DOI: 10.1007/978-1-349-07408-2_2
OpenAccess: Closed
This work is not Open Acccess. We may still have a PDF, if this is the case there will be a green box below.

The Sociology of an Actor-Network: The Case of the Electric Vehicle

Michel Callon

Observer (physics)
If laboratories and research sites are to the twentieth century what monasteries were to the twelfth, then the sources of their power and efficacy remain a mystery. How is it that the ideas and writings that issue from these institutions are able to revolutionise, if only gradually, conditions of work in industry, the universe of consumer goods and lifestyles? How are the discoveries made in Stanford, Gif-sur-Yvette, and Cambridge diffused such that they become universally known and recognised? How are certain technical devices, shaped in research departments of French or English companies, able to conquer markets throughout the world? Anthropological studies of the laboratory have shown that nothing exceptional occurs within the walls of research centres themselves which could account for their influence. These studies have also shown that the force and generality of results obtained cannot be attributed to the existence of a specific scientific method (Latour and Woolgar, 1979; Knorr-Cetina, 1981; Lynch, 1985). Though scientists give certain activities a higher priority than others (see Chapter 3), the former do not possess greater rigour or a logic which enable an observer to distinguish them from the latter.KeywordsFuel CellPublic TransportElectric VehicleInternal Combustion EngineTechnical ObjectThese keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
    Cite this:
Generate Citation
Powered by Citationsy*
Papers that cite this paper:
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch004
Cited 4 times
Actor-Network Theory Applied to Information Systems Research
Building an information system is a difficult task, partly due to the problem of ascertaining the requirements of the intended users, but also because of the complexity of the large number of human-machine interactions (Tatnall & Davey, 2005). This complexity is reflected in the difficulty of building these systems to operate free from error and to perform as intended. The dictionary defines innovation as “the alteration of what is established; something newly introduced” (Macquarie Library, 1981 p. 914). As the introduction or improvement of an information system in an organisation necessarily involves change, information systems research often involves research into technological innovation.
MAG: 101624702
A case of community safety : displacing complex ‘social’ problems in Fortitude Valley
Public dialogue regarding the high concentration of drug use and crime in inner city locations is frequently legitimised through visibility of drug-using populations and a perception of high crime rates. The public space known as the Brunswick Street Mall (Valley mall), located in the inner city Brisbane suburb of Fortitude Valley, has long provided the focal point for discussions regarding the problem of illicit drug use and antisocial behaviour in Brisbane. During the late 1990s a range of stakeholders in Fortitude Valley became mobilised to tackle crime and illicit drugs. In particular they wanted to dismantle popular perceptions of the area as representing the dark and unsafe side of Brisbane. The aim of this campaign was to instil a sense of safety in the area and dislodge Fortitude Valley from its reputation as a =symbolic location of danger‘. This thesis is a case study about an urban site that became contested by the diverse aims of a range of stakeholders who were invested in an urban renewal program and community safety project. This case study makes visible a number of actors that were lured from their existing roles in an indeterminable number of heterogeneous networks in order to create a community safety network. The following analysis of the community safety network emphasises some specific actors: history, ideas, technologies, materialities and displacements. The case study relies on the work of Foucault, Latour, Callon and Law to draw out the rationalities, background contingencies and the attempts to impose order and translate a number of entities into the community safety project in Fortitude Valley. The results of this research show that the community safety project is a case of ontological politics. Specifically the data indicates that both the (reality) problem of safety and the (knowledge) solution to safety were created simultaneously. This thesis explores the idea that while violence continues to occur in the Valley, evidence that community safety got done is located through mapping its displacement and eventual disappearance. As such, this thesis argues that community safety is a =collateral reality‘.
DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4471-2924-0
¤ Open Access
Cited 4 times
Asset Condition, Information Systems and Decision Models
MAG: 104267348
DOI: 10.1017/cbo9780511489167.004
Ten chimpanzees in a laboratory: how a human genetic marker may become a good genetic marker for typing chimpanzees
MAG: 105859082
Internal auditors, managers and the framing of continuous monitoring: A case study of an Australian Wholesale company
Recent technological advances, compliance imperatives and trends in governance and risk management have renewed attention and increased demand for continuous assurance (CA) and continuous monitoring (CM) more specifically. Whilst these areas have a history spanning close to three decades, significant uncertainty remains about how CM may be effectively implemented at a theoretical and practical level, with limited empirical based studies. The aim of this paper is to report on a case study of an implementation of CM in an Australian wholesale company. Broadly, a social constructionist of technology (SCOT) perspective is adopted and the implementation process is explored as a sociology of translation. Within this research framework a technological frames analysis is employed to examine auditors’ and managers’ understanding and experiences of CM, the meanings assigned by them, and how this influences their actions related to its implementation and use. Implications for further research and practice are considered.
