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Working Papers on Information Systems ISSN 1535-6078
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Punctuated Equilibrium, Process Models and Information System Development and Change: Towards a Socio-Technical Process Analysis

Kalle Lyytinen
Case Western Reserve University, USA
Mike Newman
Agder University College, Norway


Abstract
We view information system development (ISD) and change as a socio-technical change process in which technologies, human actors, organizational relationships and tasks change. We outline a punctuated socio-technical change model that recognizes both incremental and dynamic and abrupt changes during ISD and change. The model identifies events that incrementally change the information system as well as punctuate its deep structure in its evolutionary path at multiple levels. The analysis of these event sequences helps explain how and why an ISD outcome emerged. The change constructs are integrated with a socio-technical model of ISD in which configurations in work systems, building systems and the environment and their isalignments- gaps - drive ISD change. By conceiving ISD and change as a sequence of events and states, researchers can narrate explanations of ISD outcomes. Practitioners can use the odel in post mortem analyses to diagnose and learn about the effectiveness of their ISD interventions. The explanatory power of the model is demonstrated with a case study of complex ISD and change over an eight year period.

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Reference:Lyytinen, K., Newman, M. (2006). "Punctuated Equilibrium, Process Models and Information System Development and Change: Towards a Socio-Technical Process Analysis," Case Western Reserve University, USA . Sprouts: Working Papers on Information Systems, 6(1). http://sprouts.aisnet.org/6-1
Keywords:Information System Development and Change, Socio-Technical Analysis, Change Theories, Punctuated Equilibrium, Process Models, Narrative, System Failure, Longitudinal Case Study
Item Type:Article - Volume 6 Article 1 (2006)
Language:English
Email: Kalle Lyytinen (kalle@case.edu)
Related Link(s):http://sprouts.case.edu/2006/060101.pdf

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