Information systems - informing systems. Keynote presentation given at 5th CONTECSI 2008, São Paulo, June 5 9.00-10.30Hjørland, Birger 05 1900 (has links)
This presentation considers some basic theoretical issues concerning information systems. Theoretical and conceptual issues are seen as important, although difficult, neglected and perhaps somewhat disappointing in the short run. An analysis of the concept "information" demonstrates that anything can be information. But if anything is information, what then is the content of information systems? What principles guide the selection of "information". If information is understood as something that informs somebody about something, it follows that information systems should be understood as informing systems. Information systems are teleological (goal directed) systems in which the intention and goals behind the systems determine what to consider information, how informative objects should be selected, labeled, described, organized and retrieved. (as opposed to "objective" or "universal" criteria governing these processes). Theory in relation to information systems spans several levels: 1) The theory of information science and information systems, 2) the theory of the contents in information systems ("information" or "knowledge", i.e. the theory of knowledge), 3) the nature of users (cognition) and 4) the theory of languages and symbolic systems used by cultures, communities and domains. Basically are the theories governing all layers influenced by epistemological views (often unconsciously). The epistemological theories are thus seen as fundamental for all levels. There are many theories of knowledge and the point is, of course, that it is important for information science and information systems research to be based on the most fruitful one. By implication it is important for us to defend a specific epistemology on which to base our work. My recommendation is "pragmatism" understood broadly and in contrast to other views such as empiricism, rationalism and positivism. Pragmatism is related to historicism but emphasizes the study of goals, values and consequences, which is important given the teleological nature of information systems. The pragmatic understanding of information systems, the knowledge represented in the information systems, the users and the languages is consequently outlined and implications for information systems design is proposed.
This chapter is from an invited presentation (15 pages long) given at the Aachen Colloquium on Click - A Split World, November 2004. It has appeared in the book [Gespaltene Welt? Technikzugange in der Wissensgesellschaft, edited by Max Kerner and Thomas Muller, and published by Bohlau Verlag, Koln, 2006] and is the author's final version. Introduction: I am asked to reflect on social and cultural consequences of technical development and try to answer a few questions: â ¢ In what different kind of ways access to knowledge is modified in an information technology-based society that is dominated by technical resources? â ¢ Does global exchange of information enable ubiquitous access to knowledge? â ¢ By which means do information technologies contribute to the solution or intensify global and local problems? â ¢ Which requirements arise from this problem for an IT-based society? I shall try to answer these questions from the point of view of a Third Worlder. Most other speakers at this colloquium are thinkers and experts known for their scholarship and academic achievements. I do not belong to the same league. I am not saying this out of humility; I am making a statement of fact. Then why am I here? Because I have felt the impact of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on the developing world and I have been working for many years to overcome the 1 deleterious consequences of ICTs in the context of the poor and the marginalized. I wish to share with you what I have learnt through working in the field. I am coming from India where we had a major election a few months ago. We are happy about the election for two reasons. One, contrary to what is happening in many parts of the developing world, democracy in India is vibrant and we have been holding free and fair elections consistently for more than 50 years. Two, despite outstanding achievements in the areas of high technology in general and information and communication technologies (ICTs) in particular, the ruling governments in the states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh belonging to two different parties have failed to return to power, largely because the rural poor voted against them. Thanks to rapid developments in indigenous capabilities combined with favorable policies by the governments in these two southern states of India, a number of IT industries and research laboratories â both Indian and multinational â sprung up, mainly in the capital cities Bangalore (referred to as the Silicon Valley of the East) and Hyderabad (half jocularly called Cyberabad). But these developments did not have a perceptible impact on the rural poor, who felt that they were neglected. What can information and communication technologies (ICTs) do to help the poor? Can they do anything at all? That is a question that dominates the development discourse. If poverty has been so persistent that we could not eliminate it with all our efforts till