What If Design Is Something Else: The Challenges of Dealing with Interdependencies

  • Margunn Aanestad
Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP, volume 124)


The interactive society is also the interdependent society, and this poses challenges to the IS field’s conceptualization of what design entails. ICTs are intimately intertwined with work practices, institutions and with other technological systems, and the resulting assemblage exhibits a complexity that challenges design interventions. Relevant conceptualizations from the IS field should be further developed to help us come to grips with the challenges. The nature of design is explored through two empirical vignettes. Both vignettes illustrate design “in the large”, involving more participants, different objectives and multiple types of tasks relative to classical instances of software or systems design. The interdependencies’ implications for design are examined, and a conceptual decomposition of interdependencies is proposed. The three-dimensional decomposition into spatial extent, functional coverage and temporal duration can potentially be used for a more proactive approach to intended and unintended interdependencies during design “in the large”.


Project Leader Electronic Patient Record Enterprise Architecture Information Infrastructure Information System Research 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margunn Aanestad
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of InformaticsUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

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