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We argue that a direct involvement of end-user organisations in standards setting is unlikely given the current division of labour in the IT industry. Drawing on material from one of our current case studies of practical IT systems development and use, we illustrate the value of an understanding of end-users' practices to understand the problem of participation in standards making. The picture that emerges from this analysis suggests that a more nuanced view of the role of standards in practical IT work is needed and that direct participation in standards setting is perhaps not the way forward for end-users to influence technological development. Rather, we propose that indirect participation based on facilitation and feedback would allow end-users to influence standards making while seeking solutions to their particular problems in uniquely adequate ways.
Date of Conference: 22-24 Oct. 2003