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Working Papers on Information Systems ISSN 1535-6078
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Communication in Organizations: The Heart of Information Systems

Roland Holten
Goethe-University, Germany
Christoph Rosenkranz
Goethe-University, Germany


Abstract
We propose a theory characterizing information systems (IS) as language communities which use and develop domain-specific languages for communication. Our theory is anchored in Language Critique, a branch of philosophy of language. In developing our theory, we draw on Systems Theory and Cybernetics as a theoretical framework. "Organization" of a system is directly related to communication of its sub-systems. "Big systems" are self-organizing and the control of this ability is disseminated throughout the system itself. Therefore, the influence on changes of the system from its outside is limited. Operations intended to change an organization are restricted to indirect approaches. The creation of domain-specific languages by the system itself leads to advantageous communication costs compared to colloquial communication at the price of set-up costs for language communities. Furthermore, we demonstrate how our theoretical constructs help to describe and predict the behavior of IS. Finally, we discuss implications of our theory for further research and IS in general.

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Reference:Holten, R., Christoph, R. (2008). "Communication in Organizations: The Heart of Information Systems," Proceedings > Proceedings of JAIS Theory Development Workshop . Sprouts: Working Papers on Information Systems, 8(29). http://sprouts.aisnet.org/8-29
Keywords:Language Critique, language communities, communication, self-organization, IS research
Item Type:Article - Volume 8 Article 29 (2008)
Language:English
Email: Roland Holten (holten@wiwi.uni-frankfurt.de)

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