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The role of social-cultural factors in transsectoral innovation – a living lab approach

Project Manager: Prof. dr. Nelly Oudshoorn

Faculty of Management & Governance

Tel.: +31 53 489 3344

Email: n.e.j.oudshoorn@utwente.nl

Project website:


Social and cultural factors play an increasingly important role in the development and adoption of new products and services. If a product does not fit with the perception of the intended user, there is quite a risk that the user will not use it. Also, there are examples of innovations that were a success, but with other users than the intended users. To avoid a mismatch between the innovation and the use of the innovation, it is necessary to pay attention to social and cultural factors.

Within the research we use the ‘mutual shaping’ perspective: development and use of technology are not considered as two distinct linear processes, but as processes that mutually influence each other (Smit en Oost 1996). The construction of the ‘design-domestication’ interface (with at the one hand the developers who develop the application, having a certain image of the users, and on the other hand the users, who perceive the application based on certain expectations) determins how the technology will be implemented, and how the new application will be adopted and accepted. This research will be elaborated in a living lab setting.

Project duration: 1-9-2007 / 1-9-2011

Project budget: 160 k-€ (est.)

Number of person/years: 1 fte

Participants: TNO-ICT, UT

Involved groups: Centre for Studies of Science, Technology and Society (CSSTS)