now, how can the use of ICTs make a difference? Poverty is much more than absence of money. Often generations in poverty lead people to a sense of utter hopelessness and deprive them of their sense of self-respect and dignity. They are deprived of access to essential assets and opportunities such as education, healthcare, employment, land and other natural resources, services, infrastructure and credit. They have little say in their polity and society. They are not empowered to participate in making the decisions that shape their lives. They become increasingly marginalized, excluded and vulnerable to exploitation. This exploitation manifests in several forms such as bonded labour, child labour, inadequate compensation for work if and when they get work, ill treatment and deprivation of basic rights. It will be naÃ¯ve to believe that we can solve the problem of poverty by providing access to computers and telecommunication to the poor of the world.1 We have always lived in an unequal world, but now the gap between information â havesâ and â have-notsâ is widening fast. As Kofi Annan2 has noted, â there is a real danger that the worldâ s poor will be excluded from the emerging knowledge-based 2 global economy.â Virtually every new technology tends to exacerbate the inequalities that separate the rich from the poor. The last few years have seen many initiatives that deploy ICTs in rural communities in many developing countries. Many world leaders have spoken in glorious terms about the tremendous potential of these new technologies in transforming the lives of the poor. â Technology doesnâ t come after you deal with poverty, but is a tool you use to alleviate poverty,â says James D Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank. Says Mark Malloch Brown, Head of UNDP, â ICTs can help us reach the Millennium Development Goals including the goal of halving poverty by 2015.â It is mastery over technology that enabled the early adopters of industrial revolution technologies to colonize and exploit the rest of the world. If the developing countries fail to take advantage of the new ICTs, the consequences could be far more serious. If we want technology to work for the poor we must make special efforts. In this talk I will describe from my own personal experience two widely different programmes where we are attempting to bridge the gulf that divides the rich from the poor through innovative use of information and communication technologies. In the first part of my talk we will look at how we at the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) are trying to harness ICTs as part of a holistic strategy for alleviating poverty in rural India. I will show why the emphasis should be on people and the public commons approach rather than on technology. In the second part, we will look at how the advent of new technologies has opened up the possibility for making knowledge distribution in science and scholarship a level-playing field. Here again the public commons approach is the key to success.
This report is part of a series of publications on the status and development of the North-American Information Systems (IS) field and Wirtschaftsinformatik (WI), its counterpart in German speaking countries. Information systems in businesses and organizations are the main subject of research in IS and WI. Hence, both disciplines are applied fields of research. Thus, the valuation of research results and graduates by business practice are vital indicators for the disciplinesâ status and success. Between 1991 and 2001 a plethora of articles were published in leading Information Systems (IS) journals and conference proceedings addressing the issue of relevance of IS research and teaching. This research report provides a comprehensive content analysis of this â relevance debateâ in the North-American Information Systems field. The perceptions, opinions, and recommendations of the contributors are presented structured according to statements of valuation, perception, explanation, and recommendation. The reconstruction of the main IS relevance debate indicates that all debate participants agree that relevance to practice plays a vital role for the IS discipline, but that the field largely lacks relevance in terms of research as well as in terms of teaching. The lack of relevance is, for example, illustrated by the general perception that research results rarely impact practice and that IT/IS professionals usually do not read academic IS journals. In order to analyse if the debate has lead to any changes in terms of practice relevance of the IS field the most recent literature and studies available on IS relevance are evaluated. Analysis results indicate that no significant changes took place. But various IS researchers still report on problems in terms of acceptance and perception of IS degree programs and research. Based on the perspectives of experienced researchers from WI and other European IS communities the concluding remarks of this report attempt to explain the apparent lack of change in the North-American IS field and provide suggestions for improving the current status of the IS field in terms of relevance.
Gray, James N., Hillis, W. Daniel, Kahn, Robert E., Kennedy, Ken, Miller, John P., Nagel, David C., Shortliffe, Edward H., Smarr, Larry, Thompson, Joe F., Vadasz, Leslie, Viterbi, Andrew J., Wallach, Steven J.
