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Title: Sharing understandings of information systems development methodologies : a critical reflexive issue for practice and curriculum
Author: Banks, David
ISNI:       0000 0004 2708 9498
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2011
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Most contemporary organizations make use of computer-based information systems to support their management activities. There is considerable evidence that many of these systems experience problems during the development phases and a large proportion of these systems may, using specific criteria, be classed as failures. The reported high level of such failure in the development of computer-based information systems is not a new phenomenon for business, having been present almost from the inception of these systems. The frameworks that guide developers through the process can be labelled as information systems development methodologies, or ISDMs.For an educator involved with the teaching of some or all aspects of the development process this perceived high level of failure of systems development and implementation in practice raises some significant concerns. If there is a 'silver bullet' approach that students need to be equipped with to become successful systems developers we need to identify it and ensure that they are proficient with it. If there is no silver bullet we need to acknowledge this in our teaching and equip the students with the critical thinking skills to help them appreciate this in their later practice.This thesis takes as its central theme the view that there is currently no 'silver bullet' and one may never be found to fit all development projects and environments. Under such a constraint our students, as would-be practitioners, need to be helped to approach practice unfettered by a naïve belief that there is a single approach that offers guaranteed success in the development of information systems. Flexible, contingent and possibly creative approaches need to be fostered so that students can both work in the field and can contribute to both the overall understanding of that field and to their own personal development. The thesis considers the role of multiple perspectives, constructivism, language, communication and reflection as vehicles to allow the building and sharing of accessible understanding of information systems development methodologies in a tertiary education setting. The issues are explored through the design and development of a Masters course titled 'Information Systems Development Methodologies' that was designed and implemented at the University of South Australia in the period 1999 to 2008. The course was initially designed within an interpretivist paradigm and rather than following a traditional systems analysis and design path could be viewed more as a liberal arts course. However, as the course moved towards the end of its life it began to take on a more positivistic flavour.The story of the course emerged from a series of action learning cycles and is told from the perspective of the author who was both the researcher and the subject of the research.
Supervisor: Wood-Harper, Trevor Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: higher education ; information systems ; systems development methodologies ; autoethnography