Could the Work System Method Embrace Systems Concepts More Fully?

Could the Work System Method Embrace Systems Concepts More Fully?

Steven Alter (University of San Francisco, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-976-2.ch013
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Abstract

The work system method was developed iteratively with the overarching goal of helping business professionals understand IT-reliant systems in organizations. It uses general systems concepts selectively, and sometimes implicitly. For example, a work system has a boundary, but its inputs are treated implicitly rather than explicitly. This chapter asks whether the further development of the work system method might benefit from integrating general systems concepts more completely. After summarizing aspects of the work system method, it dissects some of the underlying ideas and questions how thoroughly even basic systems concepts are applied. It also asks whether and how additional systems concepts might be incorporated beneficially. The inquiry about how to use additional system ideas is of potential interest to people who study systems in general and information systems in particular because it deals with bridging the gap between highly abstract concepts and practical applications.

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