Information Systems Development (ISD) in Complex Settings as Interlocking Spirals of Sense-Making

  • Larry Stapleton


This paper assesses a research framework against the findings of a field research study. The framework employs the metaphor of a triple spiral as a means by which Weick’s sense-making concepts can be applied to ISD activities. The study examines the experiences of members of a large manufacturing organisation in a multinational company. Study participants included project teams members, consultants and senior management. This research is ongoing and other organisations are being engaged in the study. Results suggest that the framework is applicable to the ISD activity and could be used to encourage broad-based research in ISD i.e. research that brings together and understands the relationship between the IS as a social artefact and its complex organisational context. The results support the notion that the framework aids the understanding and management of change at micro-and macro-levels within organisations.


Requirement Engineer Divergent Thinking Information System Development Software Requirement Specification Information System Development 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Larry Stapleton
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ComputingWaterford Institute of TechnologyWaterfordIreland
  2. 2.Department of Management Information SystemsUniversity CollegeCorkIreland

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