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Information technology development methodologies: Towards a non-positivist, developmental paradigm

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Information technology (IT) development methodologies may be described as another bastion of rationalist, positivist, functionalist hegemony. The paper historically reviews IT development methodologies of the past 30 years. The major methodologies of the Classical Systems Life Cycle, Structures Systems Development, Data Modeling and Object Oriented Analysis are briefly reviewed in terms of their ubiquitously quoted evolution and maturation and the benefits they purport to offer IT specialists and managers, general management and user groups. This paper argues that, while it has traditionally been the case that such methodologies be compared on a case-by-case basis, it is time to step back from the traditionally reductionist, positivist approaches of IT. IT methodological development is considered here from a critical, anti-positivist perspective. It is suggested that qualitiative research methodologies be employed to assist in creating a new IT development epistemology to spare us from further IT implementation disasters.

Keywords: Corporate culture; Development; Information technology; Methodology

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1999-04-01

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