1 Department of Business Studies, Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University2 Information Systems Research Group, Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University3 Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University4 Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University
a Research Brief
This research brief presents a discussion on the use of the concept of materiality and material knowing in information systems development (ISD). The discussion addresses some of the practical problems still plaguing ISD, augmenting existing ISD methodologies with contributions from systems theory and in particular the idea of inquiring systems. The discussion builds on different contemporary concepts that are rooted in the inquiring systems idea: the notion of stakeholders (designer, client, user and their interchanging roles), the notion boundary object and boundary spanners, and the notion of materiality as scaffold of knowledge. Through the example taken from a case study of a complex and innovative systems development we outline two design principles to be embedded in modular fashion in ISD processes: (1) whenever possible start ISD efforts by developing a graphical simulator of the material environment of the users and (2) embed and use the simulator as a proper boundary object.