Informing Knowledge Management Systems Design and Evaluation with the Theory of Deferred Action

By Frank Nyame-Asiamah and Nandish V. Patel.

Published by The Technology Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The Theory of Deferred Action is invoked to inform the design, implementation and evaluation of knowledge management systems. This is done by critically reviewing extant literature that informs knowledge management systems, to show that it fails to account adequately for emergent organizations, as in the case of formal information systems methodologies. Where this is accounted for, as in complexity theory based frameworks, they fail to acknowledge planned systems. Similarly, strategic approaches focus on the long term while not adequately accounting for the short term or local issues. Likewise, the alternative information systems methodologies which centre on the short-run benefits do not sufficiently apply to wide-scope projects. These gaps are addressed by the Theory of Deferred Action which is based on actual organised action. The theory is thus used to propose a model that incorporates the design principles stemming from the theory that accounts for learning organisation as important design and evaluation issues for knowledge management systems. It is strongly envisaged that the Theory of Deferred Action based design and evaluation will help knowledge organisations reduce problems of knowledge management systems associated with other information system design principles.

Keywords: Theory of Deferred Action, Learning Organisation, Knowledge Management Systems, System Design Principles, KMS Design & Evaluation

The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp.191-210. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 844.397KB).

Frank Nyame-Asiamah

PhD Researcher, Brunel Business School, Brunel University, London, UK

Frank Nyame-Asiamah is a PhD Researcher at Brunel Business School and Qualified Teacher with 10 years teaching experience. He is currently lecturing in Business at Hackney Community College. He coordinated a British Council sponsored International Educational Project involving three institutions and led selected students to display the findings for the Queen of England’s visit in Turkey, in May 2008. Frank completed his M.Sc Degree with 1st Class Honours in Management and Applications of IT in Accounting from Dublin City University. He obtained a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) from the University of East Anglia. He also holds a BA (Hons) Degree in Economics and Geography & Resource Development. He is a member of the Institute for Learning (IfL) and the General Teaching Council for England. Frank’s research interests include Knowledge Management and Knowledge Management Systems, Accounting Systems, Learning technologies, Learning Organisations, Research Methods, and application of Internet and Web 2.0 technologies in business and education. He has published papers in these areas.

Dr. Nandish V. Patel

Lecturer, Brunel Business School, Brunel University, London, UK

Dr Nandish V. Patel has constructed the Theory of Deferred Action as an ‘action and design theory’ to inform the design and development of organisations and IT systems. This is a theory to inform the practice of integrated organisation and IT systems design in emergent environments. As well as informing practice, the theory also explains these phenomena. It draws on complexity theory to explain emergence and self-organisation. The theory is used by other researchers, recognized by the US-based Association of Information Systems as a theory used in information systems research, applied by information management practitioners, and cited in UK government internal report. Recently, Dr Patel was awarded, Best Theoretical Contribution Research Paper, for the paper “Theory of Deferred Action: Agent-Based Simulation model for Designing Complex Adaptive Systems (with Tillal Eldabi and Tariq Khan), at the European and Mediterranean Conference on Information Systems , Izmir, Turkey, July 13-14 July 2009. Present research is focused on developing informational models of reality based on the theory. Dr Patel is a member of the Brunel University Complexity Collaborative Research Network.

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