Applying the social construction of technology perspective to ICT users at the ‘bottom of the pyramid’

Stan Karanasios, AIMTech Research Group Leeds University Business School


This paper examines mobile phone and Internet technology in the context of developing countries. In order to do this the SCOT approach is adopted, particularly the notions of identifiable social groups, interpretive flexibility and closure from a macro perspective to draw some conclusions on the varying characteristics of the incumbent technologies. Rather than examine solely the factors that patterned the emergence of the technology, the paper focuses on the duality of social factors that shaped the technology and technology shaping society. This paper expands the broader understanding of ICT in the context of developing countries and the underlying characteristics that certain technologies embody. Beyond this it presents a tentative step into providing a different perspective to approaching ICT for development research and suggests further detailed investigation of social aspects in better understand the adoption and shaping of ICT in the developing country context.