Actor-network-theory perspective on a forestry decision support system design

L.G.J. Boerboom, V. Ferritti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Use of decision support systems (DSS) has thus far been framed as a social process of adoption or technical process of usability. We analyze the development of a DSS as a process of institutionalization of new as well as drift of existing practices. We write an Actor-Network-Theory (ANT) account, i.e. an interpretive study, that follows the traces left by both human and non-human actors (e.g. technology, methodologies, etc.) to understand how a DSS development project institutionalizes DSS technology in several forest management organizations in the German state of Rheinland Pfalz. The research has an innovative value since it uses ANT in the design of a DSS, hence affecting it, while commonly ANT has been used to understand why networks work or do not. Moreover, we use a new technology (PREZITM, for the visualization of the whole actor network coherent to the ANT methodology, i.e. “keeping the social flat.” As a result, the development of the ANT account proposed in the present paper, even if still partial, supports the design of new technologies being introduced in current practice and generates an important learning effect thanks to the underpinning interpretative approach
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-95
Number of pages36
JournalScandinavian journal of forest research
Issue numberSuppl. 1
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sept 2014


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