Laptops have been around since the 1980s, but the revolution in smaller handheld computing devices has given organisations many opportunities to develop and expand their enterprise information systems while posing a number of new challenges to designers and users. The use of handheld devices removes many of the traditional constraints associated with using corporate information systems through stationary computers. However, this newfound freedom may lead to major and unexpected changes in human behaviour and social interaction amongst handheld users and their clients. This paper reports on some implementation experience in the use of handheld computing devices in a major Australian healthcare provider. The case study shows that the social interaction between system users and between system users and their clients may be impacted significantly by the use of handheld devices. The case study further highlights the importance of understanding the social impact of using handheld devices in situations where the service delivered by the organisation depends on a personal relationship between system users and their clients.
Scheepers, Helana and Steele, Phillip, "The Hidden Impact of Mobile Information Systems: a case study of social interaction" (2002). ACIS 2002 Proceedings. Paper 84.