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2018/2019  KAN-CBUSV2000U  Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) in organizations (T)

English Title
Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) in organizations (T)

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Spring
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
BUS Study Board for BSc/MSc in Business Administration and Information Systems, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Torkil Clemmensen - Department of Digitalisation
Main academic disciplines
  • Information technology
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 14-03-2018

Relevant links

Learning objectives
After the course the student should be able to:
  • Explain and reflect critically with the use of course literature on the idea of organizational usability and UX
  • Outline a plan for how to use HCI to create value for and empower the employee/customer/citizen
  • Apply findings from empirical work on HCI issues in the use of multiple organization-wide systems
  • Describe and explain an issue with legacy systems (old systems) using literature from the course
  • Develop and present a comprehensively set of documented and motivated prototypes, sketches, templates, running systems, or scripts that supports HCI interactions within or across organizations, and explain the principle idea behind
Course prerequisites
The course participants should have acquired basic knowledge in interaction design, UX and HCI, for example from courses such as HA(it.) "større systemer", or EBUSS "Service Design" or "Design of Business IT".
NOTE! Students who do NOT have basic knowledge of HCI will be required to take a short crash course in Human-Computer Interaction that introduces key concepts and methods. The crash course is ONLY for students without basic knowledge, and its given in the first week of the course, outside normal class lectures. If you think you qualify for this, please contact the lecturer before course start.
Prerequisites for registering for the exam (activities during the teaching period)
Number of compulsory activities which must be approved: 2
Compulsory home assignments
Mid-term deliverable: Detailed description (5 page research proposal) of how to replicate a study (in small scale) done within one of the theoretical topics from the first part of the course [Learn assignment, graded pass/fail].

Oral presentations etc.
Participating in work analysis and design work (group of min. 2 people). This is also the exam group.
3 oral presentations of ongoing work analysis and design work.
Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) in organizations:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance.
Individual or group exam Oral group exam based on written group product
Number of people in the group 2-5
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Project
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
20 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Preparation time No preparation
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Summer
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure

The exam will be a group oral examination based on the written report and a set of sketches and prototypes. This entails that students must prepare a six page paper in the ACM format (equals 15 normal pages) and a set of sketches and prototypes that takes are based on the students analysis of work and organization.
The paper must contain a description of the project as well as a theoretical/methodological critique of the process.

Course content and structure

Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) builds on the ideology of empowering the end-users of computers, so that they understand what is happening and can control the outcome (Nielsen, 2005). How does that work for HCI in organizations and societies? HCI researchers aim to produce new knowledge about the interfaces between people and computers, by analyzing how humans work, learn, and play, and by designing new interactions and interfaces that change what humans do and experience. While HCI historically has been based on applying cognitive psychology to understand the individual user (see e.g. The Psychology of Human-Computer Interaction, Card, Moran, & Newell, 1983), one strong trend in modern and contemporary HCI is to study applications in business, managerial, organizational, and cultural contexts.


When we want to change the HCI interfaces and interactions that people do and experience within and across organization, we may begin with exploring traditional organizational usability and UX. Appropriate measures may include user-system fit (the fit between the system and the user’s psychological characteristics, including cognitive processes and training), organization-system fit (the fit between system attributes and the structural characteristics of an organization, including its norms, task allocation, and communication channels), and environment-system fit (the fit between system attributes and the environment of the organization in which it is used, including the home-work ecology). More than that is needed to design the employer and customer experience, however, and taking business, managerial, organizational, and cultural views of HCI allow the organizational HCI researcher consultant to design for different organizational levels from top management to employers and customers, and to study traditional B-school topics and how HCI may shape these. We may want to look at topics such as HCI and corporate and public governance, HCI and interoperability, HCI and legacy systems, and the concept of ‘end-user’ in organizations. All of this will be sought integrated in an ‘artefact’ analysis, based on the idea that HCI artifacts themselves may be the most effective medium for theory development in HCI.


Hence, to design HCI for organizations, the big thing of this course is to do HCI design action research that constructs or modifies one or more HCI artefacts within their exisiting organizational contexts: sketches, prototypes, templates, running systems – anything that changes the interactions that people do and experience. The cases that students selects may be designing interactions in networks of organizations, creating mini-hacks for appropriation of workflows, designing the smart workplace, collaboration on big public screens, and more. The techniques and tools will be varied accordingly, but may include participatory design, work and workplace analysis, advanced interaction design, contextual personas, mass production of low fi prototypes (with e.g. balsamiq), remote UX evaluation (several tools exist), and various tools for data analysis.

Description of the teaching methods
This course is intended as an advanced course in HCI for students aiming to do their master thesis with a HCI topic, aim at a carreer as a UX professional or UX manager, or simply has a keen interest in the topic. Students will be asked within the first two weeks to identify and contact organizations, including start-ups, which could benefit from an analysis and change how people do and experience HCI interactions. This can be banks and service providing companies, but also manufactoring industry with factory floors (e.g., human-robot interaction) and agricultural business.

Student activities will be centered on their own case.
Feedback during the teaching period
Feedback in this course is given after each mandatory activity. Furthermore, all student presentations will begiven feedback. Feedback is also during office hours (see time on LEARN, make an appointment).
Student workload
Lectures 24 hours
Prepare to class 100 hours
Workshops 24 hours
Exam and prepare 58 hours
Total 206 hours
Expected literature


Indicative literature


Books: Button, G., & Sharrock, W. (2009). Studies of Work and the Workplace in HCI: Concepts and Techniques. Synthesis Lectures on Human-Centered Informatics, 2(1), 1-96.


Papers (tentative)


Clemmensen, T., & Abdelnour-Nocera, J. (submitted manuscript, only to use for course work). THEORIZING ABOUT A SOCIOTECHNICAL APPROACH TO HCI.


Gardien, P., Djajadiningrat, T., Hummels, C., & Brombacher, A. (2014). Changing your hammer: The implications of paradigmatic innovation for design practice. International Journal of Design, 8(2).


Lu, Y., & Roto, V. (2015). Evoking meaningful experiences at work: A positive design framework for work tools. Journal of Engineering Design, Special issue on Interaction and Experience Design 26(4-6), pp. 99- 20.


Schaufeli, W. B., Salanova, M., González-Romá, V., & Bakker, A. B. (2002). The measurement of engagement and burnout: A two sample confirmatory factor analytic approach. Journal of Happiness Studies, 3(1), 71–92.


Gruber, M., De Leon, N., George, G., & Thompson, P. (2015). Managing by design. Academy of Management Journal, 58(1), 1-7.


Last updated on 14-03-2018