Title: Metaphorical analysis of social factors during information systems development

Authors: Zahid Hussain, Nelarine Cornelius

Addresses: School of Management, University of Bradford, Emm Lane, Heaton, Bradford BD9 4JL, UK. ' Brunel Business School, Brunel University, Uxbridge Campus, Middlesex UB8 3PH, UK

Abstract: Metaphors have been used widely by researchers for sense making in organisations. In this paper, we present the findings of research which employs Morgan|s metaphors in order to chart the distribution of assumptions and social behaviour among Information Systems (IS) developers, during IS development and implementation, in a UK National Health Service (NHS) organisation. We present the findings of a longitudinal interpretive case study. There are a limited number of interpretive case studies that look at organisational factors associated with systems development, which we regard as an oversight given the extent of system failure reported in the IS literature. Our findings highlight the predominance of certain metaphors that influence the behaviour of key stakeholders involved in IS development. We conclude that the use of metaphors for analysis in IS development provides important insights into the attitudes and behaviours of key organisational stakeholders and reveals the impact of these on the IS development.

Keywords: metaphors; case study; information systems development; ISD; social factors; assumptions; social behaviour; UK; United Kingdom; National Health Service; NHS.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBIS.2007.011414

International Journal of Business Information Systems, 2007 Vol.2 No.1, pp.21 - 40

Published online: 30 Nov 2006 *

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