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Grafting a “Soft Front End” Onto a Hard Methodology — Some Questionable Assumptions

  • Brian Petheram

Abstract

This paper is primarily concerned with the application of systems based methodologies to the development of organisational information systems that involve the use of computers. Checkland(1981) identified two different paradigms of systems thinking, hard systems and soft systems. This framework has been found useful in clarifying the aspects of problem solving addressed by different methodologies. Those which are based on hard systems thinking are mainly concerned with designing solutions to problems, the nature of which is taken for granted. Soft systems thinking regards the nature of a problem situation itself to be problematic and is focussed on learning rather than design.

Keywords

Soft System Methodology Information System Development Questionable Assumption Organisational Reality Hard System 
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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References

  1. Checkland, P.B., 1981, Systems Thinking, Systems Practice, John Wiley, Chichester.Google Scholar
  2. Checkland, P.B. & Scholes, J., 1990, Soft Systems Methodology In Action, John Wiley, Chichester.Google Scholar
  3. Downs, E., Clare, P., & Coe, I., 1988, Structured Systems Analysis and Design Methodology: Application and Context, Prentice Hall, Hemel Hempstead.Google Scholar
  4. Miles, R.K., 1988, Combining’ soft’ and ‘Hard’ Systems Practice: Grafting or Embedding?, Journal of Applied Systems Analysis, Vol. 15, 55–60.Google Scholar
  5. Vickers, G., 1965, The Art Of Judgement, Chapman & Hall, London.Google Scholar
  6. Wilson, B., 1990, Systems: Concepts, Methodologies, and Applications (2nd.Edition), John Wiley, Chichester.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian Petheram
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer Studies & MathematicsBristol PolytechnicBristolUK

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