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Thomas Boillat successfully defended his thesis and was awarded the grade of PhD.

The Design and uses of IT Artifacts for individual routines in organizational contexts.

Information technologies (IT) have had a massive impact on the capacities of organizations to access and treat information, which have eventually increased their productivity. They have become so integrated in routines that without them, organizations are unable to operate. As an example, in August 2016, Delta Airlines was obliged to cancel almost 2,000 flights because its central system broke down. With the growing capacity of IT, business applications (e.g., enterprise systems) have been supporting increasingly complicated and individual tasks. However, these applications are often chosen based on an organization’s objectives with little consideration for individual needs. They push standardized routines that ask employees to change theirs. This results in a large part of employees being unsatisfied with the way business applications support their activities. With the increasing capacities of mobile applications, many employees have shifted from desktop to mobile applications. Because mobile devices are personal, their applications should be designed to adapt to individual work patterns.
However, despite their popularity and efficiency, very few studies have investigated the designs of mobile applications and their uses in organizational contexts. This dissertation addresses this gap through three interrelated research streams: Research stream 1 investigates the interplay between individual routines and mobile apps as IT artifact. To do so, it looks into the roles that mobile apps play in supporting the ostensive and performative aspects of individual routines and the underlying design of mobile apps’ user interfaces based on two field studies: customer interactive support and routine patient care. Research stream 2 looks into the capacities of mobile checklists, i.e. checklists that are executed on mobile devices, to codify and execute routines. Checklists are a very efficient structure to support individual routines, as described in existing literature and also in the two mobile apps analyzed in the research stream 1. Given the roles of checklists and their frequent uses in mobile applications, I investigate how organizational knowledge is codified and adapted to different contexts as well as how tasks are documented and validated. Research stream 3 seeks to analyze the structures and the components of individual routines in order to describe, assess and improve them. It intends to understand the extent to which activity patterns are structured vs. unstructured and the uses of IT artifacts in these patterns. Thus, it investigates the use of maturity models and process mining to support organizations in analyzing and improving their routines.
To conclude this dissertation, I discuss the application of my contributions in view of an ongoing project involving the use of smart glasses to support individual routines as well as the links between this dissertation and existing research in human-computer interaction.

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