Information Systems Frontiers

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 257–272 | Cite as

Language/Action Meets Organisational Semiotics: Situating Conversations with Norms

  • Aldo de Moor

Abstract

Virtual professional communities require a strong co-evolution of their social and information systems. To ensure that the evolutionary process of their socio-technical systems is viable, a legitimate user-driven specification process is required. Such a process helps to ensure the meaningfulness and acceptability of specification changes. A specification method supporting this process should be grounded in the neo-humanist paradigm so that subjectivist and conflict aspects receive proper attention. Two related subfields of information science that have roots in this paradigm are the Language/Action Perspective (LAP) and organisational semiotics (OS). The RENISYS method for specification of the socio-technical systems of virtual professional communities is presented. It combines aspects from both LAP and OS, by building on work done in the DEMO (LAP) and MEASUR (OS) methodologies. It thus provides an operationalization of neo-humanist ideals that can help to extend theoretical and empirical research.

virtual communities socio-technical systems neo-humanism legitimacy language/action perspective norms organisational semiotics DEMO MEASUR RENISYS 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Auramäki E, Lyytinen K. On the success of speech acts and negotiating commitments. In: Proceedings of the First InternationalWorkshop on Communication Modelling, the Language/Action Perspective (LAP'96), July 1–2, 1996: Oisterwijk, The Netherlands, 1996:1–12.Google Scholar
  2. Brooks FP. The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, anniversary edition, 1995.Google Scholar
  3. De Michelis G, Grasso MA. Situating conversations within the language/action perspective: The Milan Conversation Model. In: Furuta R, Neuwirth C, eds. CSCW '94, ACM, 1994:89–100.Google Scholar
  4. de Moor A. Empowering communities: A method for the legitimate user-driven specification of network information systems. Ph.D. thesis, Tilburg University, The Netherlands, 1999.Google Scholar
  5. de Moor A, Jeusfeld MA. Making workflow change acceptable. Requirements Engineering 2001;6(2):75–96.Google Scholar
  6. de Moor A, Peterson R. Facilitating the evolution of electronic healthcare networks: Framing the changing socio-technical system. International Journal of Healthcare Technology and Management 2001;3(5/6):366–385.Google Scholar
  7. Dietz JLG. Modelling business processes for the purpose of redesign. In: Business Process Re-Engineering: Information Systems Opportunities. Amsterdam: North-Holland, 1994:233–242.Google Scholar
  8. Engelbart D. Toward high-performance organizations: A strategic role for group-ware. Technical report, Bootstrap Institute, 1992.Google Scholar
  9. Fitzpatrick G, Welsh J. Process support: Inflexible imposition or chaotic composition? Interacting with Computers 1995;7(2):167–180.Google Scholar
  10. Hanseth O. Integrating information systems: The importance of contexts. In: Stamper et al. eds. Collaborative Work, Social Communications and Information Systems, IFIP, 1991:133–156.Google Scholar
  11. Hirschheim R, Klein HK. Realizing emancipatory principles in information systems development: The case for ETHICS. Management Information Systems Quarterly 1994;18(1):83–109.Google Scholar
  12. Hirschheim R, Klein H, Lyytinen K. Information Systems Development and Data Modeling—Conceptual and Philosophical Foundations. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1995.Google Scholar
  13. Hollingshead AB, McGrath JE. Computer-assisted groups: A critical review of the empirical research. In: Team Effectiveness and Decision Making in Organizations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1995:46–78.Google Scholar
  14. Kensing F, Winograd T. The language/action approach to design of computer-support for cooperative work: A preliminary study in work mapping. In: Stamper et al. eds. Collaborative Work, Social Communications and Information Systems, IFIP, 1991:311–331.Google Scholar
  15. Khoshafian S, Buckiewicz M. Introduction to Groupware,Workflow, andWorkgroup Computing. New York: JohnWiley & Sons, 1995.Google Scholar
  16. Koh I, Heng M. Users and designers as partners—Design method and tools for user participation and designer accountability within the design process. Information Systems Journal 1996;6:283–300.Google Scholar
