Current constructs of the user limits our understanding of service channel selection, improvisation, communication, and exchange within multi-channel social contexts. Based on a recent longitudinal case study of an electronic service use in a healthcare insurance context, the paper uses key concepts from structuration theory to examine how users interact with a technology in their ongoing practices, and enact structures which shape their emergent and situated use of the technology among alternative channels. The paper portrays the complex and multiple roles that external users fulfil while reflexively adopting, adapting and using an electronic service. In doing so, the paper responds to the call by Lamb and Kling (2003) to shift from the “thin” user concept to a “rich” concept of a social actor. The ways in which firms employ technology to interact with their customers have changed noticeably and will continue to evolve. To empower users, this study advocates that practitioners balance their internally-biased perspectives with perspectives that are attentive to the current social practices of their targeted user community.
Naidoo, Rennie and Leonard, Awie, "Structuration Concepts as a Framework for Revealing a ‘Socially Rich’ Concept of the User" (2010). ECIS 2010 Proceedings. 8.