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Work System Theory: An Integrated, Evolving Body of Assumptions, Concepts, Frameworks, and Principles for Analyzing and Designing Systems in Organizations

Steven Alter
University of San Francisco, USA


Abstract
This article presents work system theory (WST) as a body of theory for analysis, explanation, prediction, and design and action (Gregor, 2006) related to systems in organizations. It provides background about how WST evolved, summarizes major components of WST, and explains that each of the five types of theory identified by Gregor (2006) appears in WST. The discussion of WST emphasizes its overall contribution to knowledge by emphasizing areas in which it differs from commonly used terminology, frameworks, and beliefs within the IS field. In a discipline in which even basic terms such as system, service, implementation, and user have many contradictory meanings, a key goal of WST is to demonstrate the possibility of using an internally consistent set of assumptions, concepts, frameworks, and principles as a basis for analysis, explanation, prediction, and design and action.

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Reference:Alter, S. (2010). "Work System Theory: An Integrated, Evolving Body of Assumptions, Concepts, Frameworks, and Principles for Analyzing and Designing Systems in Organizations," Proceedings > Proceedings of JAIS Theory Development Workshop . Sprouts: Working Papers on Information Systems, 10(80). http://sprouts.aisnet.org/10-80
Keywords:theory in IS, work system, work system theory, work system method
Item Type:Article - Volume 10 Article 80 (2010)
Language:English
Email: Steven Alter (alter@usfca.edu)

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