In Transforming Health Care Through Information Technology the PITAC offers six key recommendations that could significantly expand access to health care, improve its quality, reduce its costs, and transform the conduct of biomedical research. The PITAC sees these recommendations as critical steps toward addressing the challenges that exist to improving Americans' health and health care: *Establish pilot projects and Enabling Technology Centers to extend the practical uses of information technology to health care systems and biomedical research; *NIH, in close collaboration with NSF, DARPA, and DOE, should design and deploy a scalable national computing and information infrastructure to support the biomedical research community; *Congress should enhance existing privacy rules by enacting legislation that assures sound practices for managing personally identifiable health information; Establish programs to increase the pool of biomedical research and health care professionals with training at the intersection of health and information technology; *DHHS should outline its vision for using IT to improve health care and subsequently devote the resources to conduct the IT research critical to accomplishing these goals in the long term; and *DHHS should appoint a senior information technology leader to provide strategic leadership across DHHS and focus on the importance of information technology in addressing pressing problems in health care
Marufu, Masiya Passmore Alex
Health professionals in the developing world face the twin challenge of growing populations requiring services and dwindling resources in the face of reduced funding. Developments in information and communication technologies (ICT) present an opportunity to streamline service offering in a way that maximises the available meagre resources. Such innovations require the input and support of the public that these institutions serve. Design thinking has over the last 20 years developed into a “design paradigm” that can assist service providers to craft solutions to problems that take into account the views of the stakeholders involved. This work explored how information technology can be used to improve service delivery. Adopting a pragmatic philosophical paradigm and a design science research approach, the researcher used concepts underlying the theory of service dominant logic, coupled with technology capability concepts, to develop a conceptual framework for use in design thinking projects. The development of the Technovation Framework continued over three design cycles, in which a number of design teams focused their efforts on how ICT could be used to improve post-natal care services. The empathy input for these workshops was derived from an eight-week-long in-depth study into the lives of new mothers, using journals and interviews. Interviews with midwives and doctors provided a healthcare perspective of the provision of post-natal care. The first design workshop was made up of four teams, each consisting of two midwives, two mobile developers and two mothers in a design thinking workshop. The workshop resulted in the development of four prototypes of mobile applications aimed at assisting midwives in educating mothers as well as providing off-site monitoring. Two further workshops were conducted, providing two more iterations of the design process and resulting in further prototypes of potential solutions for use in healthcare. A final evaluation workshop was conducted to validate the fully developed Technovation Process. This study contributes to knowledge in a number of ways. The first is a deep understanding of the lives of new mothers and challenges they face in a low-resource environment as they struggle with raising their babies in the first eight weeks after giving birth. The second contribution is a framework and an enhanced design thinking process that streamlines the process of consolidating empathy output while providing a mechanism to apply technology capabilities to proposed solutions. A third contribution is the set of lessons that arise from observing design teams at work. The final contribution is in the form of a number of prototypes that could be developed into solutions for use in a developing environment healthcare setting. Keywords: ICT in healthcare, e-Health, innovation, co-creation, design thinking, developing country, post-natal care, design science research, Technovation, technology capabilities / Thesis (PhD) - University of Pretoria, 2017. / Informatics / PhD / Unrestricted
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 104-112). / Service-oriented computing is an emerging IT innovation. Among its manifestations is service-oriented architecture (SOA), an approach to designing and implementing IT solutions. Organizations adopting SOA are facing implementation challenges. Examining factors affecting SOA adoption at an organizational level can reduce uncertainty about SOA, its advantages and disadvantages, and implementation issues. This study uses quantitative analysis to investigate organizational SOA adoption in South Africa from DOI theory and TOE framework perspectives. Results highlight a number of factors influencing SOA adoption: use of multiple standards and platforms, complexity, compatibility, cost, top management support, good governance and strategy, adequate human and financial resources, vendor support for integration and development tools.
Exploring existential interventions that enable competency development in Information Systems studentsRahimi, Saba Ryan January 2015 (has links)
The Information Systems field is one characterised by constant debate about its central focus and lack of a defined identity. This debate has perpetuated as the field constantly changes its identity in response to rapid and often turbulent technological advances. By attempting to study humans, computers and the results when humans and computers interact, the field covers a vast intellectual territory. This vastness causes inconsistent focus and different prioritisation across geographic regions, academic institutions and industry entities. In contrast to established fields, where curricula are relatively standardised, Information Systems' curriculum has traditionally been slow to respond to industry needs, generic in nature and has served as a guideline rather than an authoritative truth. This research is concerned with how the nature of the field affects Information Systems students and graduates, and seeks to investigate how learners can contend both the with vastness of the subject matter and the lack of authoritarian guidelines. The theory of existentialism is presented as a possible philosophy that can be instilled in students to help them contend with the nature of the field. Through the gathering of personal accounts from graduates and Graduate Recruitment Officers, this research assesses how students have grown in academia and moved past the challenges of adaptation to industry. In this endeavour it confirms that existential interventions are necessary tools that can be instilled in practitioners to help them contend with the unstable and ever changing nature of the field. In addition, teamwork or the first team experience is determined to be a fundamental event in identity formation. Lastly, significant specialisation change, otherwise called role movement, is identified during this time and could be the subject of further research.
