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Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 1 Office Automation & Intranets BUSS 909 Supplementary Lecture 01 Analysis of Office Automation: Language Action Perspective.

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Presentation on theme: "Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 1 Office Automation & Intranets BUSS 909 Supplementary Lecture 01 Analysis of Office Automation: Language Action Perspective."— Presentation transcript:

1 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 1 Office Automation & Intranets BUSS 909 Supplementary Lecture 01 Analysis of Office Automation: Language Action Perspective (LAP)

2 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 2 Agenda L Discuss some problems with traditional systems analysis views of work in offices Promote a view which looks at office work in terms of action and human communication (similar to a Systems Auditors View of an IS) Introduce the ideas behind Action Workflow (one type of LAP approach)

3 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 3 Views of Systems: Analyst -vs- Auditor

4 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 4 Analyst’s View (1) systems analysts are responsible for the analysis of a business system to access its suitability for computer application analysts may also design the necessary computer system (referred to analyst/designers)

5 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 5 Auditor’s View (1) provides an independent view of the system and determines: whether the system is functioning as it should, and whether the accounting records stored in a computer accurately reflect the company’s financial condition

6 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 6 Auditor’s View (2) two approaches to auditing a system: auditing around the computer- involves examining system inputs and outputs but not the processing auditing through the computer- involves using the computer itself to examine the systems data and audit trail a systems auditor’s view is different to a systems analyst’s view!

7 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 7 Contrasting Views of Systems: Analyst -vs- Auditor the systems auditor’s view is like a pedestrian- they follow transactions through the system the systems analyst’s is like a bird- they view the system from above only decending when they need to examine a subsystem in detail

8 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 8 Contrasting Views of Systems: Relationship to OA arguably, an auditor’s view of systems is very useful when analysing OA system rather than trying to specify data stores, dataflows, processes, external entities relating to office documents we could see what elements are required to describe a document, where they come from, how they are used etc...

9 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 9 Contrasting Views of Systems: Relationship to OA we shall now consider one of the major approaches used to analyse OA systems the Language Action Perspective (LAP) is a general approach to specifying and developing systems (including OA) developed in Scandinavia

10 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 10 Contrasting Views of Systems: Relationship to OA one type of LAP methodology is called Action Workflow Action Workflow supports both a systems auditors view as well as the traditional systems view of an IS or OA system

11 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 11 Language Action Perspective

12 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 12 Language Action Perspective the Language Action Perspective (LAP) is a theoretical orientation for studying modelling, design, implementation and usage of information systems in organisational contexts. pioneering work was done by Flores and Winograd (see Reader).

13 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 13 Language Action Perspective LAP is based on an action view on language and communication, emphasising what people DO while communicating. It has its theoretical roots in speech act theory from the Philosophy of Language developed by Austin (1955/1962) and Searle (1966) and communication action theory (Habermas)

14 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 14 Language Action Perspective since 1980 there has been a growing interest in LAP among scholars in information systems and computer science. there are now several frameworks and methods for communication modelling for example: Action Workflow, DEMO, SAMPO and BAT.

15 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 15 Language Action Perspective Action Workflow (Goldkuhl 1996) is an approach which uses the Language Action Perspective or LAP (Dignum et al 1996) LAP approaches in general emphasise the importance of human communication in understanding workpractices and information systems.

16 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 16 Case Study of LAP: ALABS Loan/Returns at the MCL

17 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 17 Case Study of LAP we exemplify (show) how LAP and Action Workflow can be used to describe systems by using a case study the case study is of a system called ALABS (Automated Library And Borrowing System) which used to exist at the Microcomputer Laboratories

18 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 18 Case Study of LAP ALABS enabled students to borrow software (disks) which were then used in the Laboratories (the system was developed before networks became commonly available)- we will analyse the Student Loan Workpractice the workpractice was first analysed by the Rodney Clarke but this analysis is from the work of Christofer Tolis

19 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 19 Case Study of LAP Students request the loan of valuable items including software, manuals, and/or hardware stored at the MCL. Loan requests are handled by a Laboratories Staff Member who records the loan using the ALABS Student Loan feature

20 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 20 Case Study of LAP the loan must be recorded in order to not compromise the integrity of the holdings nor to infringe the licensing arrangements

21 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 21 Language Action Perspective Theoretical Approach inspired by the work of Winograd and Flores (1986). their model describing “the basic conversation for action” (Winograd & Flores, 1986, p.65) uses Speech Act Theory

22 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 22 Language Action Perspective Theoretical Approach

23 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 23 Action Workflow (1) General Approach Action Workflow is a way of describing interaction between roles in an organisation- viewed in terms of commitment. Definition of all constructs: Loop consisting of four phases: preparation, negotiation, performance, and acceptance. Two roles: customer and performer.

