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From Computerization to Informatization: Social Actions and Economic Value in the US Residential Real Estate Industry

Date & Time:
15:00:00 - 16:30:00,
Monday 14 January, 2008


This talk focuses on the rapid pace of computerization in the US residential real estate industry over the past decade, illustrating the social nature of economic activity. I argue that increased access to information and the ability to more easily communicate has made the real estate agent’s role even more important to transactions. In addition, the take-up and uses of information and communication technologies in support of these changes reflects a different approach to computerizing, and leads to different types of effects than are commonly espoused. To illustrate this point I show how real estate agents construct personalized ‘computing ensembles’ to support their work, reflecting more general trends in the changing roles for computing in information-intensive work. The talk draws on ten years of studying computerization in the United States residential real estate industry: a living laboratory for insights into possible future forms of information-intensive economic activity.

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  • Name: Steve Sawyer
  • Affiliation: The Pennsylvania State University, USA
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  • Bio: Steve Sawyer does social and organizational informatics research with a particular focus on the computerization of work and the changing nature of work and its organization. He is a founding member and an associate professor at the Pennsylvania State University’s College of Information Sciences and Technology. He holds affiliate appointments with the Department of Labor Studies & Employer Relations, the Department of Management & Organization, and the Science Technology & Society Program. For 2007-2008, Steve is a Visiting Research Fellow with the Informatics Research Institute at Salford University.