Walking in the jungle with a machete: ICT leaders’ perspectives on user-Centred systems design

Åsa Cajander*, Marta K. Lárusdóttir, Thomas Lind, Gerolf Nauwerck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Previous research has established that leaders in information and communication technology (ICT) are crucial for establishing a user-centred systems design perspective in ICT for work-related tasks. This paper therefore describes the perspectives of 18 ICT leaders in three kinds of leadership roles (managers, project leaders and specialists) in order to understand their views of user-centred systems design concerning ICT. It uses the concept of technological frames of reference to analyse three domains: technology-in-use, technology strategy and nature of technology. The results show that many specialists see user involvement as a critical factor in successfully establishing new information and communication technologies, but that these systems are currently built around the needs of management rather than end users. Looking forward, all three relevant social groups are optimistic about how ICT will become more user-centred and more strategically aligned in the future. However, changes in ICT are described as extremely energy-consuming and difficult–akin to ‘walking in the jungle with a machete’. Finally, we discuss the relevance of technological frames and present some implications for the successful establishment of user-centred system design as a perspective in organisations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1230-1244
Number of pages15
JournalBehaviour and Information Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors wish to thank the respondents for their time and their valuable insights. We would also like to thank professor NN for valuable support and insights.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Other keywords

  • information and communication technologies
  • technological frames
  • User-centred design


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