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-11818-5_11
Cited 3 times
Collaborative Re-orderings in Humanitarian Aid Networks
This paper explores the processes underlying the ongoing endeavours to establish collaborative relationships between traditional, formal humanitarian and the non-traditional volunteer networks (VTC). In contrast with the ‘informational’ and ‘connectivist’ concerns, which dominate the crisis response literature, this paper synthesizes a perspective on multi-network/actor collaboration that is informed by STS and Practice theory studies. Thus, network-wide continuous efforts to establish ways of working between these two very different types of actors are conceptualized as complex collaborative re-orderings constituted of the inter-related practices of ‘reconfiguring’ and ‘fusing’. This perspective offers valuable insights into the dynamic processes of network transformations and changes, triggered by the co-emerging and coalescing endeavours of traditional and volunteer organisations.
MAG: 1131749888
An Empirical Identification of Social Media Key Performance Indicators from the 2014 General Elections
The necessity for a politician to actively engage via social media increases with each passing election. The come-from-behind primary victory and the ultimate election of President Obama in 2008 are often partially attributed to the campaign’s social media prowess. Anecdotal evidence abounds regarding the negative effects of politician’s usage of social media, for example congressman Anthony Weiner in 2011. However, contemporary recommendations towards successful campaigning via social media are generally limited to anecdotal success stories and top ten lists. This research addresses this gap by capturing over 6 million social media messages and weekly statistics from over 1,300 official campaign accounts from September through November during the 2014 U.S. general election. Non-parametric analyses empirically establish many key performance indicators related to social network size, churn and various messaging activities. Although this exploratory investigation does not address causality, we contribute by producing empirically validated KPIs and their associations with election outcomes.
MAG: 115637302
Enhancing the delivery of library’s services through the implementation of an emerging information technology: a process framework
This paper presents a process framework for implementing an emerging information technology in library. The motivation for this framework came from the lack of such tool to managers in service organizations such as libraries that have been actively implementing emerging technologies to enhance the delivery of their services. To develop the framework, a study was conducted on the implementation of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) by the first public library in the UK to adopt the technology. Using the Lewin’s model of change as the study’s theoretical framework and the grounded theory approach as the study’s research method, an implementation process framework of an emerging technology was developed. The contribution of the framework is twofold. First, the framework contributes towards the state-of-the-art knowledge on service sciences and emerging technology implementation. Second, it provides guidance to future managers in service organizations on how best to manage the implementation of an emerging technology.
MAG: 115727408
Cited 3 times
Translation in XBRL Standardization: An Actor-Network View
eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) presents new opportunities for integrating information flow within communities of diverse organisations thereby significantly enhancing the business information supply chain. Vital to XBRL success, its standardization is proving to be challenging. This paper investigates the phenomena that occur when heterogeneous actors interact in attempts to standardize XBRL. Drawing upon actor-network theory (ANT) we “follow the actors” participating in XBRL standardization efforts in Australia. Supporting qualitative empirical evidence was collected via interviews and reviews of XBRL technical documentation. By presenting unsuccessful and potentially successful focal actors side by side, we enhance current understanding of the role of focal actors in technology standardization networks. Specifically, focal actors require clear and indispensable value propositions and solid political and financial support to achieve effective translations in technology standardization networks.
MAG: 1159163229
“Birthing democracy” Between birth policies in Portugal and mothering new forms of democracy in Brazil
Tese de doutoramento em Sociologia (Programa de Doutoramento em Governacao, Conhecimento e Inovacao) apresentada a Faculdade de Economia da Universidade de Coimbra
MAG: 12102149
Cited 34 times
A Brief Overview of Actor-Network Theory: Punctualization, Heterogeneous Engineering & Translation
In the English-speaking world ANT is frequently associated with three writers: Michel Callon, Bruno Latour and John Law. These writers were the first to use the term “ActorNetwork Theory” to describe their particular approach to scientific and technical innovation and, over the past 30 years, they (and others) have written a number of articles and books that attempt to summarize, clarify and critique ANT (Akrich & Latour 1992; Callon 1999; Callon & Law 1997; Hassard, Law & Lee 1999; Latour 1987; Latour 1996; Latour 1999; Latour 2005; Law 1992; Law 1997; Law 1999; Law 2007; Lee & Brown 1994; Neyland 2006).
DOI: 10.28945/1482
¤ Open Access
Cited 8 times
Informing Parents with the Victorian Education Ultranet
Parents of school children want to be well informed and know as much as possible about their children’s school and how their children are progressing at school. In mid-2010 in Victoria, Aus-tralia the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development launched the Ultranet, a new web-based product designed to support knowledge sharing, curriculum delivery and online learning and teaching. This paper describes the Ultranet, how it has been developed and how it is to be used to inform parents, but as the Ultranet was only beginning to come into operation in late 2010 it has not been possible to include any research findings. With its facilities to inform parents and to offer collaboration features to teachers, the Ultranet appears to be something not attempted anywhere before. The paper is thus a theoretical one discussing the Ultranet’s design and possi-bilities, and is framed by using both an Actor-Network Theory (ANT) and Siemens’ Theory of Connectivism. Later papers will examine how the Ultranet performs in practice.
