Open Conference Systems, Catac 2016

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SITUATING KAARST-BROWN’S “IT CULTURE” THEORY FOR ANTICIPATORY DESIGN: THE VALUE OF LOCALIZED SYMBOLS AND MYTHS
Michelle L. Kaarst-Brown, Jake Dolezal

Last modified: 2016-06-11

Abstract


This joint practitioner/academic research is a unique study of what we refer to as “anticipatory design” in an ethno-cultural context of an integrated Native American group - the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma (over 200,000 strong). Facing the challenge of preserving and sharing their cultural heritage, the community also faced the risk of rejection of any technology used for that purpose. Unlike other studies that might elicit metaphors (see Oates & Fitzgerald, 2007), our study drew upon the Information Technology (IT) Cultural theory developed by Kaarst-Brown (1995). This theory proposes there are five archetypal IT Cultural patterns, defined by five categories of assumptions about IT. After confirming fit of the archetypes based on their dimensions, the IT cultural patterns were then “situated” within Choctaw myths and symbols. This study contributes to the pragmatic use of metaphor and symbolism in practice, but also the preemptive engaging of the community in discussion about their cultural assumptions about ICT’s. The importance of translation of the original archetypes by drawing on Choctaw specific myths and symbols presents lessons for anticipatory design and change management, as well as the theory of IT Cultures.


Keywords


IT Culture; Cultural Archetypes; Anticipatory Design

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