Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Concept of e-Service from a Social Interaction Perspective Göran Hultgren and Owen Eriksson

The Concept of e-Service from a Social Interaction Perspective, by Göran Hultgren and Owen Eriksson

"Today we can see the convergence of computers, telephones and
media with the Internet, and how IS is developed to support e.g. transport and travel
activities and the everyday lives of people. The focus on the use of IS in offices and
factories is, due to this convergence, replaced by the need to focus on the use of IS in society and in the market (ibid.). According to Dahlbom (ibid.) service thinking is
focused upon individuals, actions, results and support. This implies a shift of context
from the use of IS in order to improve the efficiency of routines and work processes
of the organisation, to a focus on customers acting in a market using occasional
services to be bought, used and consumed in a flexible way"

"An area which could be helpful in order to discuss the concept of e-service is
Service Marketing Theory (SMT). According to this theory a service is produced and
delivered in the interaction (i.e. in the service encounter) between a service provider and a customer (e.g. Gönroos, 1998) in order to fulfil customer needs. Fundamental for services according to SMT is that they are produced and delivered in a social interaction between the customer and the service provider. In the Social Sciences discipline social interaction is defined as “the process that takes place when people act in relation to each other” (Johnsson, 1995)."

When the use of IS is discussed as SST the customer-to-service provider relationship is discussed as a Göran Hultgren and Owen Eriksson Proceedings of ALOIS*2005, Limerick, Ireland, 15–16 March 2005 5 person-to-technology relationship. Gutek and Welsh (2000) for example, regard the relationship between the service provider and the customer as a pseudo-relation. The meaning of a pseudo-relation is that there is no need for face-to-face interaction between the service provider and the customer, which implies that they primarily describe the relationship as a technical one. We claim that if we want to understand, and design, e-services it is important that we realise that the relationship is social to its character" (page 5)

2.3 The Notion of IS according to the IS Actability Theory (ISAT)
One reason for choosing ISAT in discussing the concept of e-service is that the use of IS in ISAT is considered as situated social interaction. In Ågerfalk (2003) ISAT is presented based on the idea that IS is action systems used in a social action context, which include actors, relationships, norms, values and beliefs, and the existence of social and material facts. The social context is what makes the actions performed at the user interface meaningful and is a basis for understanding the use of IS as a whole (Ågerfalk and Eriksson, 2003).

The definition of ISAT is (Ågerfalk, 2003):
“An information system’s ability to perform actions and to permit, promote and
facilitate users to perform their actions both through the system and based on
messages from the system, in some business context”.

From the discussion of SMT above we could see that in order to understand the
concept of e-service it is important to understand how IS can be used in a social interaction context" (5)

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