Characteristics of Information Systems Definition Approaches

  • A. T. Wood-Harper


The discipline of computer systems analysis or information systems definition has grown with the development of computers. It is an even younger discipline than computer science. Yet, in some ways, it is significantly older for it has taken its ideas and concepts from, for example, biology psychology, sociology, physics and mathematics. Its debt to these subjects and others is immense. This background is reflected in the proliferation of approaches. Some of these approaches reflect theoretical schools: General Systems Theory, Human Activity, Socio-Technical Systems, Structured Systems Analysis, Data Analysis and Technical Specification. With the exception of General Systems Theory (GST), these approaches can be identified as dominant views in commerce today. GST is included because of its impact on systems thinking in general and contribution to all the identified approaches. The five approaches used in practice give powerful contrasting images within the process of defining an information system.


General System Theory Science Paradigm Information Situation Data Flow Diagram System Paradigm 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. T. Wood-Harper
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Information SystemsUniversity of East AngliaNorwichUK

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