9.12. Information System in Context: Building a Tool for Analysing the Sociotechnical Context of Organisational Information Systems

Public examination of a doctoral dissertation in the field of Computer Science

Doctoral candidate: M.Sc.Tuija Tiihonen  

Date and venue: 9.12.2011, at 12 noon, ML1, Medistudia, Kuopio, (also in Joensuu, Joensuu Science Park, B180)  


In information system development projects a common problem are misunderstandings between the different partners of the project. Often these partners represent different sociotechnical and organisational contexts, and different community cultures. Especially in international projects this poses a major challenge. The paradox is that the technical information system features are visible and understandable, but the sociotechnical context features are difficult to identify or observe. This thesis focuses on the different parts of organisational information systems: information systems, organisation, culture, and context, and their features. The objective of this thesis is to study and improve the understanding of different sociotechnical organisational information system contexts, and to create a methodology to analyse them. 

This research started in 2005 as a part of the INDEHELA-Context program. The starting point for the development of the methodology was the levels of analysis model of Korpela et al. (2001), which I completed with two other models, the scopes of context and the categories of context. My original idea was to collect data in different organisations in Finland, Mozambique, South Africa and Nigeria, and then analyse it with these three models. However, it soon became apparent that organisational information systems have so many features and aspects that the results attained through the models would be too general, and the analysis would have been even quite artificial. The increased understanding of the organisational information systems led to an improved tool, the LACASA analysis tool. The three models, context maps, and the LACASA analysis tool are described in detail in Chapter 7. 

The aim of the LACASA tool is to offer a new viewpoint for agile analysis of contextual factors of information systems. The use of LACASA can be extended for the analysis of another type of system, such as a work system or a community. 

The doctoral dissertation of M.Sc. Tuija Tiihonen, entitled “Information System in Context: Building a Tool for Analysing the Sociotechnical Context of Organisational Information Systems” will be examined at the Faculty of Science and Forestry. The opponent in the public examination will be  Division Manager Lyn Hanmer Medical Research Council, eHealth Research and Innovation Platform, Cape Town , South Africa,  and the custos will be Professor Matti Nykänen of the University of Eastern Finland. 

Photo available for download at http://www.uef.fi/vaitoskuvat

Contact: Tuija Tiihonen, tuija.tiihonen@uef.fi, tel. + 358 40 575 5932

Publishing year: 2011

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