PER008 Steven Alter on work systems and the work systems approach

Over the past 25 years, Steven Alter has developed and refined his ‘work systems approach‘ building on an elaborate and finely nuanced concept of a ‘work system’. His approach assists with describing, analyzing and discussing complex organizational situations often but not necessarily involving information technology. Starting from an identified opportunity or problem situation, the approach provides guidance for describing and analyzing the situation through the lens of a work systems.

Steve’s research on work systems is documented in numerous publications and his book ‘The Work System Method: Connecting People, Processes, and IT for Business Results’. Last year, he retired as Professor of Information Systems at the University of San Francisco
In November 2017, Steve visited the University of Duisburg-Essen where we met for our conversation. In this episode, we talk about the notion of a work system, the different aspects of a work system (summarized in his work systems framework) and other key components of the work systems approach. Steve tells us about his motives and intentions when developing this approach and about its historical development. Along the way, he provides many illustrative examples. Steve concludes with a comment on the importance and limitations of analytical methods.

Recording conversation with Steven Alter.



Erwähntes / Links to things mentioned

Ergänzendes / Interesting additional material

Zitieren z.B. als: Strecker, S.: “Steven Alter on on work systems and the work systems approach”, in: Perspektiven | Wirtschaftsinformatik-Podcast, Folge 8 vom 12.12.2017. (CC-BY-SA 4.0).

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