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Journal Article

Evaluating Information Systems according to Stakeholders: a pragmatic perspective and method  pp73-88

Jenny Lagsten

© Jan 2011 Volume 14 Issue 1, ECIME 2010 Special Issue, Editor: Miguel de Castro Neto, pp1 - 166

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In the last decade several researchers have addressed the problem that there does not seem to be much evidence of extensive use of interpretive evaluation approaches in practice. Researchers have though recognized the interpretive evaluation approach as well founded academically and theoretically offering potential advantages such as stakeholder commitment and learning opportunities. One reason for this non‑use could be that there are few, if any, interpretive evaluation methods ready at hand for evaluators in practice. An interpretive IS evaluation method means a method in support for doing evaluation as interpretation. This research presents a practical method for doing evaluation of information systems as a joint act of interpretation performed by the stakeholders of the information system in use. In our research we have expanded the interpretive philosophical base to embrace a pragmatic knowledge interest in order to underpin the overall strive for evaluation that is to contribute to change and betterment. The method presented is named VISU (Swedish acronym for IS evaluation for workpractice development). The process of evaluating accordingly to the VISU method has been extensively tested in practice and in theoretical grounding processes and is now considered ready for wider use. The research process for developing VISU has been conducted with canonical action research through parallel work with evaluation and method development in six episodes within two cases. VISU consists of prescribed actions that are anchored in a set of underlying principles stemming from the philosophy of American pragmatism. Evaluation according to VISU is performed in three phases; arrange, evaluate and develop. In the paper VISU is described according to phases, actions, main concepts and principles. The use of VISU is demonstrated through examples from a performed evaluation of an information system in support for social welfare services.


Keywords: IS evaluation, stakeholder model, interpretive IS evaluation method, pragmatism, action research


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Journal Issue

Volume 14 Issue 1, ECIME 2010 Special Issue / Jan 2011  pp1‑166

Editor: Miguel de Castro Neto

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miguel_neto Dr Miguel de Castro Neto is presently Associate Dean at the Instituto Superior de Estatística e Gestão de Informação of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa (ISEGI‑UNL), where he is Invited Assistant Professor. He is editor of the Journal of Information Technology in Agriculture (JITAg), member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Online Information Review journal, and Scientific Advisor of the Revista Brasileira de Agroinformática.  Miguel de Castro Neto holds a PhD in Agronomic Engineering (Universidade Técnica de Lisboa) in the field of Internet‑based agricultural information systems, a Masters degree in Agricultural Economics (Universidade de Évora), a Masters degree extension in Statistics and Information Management (Universidade Nova de Lisboa) and a degree in Agricultural Engineering (Universidade de Évora).His research interests include Business Intelligence, Knowledge management and Social Computing.


This special edition of the EJISE includes thirteen selected papers presented at the 4th European Conference on Information Management and Evaluation ‑ ECIME 2010 which were considered the most important contributions to the advances in the information systems evaluation field of study.

The conference was held at Instituto Superior de Estatística e Gestão from the Universidade Nova de Lisboa (ISEGI‑UNL), Lisbon, Portugal, and the broad topics proposed to be addressed by ECIME 2010 included: evaluation topics; management topics; e‑Government topics; new technologies, innovation and infrastructures; development topics; ethics and philosophy topics; and general topics.

These topics where covered by the presentation in the conference of 47 Papers, 4  PhD Research Papers, and 4 Work in Progress with participants coming from 25 different countries splitted in the following streams: Managing Information; Evaluation of Records and Documents; Business Intelligence; ICT issues as they specifically affect SMEs; Logistics, Supply Chain and Process Improvement; Performance assessment and measurement; Web Tools; Health Information Systems; Evaluation Issues; Health Information Systems Issues; Quality and Service Level; and IS professionals.

The 13 ECIME 2010 selected papers for publishing in this EJISE special issue cover a very wide range of interesting and up to date research areas giving us important insights and new perspectives in future developments in the field and I hope it can became an important contribution to the dynamics in the information systems evaluation research area.


Keywords: action research, adopter categories, adoption, adoption determinants, alliances, architectural principles, BAN, business architecture, business value, CDSS, COBIT, community, computing, consumer goods, decision-making, diffusion of innovations (DOI) theory, digital divide, disadvantaged networks, early warning scorecard, eCommerce, enterprise architecture, evidence-based protocols, factors, GDS (Global Data Synchronization), geobrowser, georeference, GIS (Geographical Information System), GLN (Global Location Numbering), global standards, GoogleEarth, GTIN (Global Trade Items Numbering), GUSI (Global Upstream Supply Initiative), health informatics and body area networks, health information management, hospital information systems, information alignment, information management, information quality, information quality, information systems, information systems architecture, information technology, institutional theory, integrated suppliers, interorganizational systems (IOSs), interpretiv


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