Information systems investment and value appraisal in the public sector

Jones, S 2002, Information systems investment and value appraisal in the public sector , PhD thesis, Salford : University of Salford.

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This thesis develops the hypothesis for a new interpretive approach to the evaluation of information systems (IS), termed situated hermeneutic IS evaluation. The thesis adds to the body of knowledge in this area as this new approach moves away from the dominant evaluation paradigm based upon functionalism and introduces a new interpretive IS evaluation approach based upon hermeneutics and situated action, which incorporates a post-modern perspective on the nature of IS. This approach is particularly appropriate in the UK public sector, where traditional IS evaluation methods based upon economic, functional and mechanistic principles are largely irrelevant. The nature of information systems, information systems investment, information systems evaluation and the role of information systems evaluation in public sector organisations form a major part of the thesis. In particular, the study reviews the area of IS evaluation by considering the methods available for use and their underlying assumptions. Another major element of the study is the empirical work. This involved two UK local authorities where two in-depth interpretive case studies were undertaken. The results from the study are presented in terms of learning and are analysed to help understand, conceptually, the appropriateness of the new evaluation approach and to elicit salient issues and lessons for IS practice. A conceptual, practical framework for undertaking situated hermeneutic evaluation is also presented. In addition, an analysis is undertaken with regard to developing the key themes arising from the literature and the empirical work, with the aim of informing IS theory and practice. The case studies were undertaken using the Grounded Theory method in an interpretivist paradigm to explore issues from a rich, contextual and experiential perspective. As such it provides a view on the IS evaluation issues from a position rarely adopted by other researchers, as interpretivism is an emerging paradigm for research into IS evaluation An analysis is presented to help understand the underlying assumptions of the researchers that utilise Grounded Theory in IS research, and to help increase the understandinu of the Stephen Jonex I'niver.Mlv of'SalforJ Information Systems Research Centre I'hD Resetin. 7i Thesis July 2002 I'age Kiimher 11application of the method. The pitfalls and the opportunities that such a methodological approach could have in future IS evaluation studies is also presented. The outcomes of the research argue for a new complementary interpretive IS evaluation approach based on situated practice, which provides a richer view and a more practically oriented approach, especially within the public sector domain, and explores the use of a social science methodology, Grounded Theory, in information systems research.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Hughes, J (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of Computing, Science and Engineering
Depositing User: Institutional Repository
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2012 13:34
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2022 11:25

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