Title: Designing information systems requirements in context: insights from the theory of deferred action

Authors: Nandish V. Patel, Ray Hackney

Addresses: Brunel Business School, Brunel University, Kingston Lane, Uxbridge, UK. ' Brunel Business School, Brunel University, Kingston Lane, Uxbridge, UK

Abstract: We address designing information systems as complex adaptive systems. The deferred design model of information systems capable of representing knowable and unknowable information requirements typical of complex adaptive systems is developed. Drawing on complexity theory, we argue that emergence is the cause of unpredictability and therefore unknowable information requirements. The theory of deferred action is invoked to explain the effect of emergence on information requirements and applied to model emergence for systems design. The insights proposed are believed to assist designers in developing functional and relevant approaches within dynamic organisational contexts.

Keywords: complex adaptive systems; complexity theory; knowable information requirements; unknowable information requirements; dynamic organisations; systems analysis; systemic emergence; deferred action; deferred design; decision making; unpredictability; functional approaches; business information systems; simulation; business modelling; information systems design.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBIS.2010.034004

International Journal of Business Information Systems, 2010 Vol.6 No.1, pp.44 - 57

Published online: 06 Jul 2010 *

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