A contingency framework for information systems development

  • D.E. Avison

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    This research concerns information systems and information systems development. The thesis describes an approach to information systems development called Multiview. This is a methodology which seeks to combine the strengths of a number of different, existing approaches in a coherent manner. Many of these approaches are radically different in terms of concepts, philosophy, assumptions, methods, techniques and tools. Three case studies are described presenting Multiview 'in action'. The first is used mainly to expose the strengths and weaknesses of an early version of the approach discussed in the thesis. Tools and techniques are described in the thesis which aim to strengthen the approach. Two further case studies are presented to illustrate the use of this second version of Multiview. This is not put forward as an 'ideal methodology' and the case studies expose some of the difficulties and practical problems of information systems work and the use of the methodology. A more contingency based approach to information systems development is advocated using Multiview as a framework rather than a prescriptive tool. Each information systems project and the use of the framework is unique, contingent on the particular problem situation. The skills of different analysts, the backgrounds of users and the situations in which they are constrained to work have always to be taken into account in any project. The realities of the situation will cause departure from the 'ideal methodology' in order to allow for the exigencies of the real world. Multiview can therefore be said to be an approach used to explore the application area in order to develop an information system.
    Date of Award1990
    Original languageEnglish


    • multiview
    • information systems
    • information systems development methodologies
    • contingency approach
    • action research

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