A critical systems thinking perspective for IS adoption

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


ANU E-Press


Faculty of Business and Law


School of Management




Raza, S. , & Standing, C. (2010). A critical systems thinking perspective for IS adoption. Proceedings of Information Systems Foundations: Theory Building in Information Systems. (pp. 1-15). ANU, Canberra. ANU E-Press . Available here


Information Systems project management is a challenging task. Lack of user support and involvement are among the key reasons of the IS/IT project failure. The established information technology adoption models like TAM, TAM2 etc. only consider technology adoption from an individual user’s viewpoint highlighting key factors and their relationships, but they do not provide any mechanism to put multiple user perspectives and their roles in a holistic framework from a project management viewpoint. This paper proposes a model for information system adoption based on Critical Systems Thinking (CST) in an organizational context from a management perspective. The authors, considering IS adoption as a multi-phase innovation project, argue that boundary considerations using a multiple stakeholder perspective (boundary critique) provides an alternative focus for IS adoption. The paper uses the five basic phases or activities for information system development under System Development Life Cycle (SDLC). The model integrates traditional SDLC with the ongoing process of ‘phase-stakeholder-identification’. The emerging systemic stakeholder networks are proposed to be applied with network mechanisms to influence stakeholders’ attitudes towards IS adoption. The study suggests that the proposed model has the capacity to serve as a roadmap for a smooth IS adoption by facilitating organizational learning and change

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