As described elsewhere (Jacucci MCIS07 2007), Social Practice Design (SPD) seeks to ensure that the potential benefits of envisioned novel technologies can be realised. SPD is an extension of Participatory Design (PD) to the implementation phase of information systems, using action research, participatory design, and counselling. This paper describes a case of organisational problem solving by counselling, using the central portion of the new Social Practice Design approach, in which counsellors interpretations and suggestions are intertwined with turntaking proposals by company personnel, in an intentional promotion of the emergence of new social practices. The portion of the new Social Practice Design approach on which we concentrate our attention in this paper includes the following organised actions: • Counsellor’s creativity suggests in appropriate perspectives one or more relevant principles from known social theories, capable of providing leverage support for addressing each howquestion expressing a problem issue, previously emerged from ethnographic observations • Tentative visions of solution are counsellor generated by confronting each how-question with corresponding theory principles • Consolidated visions of solution are co-constructed together by counsellor and managers/personnel in conversations where the counsellor generated tentative visions serve as germs only: these are considered together, questioned, modified as needed, or abandoned. This paper thus focuses mainly on the one aspect of the experience of practicing SPD with user groups at a European industry, that includes elaborating with company personnel visions of solution of problem issues in their organization, emerged during ethnography based phases of SPD work (reported at MCIS06: Jacucci, Tellioglu, and Wagner 2006)). Recurrent topics in the principles section of this paper, giving rise to vision of solutions to how question issues, point principally to the involvement and agency of company personnel (individually, and in group setting). This substantiates our counselling approach. A prominent feature exhibited by our counselling approach to the generation of visions of solution in SPD, is a contrast between rigour and freedom: maximum rigour required in following the method, maximum freedom allowed in creating relevant associations: a significant encounter of phenomenology and ethics? The issue type, and the implicit priority of strongly felt how questions and visions of solution of socio-organisational and business nature, emerged clearly in case study conversations. Addressing how questions with appropriate visions of solution allows organisations to learn and undergo change, through the adoption of new social practices.
Cattani, Claudia and Jacucci, Gianni, "FROM SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT SERVICE PROVIDER – HELAS, A CAPTIVE RESOURCE! - TO ONE’S OWN PRODUCTS AND BRAND: MAXIMISING RIGOUR AND RELEVANCE IN ORGANISATIONAL PROBLEM SOLVING" (2007). MCIS 2007 Proceedings. 18.