The Utilities in Transition: Gazing through the IT Window

By Tracey Crosbie

Using case study research of two Customer relationship management (CRM) technologies and their implementation within four UK utility companies, between 1999 and 2002, this paper illustrates how concepts drawn from the social shaping of technology (SST) can inform research concerned with social implications of technological development. This work explores how new business practices within the supply of utility services are constructed and sustained within the design and consumption of CRM technologies. In doing so the research presented in this paper provides a ‘window’ onto the changes that took place within the supply of UK utility services at the time the research was undertaken, and a contribution to the theoretical literature concerned with the relationship between social and technical development.

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