In Search of an Integrative Vision for Technology: Interdisciplinary Studies in Information Systems

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Sytse Strijbos, Andrew Basden
Springer, Mar 7, 2006 - Business & Economics - 310 pages
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In Search Of An Integrative Vision For Technology will stimulate its readers to consider the 'whole story that is information systems' within the context of an integrative vision of technology. It integrates what are currently disparate areas of debate and research, and to appreciate the contribution that philosophy can make to such integrative thinking. It is deliberately broad in coverage, and it is designed to also provide useful pointers, within such a view, so that researchers, students, practitioners, developers and users can easily apply each point as needed. "Human issues of technology and their normative aspects" is a theme that runs throughout the entire book.

The integrative vision is centered on an understanding of human practice — the twin notions of structure and direction, and the leading and the founding functions of such practice. While this understanding applies to all technologies, it is worked out in more detail for information technology. Information technology demonstrates issues that are found in many other technologies. From this philosophical understanding, a number of interdisciplinary areas of interest are identified, enabling 'the whole story that is information systems' to be examined. The areas identified are:

1. The Development of Information Systems and of the Basic Technologies from which they are fashioned.

2. Human Practices involving Information Systems.

3. Socio-Technical Systems

4. Directional Perspectives

In each area, the issues of norms, research, development, and the relationship between technology and human beings are all present. It is shown how each area, though distinct from the others, is nevertheless closely interwoven with the others by several types of relationships. Systems thinking is augmented with other frameworks to ensure that all types of inter-area relationships are recognized and discussed.

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