Abstract||Australian agriculture is one area in which a number of intelligent support systems have been developed. It appears, however, that comparatively few of these systems are widely used or have the impact the developers might have wished. In this study a possible explanation for this state of affairs was investigated. The development process for 66 systems was examined. Particular attention was paid to the nature of user involvement, if any, during development and the relationship to system success.
The issue is not only whether there was user involvement but rather the nature of the involvement, that is, the degree of influence users had during development. The patterns identified in the analysis suggest user influence is an important contributor to the success of a system. These results have theoretical significance in that they add to knowledge of the role of the user in the development of intelligent support systems. The study has drawn together work from three areas: Rogersí diffusion theory, the technology acceptance model, and theories relating to user involvement in the development of information systems. Most prior research in the information systems area has investigated one or two of the above three areas in any one study. The study synthesizes this knowledge through applying it to the field of intelligent support systems in Australian agriculture. The results have considerable practical significance, as apparently developers of intelligent support systems in Australian agriculture do not recognize the importance of user participation, and continue to develop systems with less than optimum impact.