Stanford University Stanford Computer Science Department
Abstract    |    Introduction    |    Contacts    |   

   What is PD?
   Political Push
   The Developer

Philosophical Perspective
   Design Philosophy


   Expert Systems Design
   Usability Engeering
   Value Senstive Design

Developing Professionals

The Florence project (1984 to 1987) extended an idea that the DUE project supported, that there must be a knowledge hub under the umbrella of a "profession." However, the Florence project suggests that the profession could be separate from a trade union though some overlap would exist. Drawing on the "application perspective" (which emphasizes that computing systems are best understood in the context in which they are used), the Florence project focused on the daily work routines "nurses," based on their professional language and skills. (Bjerknes and Bratteteig) The Florence project concluded that it is possible to build a profession-oriented system because it included occupational groups related to the nursing trade (i.e. physicians and nursing assistants), but the project was still susceptible to the bias (or one-party perspective) that the UTOPIA project had since it did extend the application perspective. However, the Florence project helped to explain the organization as a whole by concluding that there are simply many stakeholders (management and a variety of user groups) in any organization and a compromise between the interests of these stakeholders must be realized.

Since management (those with the most power) usually dominates negotiations related to use of computing systems, it is no wonder that the Collective Resource approach began. The Collective Resource approach proposed a platform for compromise primarily between management and workers by strengthening the resources available to the collective workers (which was usually synonymous with labor unions in Norway).

Inversely, the FIRE (Functional integration through Redesign) project which began in 1992 and concluded in 1994 emphasized an integrated business model (with principles, techniques and guidelines) in which end-users would experience the design and redesign of computing systems as an interdisciplinary effort focused on the technological infrastructure of an organization. The reality that integration unveils conflicts between different parts of the organization reintroduces the concern that negotiations will not be advantageous for workers. (Ehn and Kyng)

In fact, research in the 1990s on how to facilitate a participatory design process in which end-users can influence the system (furthering the ideas established in the UTOPIA) represented a clear shift from the political agenda of early trade union projects and the general effort of the Collective Resource approach to a narrow focus on user involvement in the actual design process. (Greenbaum and Kyng) Of course, the push for user involvement without a political vehicle such as the trade union could result in a false hope for end-user input to be truly incorporated by organizational management. (Procter and Williams)

Product Development
   Vendor Adoption
   Product Design

In the US
   New Context
   Current Use

   Applied PD

Abstract    |    Introduction    |    Contacts