Learning with Information Systems: Learning Cycles in Information Systems Development

By Simon Bell | Go to book overview

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
It is almost impossible for me to list all those who have had to bear with the research which was the forerunner to this book, so to those omitted my apologies and silent acknowledgement. Emotionally this book would not exist without the love and continuous support, through some difficult times, of my wife Rachel. Words cannot express my gratitude. I am also indebted to my children Ellen and Elliot for providing the ‘child’s view’ which put all my work in perspective and kept my feet on the ground. Logistically this book would not exist without the help of numerous individuals in the development profession, both in donor agencies and in developing countries. Over the compilation of this work I have made many friends in many parts of the world: to all, many thanks. Academically I am indebted to Pam Mayhew, Trevor Wood-Harper, the long-suffering Gilroy Coleman, Liz Orna, Richard Heeks, Tony Wright, Tony Barnett, Steve Biggs, Bob Galliers and Deryke Belshaw. Finally, the core of this book rests upon a wide foundation from development studies to information-systems design. There are several pillars who are in part indicated in the bibliography but who have also provided insights through conversations and mimeographed material. It is therefore appropriate at this point to indicate some of the centres which are involved in aspects of the current work and which have made substantial contributions to the body of academic material and experiences in closely related fields.
1 The work of R.J. Bawden and colleagues at the University of Western Sydney, Australia has contributed a rich vein of insights into the three areas of soft systems methodology, action research and experiential learning. In particular, their work has provided further views of the integration of systemic research methods and more specifically has indicated that practice is the final arbiter of the value of a methodology.
2 C. Avgerou and J. Liebenau (and numerous faculty and student colleagues) at the London School of Economics have provided useful comparative

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Learning with Information Systems: Learning Cycles in Information Systems Development
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Figures viii
  • Tables x
  • Acknowledgements xii
  • Abbreviations xiv
  • Summary of Contents xv
  • Part I - Introducing the Context 1
  • 1 - Introduction and Background 3
  • 2 - Information Systems and Planning in Developing Countries 30
  • Part II - The Question and the Approach 57
  • 3 - The Question for This Book 59
  • 4 - Selecting the Research Approach 62
  • Part III - Action-Research Learning 83
  • 5 - Learning Cycle 1: a Department of Roads 85
  • 6 - Learning Cycle 2: an Administrative Staff College 123
  • 7 - Learning Cycle 3: a Board for Technical Education 148
  • Part IV - Overview and Conclusions 175
  • 8 - An Overview of the Learning Process 177
  • 9 - The Next Steps 195
  • Notes 208
  • Bibliography 210
  • Index 224
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