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Technological frames: making sense of information technology in organizations / Orlikowski & Gash (1994)

Citation - Orlikowski, W., & Gash, D. (1994). Technological frames: making sense of information technology in organizations. ACM Transactions on Information Systems (TOIS), 12(2), 174-207.

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ABSTRACT 摘要(page II)

  • In this paper, we build a theoretical framework to extend research into users' and designers' cognitions and values by proposing a systematic approach to examining the underlying assumptions, expectations, and knowledge that people have about technology.
  • Such interpretations of technology (which we label technological frames) are central to understanding technological development, use, and change in organizations as they critically influence the way people act around technology.
  • We suggest that where the technological frames of key groups in organizations–such as managers, technologists, and users–are significantly different, difficulties and conflict around the development, use, and change of technology may result.
    我們認為,組織中關鍵團體間 – 如經理人、技術專家、使用者 – 的「技術框架」是不同的,並且在技術的發展、運用、與變革中產生了困難與衝突。
  • We use the findings of an empirical study to illustrate how the nature, value, and use of a groupware technology were interpreted differently by various organizational stakeholders, resulting in outcomes that deviated from those expected.
  • We argue that technological frames offer an interesting and useful analytic perspective for explaining and anticipating actions and meanings around information technology that are not easily obtained with other theoretical lenses.


  • “We argue that an understanding of people's interpretations of a technology is critical to understanding their interaction with it.” (p.1)
  • “Pinch and Bijker (1987) argue that because technological artifacts may be interpreted differently by multiple social groups, different social groups will construct different interpretations of the technology based on their interactions with it.” (p.7)


  • 設計師與使用者認知,對資訊系統的影響:
    • Bostrom & Heinen (1977)系統設計者研究框架:Bostrom and Heinen (1977) suggested that many of the social problems associated with the implementation of information systems (IS) were due to the frames of reference of system designers.
      • 後續研究:
      • 設計者價值觀、對使用者看法,對資訊系統的影響:Dagwell and Weber (1983) and Kumar and Bj0rn-Andersen (1990) examined the influence of designers' values and views of users on systems development.
      • 設計師概念框架,對資訊系統的影響: Boland (1978, 1979) showed that designers' conceptual frameworks influenced the kind of systems they designed.
    • 使用者對資訊系統的預期型塑了他們對資訊系統的態度: Ginzberg (1981), in turn, investigated how users' expectations of a pending information system significantly shaped their attitudes toward it.
    • 此後,研究者認為設計者與使用者的觀點與價值,是資訊系統社會面向的一部分: Since these studies, researchers have considered designers' and users' perceptions and values as part of their examination of the social aspects of information technology (Hirschheim and Klein, 1989; Kling and Iacono, 1989; Markus, 1984).
    • 然而,對於資訊系統的設計與使用,並沒有一個系統性的研究參考框架

The concept of frames | 框架的概念

  • social cognitive research (Berger & Luckmann, 1967; Smircich & Stubbart 1985; Weick 1979a)
  • The frames of organizational members are implicit guidelines that organize and shape their interpretations of events' and organizational phenomena and give them meaning(Moch and Bartunek, 1990; Weick 1979b).
  • Frames: (p.2-4)
    • people's “definitions of organizational reality that serve as vehicles for understanding and action” (Gioia, 1986:50).
    • “They include assumptions, knowledge, and expectations, expressed symbolically through language, visual images, metaphors, and stories.” (p.3)
    • “Frames are cognitive structures or mental models that are held by individuals.”
    • “Frames are flexible in structure and content, having variable dimensions that shift in salience and content by context and over time. They are structured more as webs of meanings than as linear, ordered graphs (Gioia, 1986)”.
    • “They typically operate in the background and have both facilitating and constraining effects.”
    • “On the one hand, as Gioia (1986:346) notes, frames are facilitative when they: structure organizational experience; allow interpretation of ambiguous situations; reduce uncertainty in conditions of complexity and changing conditions; and provide a basis for taking action.
    • “frames are also constraining when they: reinforce unreflective reliance on established assumptions and knowledge; distort information to make it fit existing cognitive structures; and inhibit creative problem solving.”
researches about shared cognitive schemes
認知地圖 cognitive maps Bougon, Weick, and Binkhorst(1977); Eden(1992)
框架 frames Goffman(1974)
詮釋框架 interpretive frames Bartunek & Moch (1987)
詮釋基模 interpretative schemes Giddens (1984)
心智模型 mental models Schutz (1970); Argyris and Schon (1978)
典範 paradigms Kuhn (1970); Sheldon (1980)
腳本 scripts Abelson (1981); Gioia (1986)
thought worlds Douglas (1987); Dougherty (1992)
  • Sharing of Frames 框架的分享
    • 三種分享框架的形式: Weick and Bougon (1986:112):
      • 裝配在個人框架上的共同面向 an assemblage that ties individual frames together through common dimensions;
      • 與群體成員透過討論而共同建構、能互相理解的合成物 a composite which is formed by group members jointly constructing a common understanding through discussion;
      • 與其他個人框架交集的平均處 an average which represents the intersection of individuals' frames comprising the group.
    • Wittgenstein's (1953) 的家族相似性(family resemblances)
  • Technological (shared) Frames 技術框架(或應該稱為「組織技術認知框架」?)
    • “We use the term technological frame to identify that subset of members' organizational frames that concern the assumptions, expectations, and knowledge they use to understand technology in organizations.”(p.6)
  • Congruence of Technological Frames 技術框架的全等
    • “Congruence in technological frames as referring to the alignment of frames on key elements or categories.” (p.8)



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