Developing intrinsically motivated information systems - a critical systems approach

Petros Panagiotidis, John S. Edwards*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper deals with the problematic of development methodologies for organisational information systems and especially with their application to business systems. Historically, information systems development methodologies tend to fail, because either they take the organisational purposefulness for granted, or they do not analyse it thoroughly. This paper's position is that the analysis, and the definition or redefinition of the systemic purpose are regarded as the utmost expression of the system 's purposefulness. This is to be achieved by ensuring the participation of all the stakeholders who affect, or are affected by, a particular business system's operations. The nature of participation, defined as a process of the stakeholders' perceptual exchanges, is deemed to be problematic in itself, due to the influence exerted upon it by organisational power, coercion and false consciousness. The paper highlights the philosophical reasons for the failures of information systems development methodologies, and provides a conceptual solution to this problematic as well as a strategy for the development of intrinsically motivated organisational information systems. The intrinsically motivated information systems methodology outlined here (BSPA) is intended to yield organisational information systems that demonstrably improve co-ordination of organisational activities, by enabling the development and maintenance of a single/multifaceted view of purpose throughout organisations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-226
Number of pages16
JournalInformation Systems Frontiers
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2001

Bibliographical note

The original publication is available at


  • business systems
  • coercion
  • complementarism
  • false consciousness
  • methodology
  • power


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