Systems analysis: Exploring the spectrum of diversity
This source preferred by Vasilis Katos
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Authors: Bednar, P.M., Katos, V. and Welch, C.
Journal: Proceedings of the 15th European Conference on Information Systems, ECIS 2007
Complex problem spaces, such as those addressed by knowledge management or systems analysis projects, call for complex methods of inquiry. A phenomenon in contextual analysis means that there is a need to go beyond consensus and recognized 'best practice'. As part of a complex method, for contextual analysis, inter-analysis may be conducted, in which individuals explore one another's perspectives by discussing individually-created narratives. The purpose is not to seek consensus, but to focus on diversity in viewpoints among participants. In this paper, the authors present an approach in which multiple modelling of problem experiences can bring about shifts of perspectives, create new insights and help deepened understandings to emerge. Techniques are presented that support participants to keep an overview of diversity of in-depth inquiries, while not suffocating under information overload due to the large number of narratives. Participants identify clusters of similar/dissimilar narratives in order to limit the number, but not the range of alternative perspectives. The techniques presented are formally described to promote development of decision support systems.