Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: IS practice : does aikido have anything to contribute?
Author: Leonard, David Thomas
Awarding Body: Open University
Current Institution: Open University
Date of Award: 2012
Availability of Full Text:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Restricted access.
Please contact the current institution’s library for further details.
This research is concerned with IS practice and how that practice can be improved through the novel notion of systems harmony. It draws on Peter Checkland's work to explore the principles and practice of aikido, the Japanese 'art of harmony'. The thesis investigates systems harmony in three stages. Firstly, it looks at aikido, to uncover its underlying philosophical foundations and techniques of harmonisation. The empirical focus of this phase concentrates primarily on the lived experiences of aikido practitioners. The key theoretical output from this stage is a conceptual model, the AikiSys model, which describes the complex interconnected web of factors that contribute to the dynamic emergence of harmony within a martial encounter. Next, the AikiSys model is used to fonn the basis of a practical sense-making mechanism, the information Systems Harmonisation (ISH) framework. This framework enables the transfer of the essentially personal constructs of aikido into the IS domain. This conceptual linking is realised by associating elements of the core AikiSys model to analogous concepts and techniques operating within IS practice. The final stage of the research uses the ISH framework in two modes - one diagnostic and retrospective, the other guiding and proactive - to inquire into IS practice. Four case studies are presented to reveal the new perspectives offered by the ISH framework. The study introduces a framework that provides a way of engaging with IS situations in an action-oriented fashion. This framework includes iteration between hard and soft approaches and makes specific reference to non-technical manifestations of harmony such as respect, trust, multiple-perspectives, elegance, emergence, self-organisation, training and awareness. The research suggests that these elements, far from being peripheral, are in fact crucial to successful real-world IS practice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available