Making sense of innovations: A comparison of personal computers and mobile phones

  • Dilaver O
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Abstract

Despite revolutionary expectations about information and communication technologies (ICT), the academic understanding of what exactly these technologies bring to individual lives remains incomplete. We know very little about how individuals perceive the value of ICT products, and even less about the process by which these value perspectives are built. This paper contributes to addressing these gaps. It presents an empirical study comparing the perceived use-value of personal computers and mobile phones. The findings show that the day-to-day value of innovations is deeply embedded in the existing and newly emerging social contexts. Thus, societal transformations, such as becoming an information society, cannot be reduced to matters of technological possibilities. The paper also builds a construct for the sense-making process that clarifies that compared to mobile phones, computers are more difficult to position in mind, purchase and use, require more support from social contacts and are only meaningful in selective contexts.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Diffusion of innovations
  • grounded theory
  • information and communication technologies
  • means-end chain model
  • schema theory
  • use-value

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Authors

  • Ozge Dilaver

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