24 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 24 Action Workflow (2) General Approach further developed into a general workflow loop ( Medina-Mora et al. 1992). see the following diagram...

25 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 25 Action Workflow (3) Basic Loop

26 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 26 Action Workflow (4) Applied to the Case Study can apply this to the case study to create a simple loop that describes: student as customer labstaff as performer the resulting map describes the two roles involved (student and labstaff) and the workflow at hand (loan material).

27 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 27 Action Workflow (5) Applied to the Case Study

28 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 28 Action Workflow (6) Applied to the Case Study this loop doesn’t say anything more specific about the case. What does say is that the interaction should be able to be understood in terms of the four phases. let’s have a look at each of the four phases in turn– and relate them to an actual interaction from a transcript...

29 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 29 Action Workflow (7) Analysing an Actual Transcript

30 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 30 Action Workflow (8) Analysing an Actual Transcript Look for the (speech) act that advances the loop into the next phase. Preparation: Ends with student making a request (in this specific case, it’s actually the labstaff that specifies the student’s request!) Negotiation: Ends with labstaff agreeing.

31 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 31 Action Workflow (9) Analysing an Actual Transcript Performance: End with reports completion: Satisfaction: Ends with student declaring satisfaction Having gone through the details of the loop, what are the possibilities of extending the map in order to show more of the specific details of the interaction in the case?

32 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 32 Action Workflow (10) Analysing an Actual Transcript Connections between different loops: “Child” workflows expand on a certain workflow quadrant, further detailing it. the workflow can simultaneously be described on several levels of detail in the same diagram.

33 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 33 Action Workflow (11) Analysing an Actual Transcript each workflow involves the interaction between two (human) parties this limits the possible expansion of workflow quadrants (this is about as detailed as it can get).

34 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 34 Action Workflow (12) Analysing an Actual Transcript Names of workflows given fram customer’s point of view (“Can I please...”). Depending on the situation, it can also be read from the performer’s point of view (“Wouldn’t you like to...”), cf. the following point.

35 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 35 Action Workflow (13) Analysing an Actual Transcript Sometimes the performer initiates a workflow by making an offer (e.g. in the workflow “Get labpass and material”, the student can be seen to receive an offer to get the labpass and the material). The map discussed so far, was based on a sole interaction

36 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 36 Action Workflow (14) Analysing an Actual Transcript

37 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 37 Parent Workflows (1) How does the ActionWorkflow providing help in describing the larger environment of a workflow? With the ActionWorkflow approach, the larger environment of a workflow is simply a larger workflow, where the first one is a part.

38 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 38 Parent Workflows (2)

39 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 39 Parent Workflows (3) Note that the description of the larger context requires a decision on which of the two parties point-of-view to use Note that the larger picture is quite different for the student and for the labstaff member.

40 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 40 Parent Workflows (4) For the student, the loan of material from the labstaff is only a small part of doing an assignment. In the parent workflow, it is the lecturer who is the customer whereas the student is the performer.

41 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 41 Parent Workflows (5) After the teacher has prepared and given out the assignment (preparation phase), there might be some discussion before reaching an agreement on what the student is to do (negotiation phase).

42 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 42 Parent Workflows (6) Based on the agreement, the student goes on to actually do the assignment in order to give the results to the lecturer (performance phase). Finally, the lecturer evaluates the result, hopefully satisfied with it (acceptance phase).

43 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 43 References Searle, J. R. (1966) Speech Acts- An Essay in the Philosophy of Language Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp ; Winograd, T. (1986) “A Language/Action Perspective on the Design of Co-operative Work” in Proceedings CSCW-86, Austin Texas, pp Goldkuhl, G. (1996) “Generic Business Frameworks and Action Modelling” Jonkoping International Business School and the Centre for Studies on Man, Technology and Organization (CMTO), and Department of Computer and Information Science, Linköping University, Draft , 16pp.

44 Clarke, R. J (2000) SL-01: 44 Goldkuhl, G. and K. Lyytinen (1982) “A Language Action View of Information Systems” SYSLAB Report No. 14; August 1982; Third International Conference on Information Systems, Ann Arbor, December 1982, 24pp. Goldkuhl, G. (1984) “Understanding Computer-Based Information Systems Through Communicative Action Analysis” Human-Infological Research Group, Department of Information Processing (HUMOR), Chalmers University of Technology, S-412 Göteborg, Sweden, Draft , 26 pp. Goldkuhl, G. (1993) “Contextual Activity Modelling of Information Systems” Research Report VITS, March 1993, Institutionen För Datavetenskap, Universitet Och Tekniska Högskolan, Linköping University Sweden LiTH-IDA-R-93-05; ISSN , 12pp.


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