Realizing Emancipatory Principles in Information Systems Development: The Case for ETHICS

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Abstract

Information systems development methodologies have been the subject of much attention over the years. A substantial body of research has focused on the need to develop methodologies that support viewing information systems as social constructs, and information systems development (ISD) as a social process. But if development is a social process, what principles/ideals should inform it? Recent research has called for “emancipatory” ideals to be included. This debate can be expanded to explore not only what emancipatory principles might be applied in information systems development, but also how. Existing ISD methodologies only partially embrace Emancipatory principles. One of these—ETHICS—seems the most likely candidate to be extended or “reformulated” to achieve emancipatory ideals more comprehensively. Organizations using this reformulated version of ETHICS should make some progress advancing emancipation while at the same time confronting limited resources and the presence of power and authority. The approach undertaken here is generic; researchers can similarly apply these reformulation techniques to other methodologies based on other paradigms.

Additional Details

Author Rudy Hirschheim and Heinz K. Klein
Year 1994
Volume 18
Issue 1
Keywords Neohumanism, critical social theory, emancipation, participation, information systems development, methodology reformulation, socio-technical design
Page Numbers 81-109