The diffusion of WOZ: expanding the topology of IS innovations
Costello, Gabriel J.
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The growth and diffusion of self-service technology (SST) over the last decade has resulted in an increasing number of business and government transactions being completed without human assistance. One innovation in this area, the speech-enabled business system, is characterised by complex implementations that bring together language processing technologies, applications development and end-user psychology. A resulting secondary innovation, the Wizard-of-Oz (WOZ) experiment is a valuable technique for simulating and building human-machine prototypes to ensure successful deployment of the completed service. The objective of the paper is to examine these innovations in relation to the changing business landscape; the technology and innovation literature, and the population of likely adopters. The review is carried out by placing the author’s former experience as a practitioner within current theoretical research frameworks. The result is a number of suggestions relating to both IT technology research and IT innovation research. Firstly, it proposes the simplification and diffusion of the WOZ methodology to support the growth in demand for automated e-business transactions that is mindful of human and ethical challenges. Secondly, the paper argues that because self-service technology and business extends the traditional boundaries of the customer service function, it now needs to be incorporated into Swanson’s tri-core innovation typology. The paper concludes by presenting the suggested reorientation of IS research that incorporates an outward facing perceptive as a conceptual model.
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