Critical Approaches to Information Systems Development

A Theoretical Perspective
  • Steve Clarke
  • Brian Lehaney


Much has been achieved in information systems development through the methods of systems analysis and systems engineering, but equally much has been written about their shortcomings. Key among these is said to be the functionalist, problem solving perspective from which they are seen to operate, and as a result of which their domain of applicability is seen to be severely limited. The antidote to these approaches has typically been sought from an interpretivist perspective, whereby, it is argued, more pluralistic, complex, human activity problem situations may be addressed. But a criticism consistently levelled at both functionalist and interpretivist approaches is their lack of critical awareness and reflection. This has given rise to a limited exploration of complementarist methods underpinned by critical social theory—or the domain of critical systems thinking.


Information System Critical Approach Critical Theory Critical Awareness Soft System Methodology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steve Clarke
    • 1
  • Brian Lehaney
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LutonLutonUK

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