The social construction of Expert Systems

Yoram Romem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The social construction of Expert Systems (ES) is presented as series of power struggles and dramatic imbalances which were introduced to organizations. After analyzing the various players' roles in ES implementation, the article presents first the main 'guilty' entity for organizational ES failures: the Information Technology department (IT); then, a social explanation is suggested for the 'zigzagging' history of ES, arguing that they resurrected as 'Business Rules' in purification process which enabled their comeback. Unlike current discourse which attributes ES challenges to technical issues or usual users' and experts' resistance, the social analysis in this article suggests that IT was the most threatened entity and the most contributing to ES failures. Additional Science, Technology and Society (STS) theories are used for comparison and to assist in a new proposed explanation for ES historical journey.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-309
Number of pages19
JournalHuman Systems Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Expert Systems
  • Expertise
  • Social power
  • Sociology of science
  • Technological change


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