Addressing Organizational and Societal Concerns: An Application of Critical Systems Thinking to Information Systems Planning in Colombia

Addressing Organizational and Societal Concerns: An Application of Critical Systems Thinking to Information Systems Planning in Colombia

Rodrigo Cordoba (University of Hull, UK) and Gerald Midgley (University of Hull, UK)
Copyright: © 2003 |Pages: 50
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-040-0.ch009
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Abstract

Most current information systems (IS) planning methodologies are focused on achieving ‘successful’ plans, i.e., plans that provide competitive advantage, can be implemented in a given period of time, and that solve the problems of information needs by taking advantage of the latest technologies available. Concerns are technology and business driven and focus on how to get the maximum profit for organisations from investing in information systems. However, this relatively narrow focus can be problematic, especially in developing countries, where the social contexts of IS implementation may require a different primary focus. This chapter presents a methodology for IS planning based on critical systems thinking—an approach that encourages the critical analysis of stakeholder understandings of social contexts prior to the selection and/or design of planning methods. The methodology presented in this chapter uses a combination of the systems theories of autopoiesis and boundary critique, which deepen our understanding of what it means to reflect on participation, values, and social concerns during IS planning. In the course of applying the methodology in a project in Colombia, an issue arose of the ethics of the practitioner. To address this issue, following completion of the project, we sought to enhance critical systems thinking with Foucault’s notions of power and ethics, which offer interesting alternatives for practitioner self-reflection. Implications for IS planning are derived from this perspective on ethics and power.

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Table of Contents
Acknowledgments
Chapter 1
Manuel Mora, Ovsei Gelman, Francisco Cervantes, Marcelo MejIa, Alfredo Weitzenfeld
In the new economic context, based on Information and Knowledge resources, the concepts of Information Systems and Information Technology (IS&IT)... Sample PDF
A Systemic Approach for the Formalization of the Information Systems Concept: Why Information Systems are Systems?
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Chapter 2
Jeimy J. Cano
Information Technology, during the last few years, has turned into a determining factor of modern organization development. In this line, a lot of... Sample PDF
Technological Frames Recursive Construction Approach: A Systemic Theory for Information Technology Incorporation in Organizations
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Chapter 3
Hernan Lopez-Garay
Recent developments in systems thinking (Fuenmayor & López Garay, 1991; Fuenmayor, 1991a,b,c; Fuenmayor, 1997; López-Garay & Suárez, 1999) linked to... Sample PDF
Extending Checkland's Phenomenological Approach to Information Systems
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Chapter 4
Jose L. Roldan, Antonio Leal
This chapter offers a reflection about systems thinking, models and validation tests. In this way, starting from the recognized model of information... Sample PDF
A Validation Test of an Adaptation of the DeLone and McLean's Model in the Spanish EIS Field
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Chapter 5
Roberto Vinaja
This chapter applies several concepts from classical Systems Theory to the growing area of E-commerce and agents. The purpose of this chapter is to... Sample PDF
A Systemic Approach of Electronic Commerce
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Chapter 6
N. du Plooy
Since the very early days of computing, information systems were regarded as “man-machine” systems. This definition is of far greater importance to... Sample PDF
Information Systems as Social Systems
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Chapter 7
Philip J. Dobson
The chapter revisits the System of System Methodologies (SoSM) and suggests that use of the SoSM as a framework for defining methodological... Sample PDF
The SoSM Revisited-A Critical Realist Perspective
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Chapter 8
Ala Abu-Samaha
In this chapter, the author describes an alternative approach to evaluating Information Technology (IT) projects, which involves developing a... Sample PDF
Soft Evaluation: A Systemic Approach for Post-Implementation Review
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Chapter 9
Rodrigo Cordoba, Gerald Midgley
Most current information systems (IS) planning methodologies are focused on achieving ‘successful’ plans, i.e., plans that provide competitive... Sample PDF
Addressing Organizational and Societal Concerns: An Application of Critical Systems Thinking to Information Systems Planning in Colombia
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Chapter 10
Bruce R. Campbell, G. Mike McGrath
There is considerable evidence that many information systems (IS) projects fail because of organizational, “softer” or “people-related” issues.... Sample PDF
The Information System within the Organization: A Case Study
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Chapter 11
Tatyana Bondarouk, Klaus Sikkel
Nowadays, more and more information and communication technologies (ICT) gain the characteristics of groupware as they strive to support different... Sample PDF
Implementation of Collaborative Technologies as a Learning Process
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Chapter 12
Sushil K. Sharma, Jatinder N.D. Gupta
The concept of the learning organization that strives continually to develop its people and processes will be an accepted philosophy of all... Sample PDF
A Framework for Building Learning Organizations
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