Understanding the differences in collaborative system use through appropriation analysis

Gerardine Desanctis, Marshall Scott Poole

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


One way of understanding the impacts of collaborative systems is to examine the nature of the structures they provide. Another approach is to examine the differences in how groups respond to these structures as they work with them. This paper follows the second approach, on the presumption that groups differ dramatically in how they incorporate technology-based structures into their work We draw on the concept of appropriation, the process by which group members provide meaning to structures and act on them, and identify nine general types of group responses to technology-based structures. These nine types are then refined into 31 categories of appropriation. We illustrate how these categories of appropriation can be observed in groups and show how they can be synthesized to yield general patterns of group responses to the technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number184186
Pages (from-to)547-553
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes
Event24th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 1991 - Kauai, United States
Duration: Jan 8 1991Jan 11 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering

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