Title: Situated information systems: supporting routine activity in organisations

Authors: Robert B. Johnston, Vivienne Waller, Simon K. Milton

Addresses: Department of Information Systems, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, 3010, Australia. ' Department of Information Systems, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, 3010, Australia. ' Department of Information Systems, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, 3010, Australia

Abstract: We argue that the traditional approach to information system design, which has become crystallised in widely promulgated Information Engineering Methodologies, is informed by a particular theory of human goal-directed action which emphasises mental representation and deliberation. This theory of action has recently been criticised for its inability to explain the fluid, unreflective, real-time action characteristic of skilled routine activity. An alternative theory stressing action as a direct response to situations in structured environments has emerged. This paper reports our attempts to theorise an alternative ||situated information systems|| conception, and to embody it in an analysis and design methodology based explicitly on this situational theory of action. A methodology based on an authentic theory of routine action is likely to produce systems that are more effective in organisational settings where work is complex but largely routine.

Keywords: systems analysis; systems design; information engineering methodologies; routine work; situated action; theories of action; ontology; information systems theory; business information systems.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBIS.2005.007400

International Journal of Business Information Systems, 2005 Vol.1 No.1/2, pp.53 - 82

Available online: 18 Jul 2005 *

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