The Individual-Client in the Design of Telecom Services: A Legitimization Process

By Christine Defuans.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This communication presents some results of a research in information and communication sciences. The study deals with the evolution of the design process of Telecom services since the nineties, in France. This period marks a great evolution in the innovation process centred on markets and usages. In this context, the client's notion crystallizes the connections established between companies and people consuming the services, and the use of client's notion in the speeches and the practices of companies, shows an extended normalization of these connections. The "customer oriented design process" gives place to more and more formal representations of the social individual, built by experts, specialists in marketing and in human and social sciences. These representations gather all the features and skills favourable to an increasing involvement of the individuals, in the services design process, be it from the point of view of either the creativity or the capacity to cooperate with the professional actors. This trend is also characterized by the attribution of various status of the individual in the design process, such as, for example, the creative individual, the experimenter, or the "prescriber" of the services. The individual is then considered as an expert of his proper uses of the services, able to produce knowledge about his social environment, his expectations and constraints. By recognizing the reflexive ability of the individual and by paying a bigger attention to his speech, the company can introduce him as a potential contributor, and can extend so the interdisciplinary framework of the design process. In the mean time, this helps the company to legitimate its activities, and it prospective vision as well.

Keywords: ICT/Telecom Services, Interdisciplinary Design Process, Sociology of Uses, Individual, Customer and Client, Skills and Status, Markets, Strategy and Legitimization

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 2, Issue 5, pp.173-182. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 565.470KB).

Dr. Christine Defuans

Research Engineer, Research and Development, Orange Labs Research and Development, Sophia- Antipolis, France

Doctor in Information and Communication Sciences. Research Engineer at "Orange Labs Research and Development" (formerly France Télécom Research and Development) since 2000.

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