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Development projects in information and communication technologies may fail if local users perceive them as incompatible with existing work practices or cultural values. The present study examines cultural communication in the design of a prototype information-management system for the social service department of a developing Caribbean nation. The requirements-engineering process required communication within a culturally heterogeneous group of local and outside stakeholders. A capacity-building writing workshop sought to integrate the database into workplace practices. The experience highlights professional communication's role in mediating cultural difference and facilitating stakeholders' self-determination in the improvement of their work practices.
Date of Publication: March 2011