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Putting Phronesis to Work in Digital Innovation

Conference paper
Authors L. Hylving
Dina Koutsikouri
Published in 2016 49th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
Publisher IEEE
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Language en
Keywords information-systems, big data, model, technologies, science, agenda
Subject categories Computer and Information Science


This paper uses the Aristotelian concept of phronesis (practical wisdom) as a sensitizing device to explore digital materiality in relation to user experience. We studied a digital innovation called Prudence, and observed that it possesses material properties including sensitivity to particulars, interactive ability, open-mindedness, and future orientation, making it context-aware. These properties quintessentially enabled the solution to be 'phronetic', and attune to its user's flow of activities and routines, to deliver 'good' user experiences. The study provides an opportunity for extending and strengthening current and emergent theories on digital materiality by incorporating phronesis as a vital ingredient to understand experiential computing. It also highlights the importance of embracing value-rationality to attain the kind of user delight that goes beyond what can be pre-defined in a specification. Overall, the paper contributes to show the fruitfulness of appropriating the notion of phronesis into the field of digital innovation.

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