“I Did It My Way”: Social workers as secondary designers of a client information system
The article focuses on the social workers’ workarounds aka their own alternative strategies for defeating the various types of obstacles in information interaction in a client information system (CIS). Data consists of semi-structured interviews and social workers’ observations with their verbal accounts while they used CIS in their daily work. The workarounds were analyzed from the process perspective when antecedent conditions, actual workarounds and their consequences were taken into account. The design flaws and external demands in work generated the workarounds. The social workers used small scale tricks within CIS to maintain continuum in a client’s trajectory; they relied on shadow systems to manage their whole clientele; and took shortcuts in production of statistical information. The workarounds offered a better grip on information and saved time. However, some of the workarounds were tensional in a child protection context. The analysis of workarounds provided valuable secondary design suggestions to remedy CIS. âº Workarounds are analyzed as a process in a specific child protection context. âº Considers workarounds as secondary design suggestions for remedy client information systems. âº Workarounds offered a better grip on information and saved time, some of them were tensional in the context they were used.