“Caveat emptor” in Latin or “let buyer beware” is a maxim from early common law that proposes that the buyer is responsible for using sound judgment in the purchase of goods and services based on their intended context of use. Used analogously for “ let the innovator beware” the paper looks at information technology (IT) innovation, with its adaptororiented nature, and puts into question the prepackaged artifact’s use across diverse cultures. If widespread adoption of IT is to persist we have to address the cultural assumptions that permeates IT literature. The emerging discourses on culture and social construction highlight the need for the inclusion of alternative views on the conceptualization, construction and development of culture. Using the historical socio-constructivist perspective of activity theory, the paper presents three assumptions designed to act as a sensitizing device and complement existing literature on IT innovation by providing a foundation for context-differentiated reasoning.
Lawrence, Carl and Beltran, Fernando, "“Caveat Emptor”: Cultural Assumptions in Information Technology Innovation" (2010). AMCIS 2010 Proceedings. 522.