality. With a wider range of abilities, there need to be courses offered in secondary technical schools that suit a range of levels. Three technical courses are suggested here, which are aimed at the different levels of education parallel to secondary schools – for the potential craftsman, for the potential technician, and for the potential technologist.

Findings

It is suggested that great care must be taken to ensure that the vocational subjects develop naturally from more general academic studies – the aim of the courses outlined in this paper is to provide a fundamental general education alongside an understanding of vocational studies. The course for the potential craftsman takes the student towards suitable City and Guilds certificates, and involves some designated time for industrial visits. The course for the potential technician aims for four “O” level subjects in the General Certificate of Education (GCE), and the course for the potential technologist aims for pupils to gain two subjects at “A” level.

Originality/value

The paper suggests a hierarchy of technical courses for integration into secondary schools in the 1950s.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 50 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

Keywords

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