End-user Empowerment: An Interdisciplinary Perspective

Date
2020-01-07
Authors
Gsenger, Rita
Human, Soheil
Neumann, Gustaf
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Abstract
In virtue of fast spreading emerging technologies, considering end-user empowerment (or human empowerment) while developing or adapting technologies gains importance. Even though many different approaches to end-user empowerment have been proposed, it is hardly clear what "end-user (human) empowerment" is and how it is possible to develop "end-user empowering systems". This paper offers an interdisciplinary perspective on how it can be possible to arrive at a synthesized concept of end-user empowerment, in particular regarding the development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). The provided interdisciplinary perspective includes concepts from Computer Science, Information Systems, Cognitive Science, Psychology, Sociology, Science-Technology-Society, Design, System Science and Philosophy. Based on an interdisciplinary literature review, and from an enactivist, pluralist, and constructivist perspective, we argue that the individual end-users and their needs and values, as well as the environment (including socioeconomical contexts, other actors, etc.) and technologies they interact with, continuously co-create the conception of end-user empowerment. Moreover, we propose that perceiving technological development as co-creation, and considering technologies as value-bearers could provide the first steps in the development of conceptual frameworks required for the development of end-user empowering systems.
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End-user Empowerment in the Digital Age, empowering by design, end-user empowerment, human-centric design, individual empowerment, social-structural empowerment
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