Cultural Problems in Applying SSM for IS Development

Cultural Problems in Applying SSM for IS Development

Trevor T. Moores (Emporia State University, USA) and Frank H. Gregory (Independent Consultant, Thailand)
Copyright: © 2000 |Pages: 6
DOI: 10.4018/jgim.2000010102
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Abstract

Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) is a general problem structuring approach that seeks to incorporate multiple stakeholder views in the analysis of a given problem. When applied to IS development, the method requires negotiation and debate between the stakeholders when exploring the feasibility of developing an information system. The applicability of this approach depends, however, on the willingness of participants to enter into such an open discussion. This paper reports on a case study that highlights the problems of applying such a confrontational method in an Eastern culture, such as Hong Kong. Three main problems were identified: Group discussions were avoided; Interviews were conducted in multiple languages; and, High staff turnover made it difficult to develop and maintain mature stakeholder views.

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