n South African Computer Journal - Development through communicative action and information system design : a case study from South Africa : research article




Many authors have recognised the importance of structure in shaping information system (IS) design and use. Structuration theory has been used in IS research and design to assist with the identification and understanding of the structures in which the IS is situated. From a critical theoretical perspective, focusing on the Habermas' theory of communicative action, a community-based child health information system was designed and implemented in a municipality in rural South Africa. The structures which shaped and influenced the design of this IS (the restructured health services and social tradition) are explored and discussed. From this case study the implications of using IS design as a developmental tool are raised: namely the development of a shared understanding, the participation of key players and the agreement on joint action.


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