An investigation of the strategic drivers and inhibiting factors affecting electronic commerce in Southern AfricaPetkar, Asad January 2002 (has links)
Bibliography: leaves 118-126. / E-commerce is an area of business that is expanding rapidly, especially in developed countries. Its adoption is based on factors that enable and impede e-commerce growth. Previous research, conducted predominatly in developed countries such as the United States of America (USA,) has highlighted both enablers and obstacles to e-commerce growth. The goal of this study is concerned with determining whether these factors also enable, and inhibit, the advancement of e-commerce in developing countries.
Includes bibliographical references. / This study is about the use of information by people work roles. Although the use of information is a key issue in information systems theory and practice, it has received little attention from information systems researchers. Information systems research has been biased towards technology and its use. Our understanding of the use of information by people in work roles to guide the development of information svstems and information management is limited. The present study addresses this imbalance investigating the use of information by planners when they grapple with environmental issues in the development process. The study takes a behavioural perspective to develop a Grounded Theory of the use of information for environmental planning. The research emphasises the use of a qualitative research to understand the use information in relation to tasks and activities the planners perform in projects. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in the workplace environment to collect data on the respondents have used information in projects that they had done before. Forty-four subjects were selected from five councils in Botswana. The evidence was corroborated by interviewing ten people outside council who were identified with help of the respondents in the councils. The data was analysed through a coding process in accordance the Grounded Theory techniques. The coding took place in multiple iterations, experts confirmed the results, and the respondents validated theory. The study demonstrates that the use of information by people in work roles can be explored empirically from a behavioural perspective using a qualitative approach â€“ in particular, Grounded Theory. The study identified the processes, contexts, and behaviours relating to the use information. The main finding is the Grounded Theory of the use information for environmental planning. The theory has seven main categories - dynamic project information context, motivators, experiential knowledge, informational power, strategy for participation and pattern of information use. The pattern of information use is the core category. The dynamic project information context, motivators, experiential knowledge and role context influence the pattern of information use in a variety of ways. The pattern of information use generates the informational power base of the planners. The interpretation of the theory shows that the planners exercise their informational power through the strategy for participation in which they facilitate the environmental planning process for the production of environmental plans. The study shows that power relations endemic in environmental planning are essential determinants of the kind of information behaviour that planners exhibit. The findings provide a new way of thinking about developing information systems and information management for planners. It is suggested that when developing information systems for planners the developers should focus on systems functions that facilitate and enhance information behaviours that are induced by the power relations experienced by the planners.
Public value of e-Government investments in the developing countries: empirical exploration of the public sector in KenyaOkong'o, Kennedy Odiwuor January 2016 (has links)
In private and public sectors, Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) have become a phenomenal asset of resource in strategic management. In developed countries, ICTs are critical tools in the public sector strategy. In specific, Electronic Government has been identified as one of the major competencies required to re-invigorate governance, enhance performance and reduce red-tape bureaucracies in the public sector, e-Government being the use of ICTs in the transformation of public organizations towards efficient service delivery. Though information systems as a discipline has offered some research outputs on the value and the effects of ICTs in the private sector, similar focus on the public sector or e-Government is relatively thin. While the few existing researches have had a relatively weightier focus on developed countries, the evidence-based empirical studies in information systems that have focused on developing countries have produced contradictory results, hence the need for further research to attempt a re-alignment in this sub domain of e-Government. Therefore, this pursuit departs from most past researches by delving into the effects of e- Government investments using theoretical lenses drawn upon disciplines that are outside the mainstream information systems domain. These include public administration, political sciences and public economics. Using a mixed methods approach, a balanced panel data of Kenya's key ministries for a 10-year period of 2004 to 2014 following the launch of e-Government strategy of 2004, audited national government ministries' expenditures, census data, e-Government spending, consumer price indices, gross domestic products, parameters on governance and other data on public services, this research sought to examine the nature and dimensions of public values that the developing countries derive as a consequence of investment in e-Government.
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