Strategic planning for information systems : a sociotechnical view of boundary and stakeholder insufficiencies
The thesis proposes that Strategic Planning for Information Systems (SPIS) has become ineffective through a tendency to focus on the information technologies involved. The thesis argues that the dominant rational, reductionist epistemology of SPIS methods, tools and techniques limits the effectiveness of SPIS through methodological impoverishment. The thesis proposes that a humanistic, sociotechnical perspective of SPIS accommodates the use of complementary tools and techniques that improve the process. This thesis advances a new Framework to improve the process of SPIS based on the propositions; first that the lack of sufficient knowledge of both the internal and external environment is a root cause of many of these insufficiencies, and second that this knowledge is held within the stakeholders of this process. An ernancipatory information systems research programme (Klein and Hirschheim, 1987) is used to advance a framework that overcomes the insufficiency and inadequacy of the process of strategic planning for information systems in organisations that permits information systems to fail. The framework is tested on two organisations and shows that the proposed Framework has significant potential to improve the SPIS process. The case research investigates the role of stakeholders, knowledge, and boundaries in the process of SPIS in order to develop more sufficient methods for the process of SPIS that address the perceived inadequacies in current processes, and thus provide an improved strategic planning process for information systems. Two novel tools are introduced: the Stakeholder Web and the Interaction Matrix. Their evolution is a major contribution of this research. The collection of tools presents a practical research contribution for the SPIS process and as generic (methodological) research tools. A new definition for the term 'stakeholder' is formulated and used to supply clarity in understanding for this study - and would prove useful for the field of IS.