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Title: Normative approach to information systems modelling
Author: Cordeiro, José A. M.
ISNI:       0000 0000 6972 0031
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2010
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Information and communication technologies (ICT) and computer systems m general are increasingly integrating daily life and- becoming an essential element of human and organisational existence in modem societies. The Information Systems (IS) field in particular is interested in enhancing processes and increasing the utility of information to organisations and their members by using these technologies. However, most IS development methodologies are technologically biased by employing engineering approaches originated in software engineering and related fields to the analysis, design and implementation of those systems forgetting human and organisational nature of information and IS. These methodologies fail to: (i) acknowledge properly the role of humans and its associated social, cultural, political and behavioural dimensions (ii) understand the real interplay between human and technology and (iii) provide a sound and appropriate philosophical foundation. This thesis is mainly built upon the work and findings from three different but related theories that take the human as a central element of any IS, namely Organisational Semiotics (OS), the Theory of Organized Activity (TOA) and Enterprise Ontology (EO), and broader and related theories of respectively, Semiotics, Activity Theory and Language Action Perspective. In this research a deep analysis is undertaken regarding these theories to explore and compare their fundamental aspects and to derive their essential elements. This research proposes a new intellectual framework originated in a new philosophical foundation - Human Relativism - that adopts the human as the central element and provides a new paradigm as a basis for any methodology for IS development. A new approach - NOMIS (NOrmative Modelling of Information Systems) - is introduced, applying the new paradigm, centred in human behaviour and human action in particular, that integrates the theoretical views of OS, TOA and EO. For modelling and representation purposes a new modelling notation and an UML profile extension of the Unified Modelling Language (UML) was created for expressing and communicate the fundamental views of NOMIS. Finally, two case studies were used to 1) demonstrate the " feasibility and applicability of NOMIS for modelling a business domain and, 2) show the key concepts of NOMIS applied to the design of a computer application. Conclusions and future work completes this thesis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available