  17. Liu K. Semiotics applied to information systems development. Ph.D. thesis, University of Twente, 1993.Google Scholar
  18. Medina-Mora R, Winograd T, Flores R, Flores F. The ActionWork-flow approach to workflow management technology. The Information Society 1993;9(4):391–404.Google Scholar
  19. Nonaka I, Reinmoeller P, Senoo D. The 'ART' of knowledge: Systems to capitalize on market knowledge. European Management Journal 1998;16(6):673–684.Google Scholar
  20. Peterson RR, Smits M, Spanjers R. Exploring IT-enabled network organisations in healthcare: Emerging practices and phases of development. In: Proc. of the 8th European Conference on Information Systems, Vienna, 2000:1253–1260.Google Scholar
  21. Schäl T. Workflow Management Systems for Process Organizations. Berlin: Springer Verlag, 1996.Google Scholar
  22. Scheer A-W. ARIS. In: Bernus P, Mertins K, Schmidt G, eds. Handbook on Architectures of Information Systems. Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 1998:541–565.Google Scholar
  23. Searle JR. Speech Acts—An Essay in the Philosophy of Language. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1969.Google Scholar
  24. Stamper R. Language and computing in organised behaviour. In: van de Riet RP, Meersman RA, eds. Linguistic Instruments in Knowledge Engineering. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science Publishers B.V., 1992:143–163.Google Scholar
  25. Stamper R. Social norms in requirements analysis—An outline of MEASUR. In: Requirements Engineering: Technical and Social Aspects. Academic Press, 1994:107–139.Google Scholar
  26. Stamper R. Signs, information, norms, and systems. In: Holmqvist B, Andersen PB, eds. Signs at Work. Berlin: De Gruyter, 1996.Google Scholar
  27. Stamper R. Newdirections for systems analysis and design. In: Filipe J, ed. Enterprise Information Systems. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2000:14–39.Google Scholar
  28. Stamper R. Extending LAP and focusing OS. In Liu K, ed. IFIP WG8.1Working Conference—Organizational Semiotics: Evolving a Science of Information Systems, July 23–25, 2001, Montreal.Google Scholar
  29. Stamper RK, Kerola P, Lee R, Lytinen K, eds. Collaborative Work, Social Communications and Information Systems. IFIP, 1991.Google Scholar
  30. Suchman L. Do categories have politics? The language/action perspective reconsidered. Computer Supported Cooperative Work 1994;3(2):177–190.Google Scholar
  31. Talbott S. The Future Does Not Compute: Transcending the Machines in Our Midst. O'Reilly & Associates, 1995.Google Scholar
  32. Taylor JR. The limits of rationality in communication modeling: A socio-semiotic reinterpretation of the concept of 'speech act'. In: Proceedings of the Third InternationalWorkshop on Communication Modelling, the Language/Action Perspective (LAP'98), June 25–26, 1998, Steningevik, Sweden, 1998:35–46.Google Scholar
  33. van Reijswoud V. The structure of business communication: Theory, model and application. Ph.D. thesis, Delft University, 1996.Google Scholar
  34. Verharen E. A language-action perspective on the design of cooperative information agents. Ph.D. thesis, Infolab, Tilburg University, 1997.Google Scholar
  35. Wand Y, Monarchi DE, Parsons J, Woo CC. Theoretical foundations for conceptual modelling in information systems development. Decision Support Systems 1995;15(4):285–304.Google Scholar
  36. Weigand H, Dignum F. Formalization and rationalization of communication. In: Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Communication Modelling, the Language/ Action Perspective (LAP'97), Veldhoven, June 9–10, 1997, The Netherlands, 1997:71–86.Google Scholar
  37. White SK. The Recent Work of J¨urgen Habermas: Reason, Justice, and Modernity. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1988.Google Scholar
  38. Winograd T. A language/action perspective on the design of cooperative work, report no. CSLI-87-98. Technical report, Center for the Study of Language and Information, Stanford University,May 1987.Google Scholar
  39. Winograd T, Flores F. Understanding Computers and Cognition—A New Foundation for Design. Ablex Publishing Corporation, 1986.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aldo de Moor
    • 1
  1. 1.Infolab, Department of Information Systems and ManagementTilburg UniversityThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations