A Systemic Approach for the Formalization of the Information Systems Concept: Why Information Systems are Systems?

A Systemic Approach for the Formalization of the Information Systems Concept: Why Information Systems are Systems?

Manuel Mora (UAA & DEPFI-UNAM, Mexico), Ovsei Gelman (UNAM, Mexico), Francisco Cervantes (ITAM, Mexico), Marcelo MejIa (ITAM, Mexico) and Alfredo Weitzenfeld (ITAM, Mexico)
Copyright: © 2003 |Pages: 29
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-040-0.ch001
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Abstract

In the new economic context, based on Information and Knowledge resources, the concepts of Information Systems and Information Technology (IS&IT) are fundamental to understand the organizational and managerial process in all levels: strategic, tactic and operational. From an academic and practitioner perspective, we pose that the correct use of the concept of IS&IT, and in specific of Information Systems, is critical. First ones need to study the same object and second ones need to use the same common conceptual knowledge about what are Information Systems. Nevertheless, uniquely informal and semiformal definitions of Information Systems have been reported in the literature and thus a formal definition based on core systemic foundations is missing. For these reasons, the conceptualization and formal definition of what are Information Systems acquires a relevant research and praxis status. This chapter addresses this problematic situation posing a formal definition of the term Information Systems based on core theoretical principles of the Systems Approach. For that, we firstly review the foundations of Systems Approach to establish the basis for our conceptual development. Then, an updated formal definition of the core concept System originally developed by Gelman and Garcia (1989) and that incorporates new insights from other systemic researchers is presented. With these theoretical bases, we proceed to review the contributions and limitations of main informal and semiformal definitions of the term Information Systems reported at the literature. Then the new formal definition of this term is developed using the updated formal definition of the term System. We continue with a discussion of how the definition posed formalizes systemic concepts of previous definitions, of how these are partial cases of the new definition and of how it can be used to model and study Information Systems in organizations. Finally, we conclude with main remarks and implications of this definition and with directions for further research.

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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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About the Authors