Volume 5 Number 2

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Operationalizing Context in Context-Aware Artifacts: Benefits and Pitfalls

Christopher Lueg
University of Technology Sydney, Australia

The idea of context-aware artifacts is that computational artifacts are able to recognize the context in which they are being used so that these artifacts are able to adapt their functionality to the respective context. Most work in developing context-aware artifacts appears to be technology-driven by which we mean that often the relation of the artifacts to the underlying concepts of context remain unclear. In this paper, we look at the concept of context in context-aware artifacts from a cognition-oriented perspective and we argue for an explicit distinction between the concept of context that is operationalized and the original usage situation which we understand as a social setting that has been negotiated among peers in the first place. Acknowledging the difference suggests that developers of context-aware artifacts should pay considerable attention to the fact that the context determined by artifacts may differ from what the persons involved in the situation have negotiated. Furthermore, it suggests to critically review operationalizations of context in context-aware artifacts and their impact on how context is conceptualized.
Keywords: context-aware artifacts, context, situation, situatedness, negotiation


Web-Based Interactions Support for Information Systems

Youcef Baghdadi
United Arab Emirates University, UAE

Work organization, business innovation and IT have enhanced the distributed nature enterprise information systems. Information systems today are made up of subsystems running on heterogeneous IT platforms with varying implementations of business objects and processes increasing the dual risks of (i) inconsistency of business objects views and (ii) inefficiency of processes. This paper frames this problem as lack of representation and implementation of interactions among the subsystems and external sources. It proposes an interaction support system to make interactions an explicit element of the Enterprise Information System like data and operations. It describes a solution where the interaction elements are encapsulated into a separate subsystem and located in a web server to be used by other subsystems to exchange and share data and to perform processes with complete transparency. We argue that such Interaction Support System may provide global, unified and consistent view of business objects and synergy of processes.

Keywords: Information Systems, Interactions, Interactions Support System.


Educationally Critical Aspects of the Concept of an Information System

Chris Cope
La Trobe University, Australia

An empirical study is reported which identified and compared a deep understanding of the concept of an information system (IS) with the various levels of understanding of a group of undergraduate IS students. The aim was to identify the educationally critical aspects of the deep understanding. The study was significant in that the educationally critical aspects are not known, yet have significant implications for IS education and practice. Without addressing the critical aspects in teaching and learning about IS the development of an appropriate deep understanding by students is unlikely. The production of entry-level IS practitioners without a deep understanding of the concept of an IS is logically likely to have adverse implications for IS development projects.

Keywords: Information system concepts, information system teaching, information system learning, phenomenographic research.


Toward a Model of Growth Stages for Knowledge Management Technology in Law Firms

Petter Gottschalk
Norwegian School of Management, Sandvika, Norway

Knowledge management was introduced to law firms to help create, share, and use knowledge more effectively. Information technology can play an important role in successful knowledge management initiatives. In this paper, information technology support for knowledge management is linked to stages of growth. A model of growth stages is proposed consisting of four stages. The first stage is end-user tools that are made available to knowledge workers, the second stage is information about who knows, the third stage is information from knowledge workers, and the final stage is information systems solving knowledge problems. The model can be used to empirically assess the growth stage of law firms as well as indicate future evolution of law firms in the area of knowledge management technology.

Keywords: knowledge management, information technology, stages of growth model, law firms.