Implementing management information systems in the National Health Service
As a discipline Management Information System (MIS) is relatively new. Its short history has been characterised with epistemological dialectism. The current conflict and debate about MIS inquiry is broadly between the advocates of the social systems and technical systems perspectives. Few authors have made positive contributions toward clarifying the meaning and nature of MIS, and the appropriate design framework for MIS development. This thesis adds to their effort by using a MIS designed and implemented through action research at the North Western Regional Health Authority. There are seven Chapters in this thesis. Chapters One and Two examine the nature of the problem addressed by this research; the project history, ontological assumptions and research strategy. Chapter Three examines the debate, nature and conflicting views about MIS. It defines the theoretical problem addressed by this thesis and proposes a new concept of MIS. The theoretical problems are dealt with in Chapter Four. In Chapter Five the application of the theoretical concepts developed in Chapter Four is demonstrated in the design of MIS. Chapter Six relates some of the findings of this thesis to the work of other authors. It also examines the problem of human inquiry and the suitability of action research for MIS research. The main findings of this research summarised in Chapter Seven provide a new perspective of MIS as a purposeful system; the taxonomy of purposeful systems; primary context and secondary context of MIS; context analysis and context evaluation of MIS.