MAG: 125922615
Considering design for automatic speech recognition in use
Talking to a computer is hard. Large vocabulary automatic speech recognition (ASR) systems are difficult to use and yet they are used by many people in their daily work. This thesis addresses the question: How is ASR used and made usable and useful in the workplace now? To answer these questions I went into two workplaces where ASR is currently used and one where ASR could be used in the future. This field work was done with designing in mind. ASR dictation systems are currently used in the Australian Public Service (APS) by people who suffer chronic workplace overuse injuries and in the Hansard department of Parliament House (Hansard) by un-injured people. Analysing the experiences of the users in the APS and at Hansard showed that using an ASR system in the workplace follows a broad trajectory that ends in the continued effort to maintain its usefulness. The usefulness of the ASR systems is performed into existence by the users with varying degrees of success. For both the APS and Hansard users, they use ASR to allow work to be performed; ASR acts to bridge the gap between otherwise incompatible ways of working. This thesis also asks: How could ASR be used and made usable and useful in workplaces in the future? To answer this question, I observed the work of communicating sentences at the ACT Magistrates Court. Communicating sentences is a process that is distributed in space and time throughout the Court and embodied in a set of documents that have a co-ordinating role. A design for an ASR system that supports the process of communicating sentences while respecting existing work process is described. Moving from field work to design is problematic. This thesis performs the process of moving from field work to design, as described above, and reflects the use of various analytic methods used to distill insights from field work data. The contributions of this thesis are: * The pragmatic use of existing social research methods and their antecedents as a corpus of analyses to inspire new designs; * a demonstration of the use of Actor-Network Theory in design both as critique and as part of a design process; * empirical field-work evidence of how large vocabulary ASR is used in the workplace; * a design showing how ASR could be introduced to the rich, complicated, environment of the ACT Magistrates Court; and, * a performance of the process of moving from field work to design.
DOI: 10.1484/j.arihs.5.101885
Cited 5 times
A Network of Tissue Culture and Cells : The American Society for Cell Biology
DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-4774-6_15
Cited 10 times
Learning Organizational Practices That Persist, Perpetuate and Change: A Schatzkian View
In this chapter, we challenge two conventional assumptions from workplace learning research and organizational change research: that learning can be understood isolated from its embeddedness in work practices and that managing change at work aims to re-stabilize entities known as organizations. In contrast, we believe understanding the nexus between learning and change in organizational work lies in appreciating the apparent paradox when workers learn to carry forward (persist and perpetuate) practices, yet also learn to adapt (change) them to achieve the purposes of work. We draw significantly from Schatzki’s theorizations of practice and argue that practice theory has much to contribute in conceptualizing a more dynamic view of organizing, working and learning. We illustrate our use of Schatzkian concepts by discussing how workers at an Australian utility company use safety practices to learn how to become new kinds of safe workers and to embrace the organizational notion of safe working.KeywordsWork PracticeOrganizational PracticeSafety PracticeWorkplace LearningOrganizational RoutineThese keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
MAG: 137408164
Lost in translation: Actor network theory in organization studies
MAG: 137535983
Cited 3 times
A comprehensive framework for the adoption of techno-relationship innovations : Empirical evidence from eCRM in manufacturing SMEs
Information Technology (IT) plays a significant role in today business competition. A prominent role is that it helps a firm to manage relationships with customers effectively. Adoption of appropri ...
MAG: 139814237
Safe Internet Use
The internet has created many issues concerning security and safety in our society. To raise public awareness into internet safety, user awareness campaigns have emerged. However, regarding these campaigns, research shows that changing behaviour of end users is a complex issue. In that research, there is either an emphasis on the psychological aspect of safe internet use, or on the technology at hand and it's effectiveness. With this thesis, I aim to contribute to the understanding of user awareness campaigns from a technology studies perspective. In my research I make an in-depth analysis of the design and use of such a educational effort. I use the website www.veiliginternetten.nl from the Dutch government as case study. This website was part of a user awareness campaign that was conducted in 2009 and 2010. The website was visited close to half a million times during the two year campaign. To analyse the website, I use a script analysis. This concept links the design and use of an artefact. It allows me to create a detailed look into the anticipated user, the design and actual use of the website. Using this semiotic approach I can analyse how the script from the website invites or inhibits certain behaviour towards their user. To analyse the design, I held interviews with two core actors that were closely involved with the design of the website. Next to this I analysed documents that were used as requirements for the website, documents used to anticipate the future user, and I analysed the website itself. Lastly I conducted small qualitative research into the actual use of the website by interviewing four users after they used the website. My analysis lead to two main conclusions. First, the analysis of the actors involved in the development and design of veiliginternetten.nl reveal quite different expectations of the website. This resulted in a rather ambiguous design of the website, and the ambiguous script had subsequently different effects on the real user. Secondly, I will argue that the envisaged use of the website during design was to a large extent in compliance with the actual use, but without the website facilitating this use. The website itself did not include certain possibilities and uses that were both anticipated during design and expected during actual use.
MAG: 14104070
Using actor-network theory to understand inter-organizational network aspects for strategic information systems planning
The Sociology of an Actor-Network: The Case of the Electric Vehicle” is a paper by Michel Callon published in the journal Palgrave Macmillan UK eBooks in 1986. It was published by Palgrave Macmillan UK. It has an Open Access status of “closed”. You can read and download a PDF Full Text of this paper here.