The track brings together researchers who, frustrated with the shortcomings of snap-shot studies of particular moments of innovation, seek richer analytical templates for guide longitudinal and multi-site research that engages with the complex interactions amongst suppliers, users & others involved
The Biography of Artefacts and Practices (BoAP) perspective emerged amongst an informal community of scholars seeking to move away from the atomistic perspectives and 'snap shot' studies of particular moments of technology design or of use that followed the localist turn in STS and prevalent 'flat' ontologies. We therefore need to go beyond the single site case-study or actor-centred accounts that prevailed within recent STS research and develop more effective methodological templates based upon longitudinal and multi-site study,
Groundbreaking longitudinal studies within the BoAP perspective detailed the complexity of innovation processes, involving diverse arrays of players (engineers, users, managers) interacting over protracted periods and across many locales. Work conducted within this perspective has highlighted the various ways in which users contribute to the development of products and the role of various forms of innovation intermediary who may bridge contexts of technology supply and use. These include new kinds of player like industry analyst Gartner which, by making available community knowledge available on a commodified basis, overcome asymmetry of knowledge about complex software produces and allow IT markets to operate.
The track brings together researchers working within the BoAP perspectives and others on a similar intellectual journey (for example Actor Worlds). The aim will be both to take stock and look forward. It will present a range of contributions that offer new empirical applications of the framework as well as work focusing upon methodology (a dimension which has often been overlooked) and conceptual developments.