Ilitch School Dean Virginia Kleist's research accepted for publication in Journal of Global Information Technology Management

Mike Ilitch School of Business Dean and Professor of Technology, Information Systems and Analytics Virginia Kleist has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Global Information Technology Management (JGITM), which accepts research related to all aspects of the application of information technology for international business. 

The article, “Informating and Automating in Systems Design: Extending the Zuboffian View of Technology Ready-to-Use vs. Technology Unintuitive-to-Use,” suggests that the roles of a user engaging with a system and what the system accomplishes for the user has become increasingly blurred. 


Previous literature has treated software functionalities as a binary choice between informating and automating, based on Zuboff’s definitions. We suggest that the space between the role of a user engaging with a system (informate) and what the system can accomplish for the user (automate) has increasingly become blurred, moving toward a more nuanced continuum. We present a user-system interaction framework that analyzes this continuum with a focus on the user’s perspective. Using cases from archival data, this paper provides an analysis of what goes well and badly in the locus of control handoff between users and systems, highlighting the implications of software that is created in one region but used globally. The paper contributes to the literature by extending Zuboff’s informate vs. automate discussion and identifying design decisions that could help to avoid potentially catastrophic design errors. Using the interaction framework, we argue that it would be beneficial for system designers to move toward the informate end of the continuum, when designing systems for users with a high level of domain knowledge and expertise, and when there are significant differences between the environment in which the system is designed and the one in which the system is used. 

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