Goldkuhl, G. (1993). On the Relations between Information Systems and Organizational Activities: Integration and Separation as Thought Models. Technical Report LiTH-IDA-R-93-18, Department of Computer and Information Science, Linköping University, Sweden. Accepted to the 15th Information Systems Research Seminar in Scandinavia (IRIS), Larkollen, Norway, 9-12 August 1992. (bibtex),
Abstract: Integration is often taken for granted in studies on information systems. The paper investigates the concept of integration and its dialectic opposite separation. These two concepts are analysed in relation to the two concepts of information system and organizational activity. The integrated view of an information system is critized. Different strategies for information systems are analysed and related to the concepts of integration and separation: the IRM approach, the VBS (Activity based IS structuring) approach (by Hugoson) and the HIS (Human-scale IS) approach (by Nurminen). Different methods for IS development are studied with respect to their implicit on integration and separation. In many methods (as e.g. ISAC and Structured Analysis) there is an a conception of IS as a unified whole. This integrated view is questionned and a contextual view of IS is presented as a descriptive alternative. One method following this contextual view is the CONTACT method with Action Diagrams which is briefly presented in the paper.
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