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Analysts and clients in organisations: a conversational view

Urquhart, Cathy (2001) Analysts and clients in organisations: a conversational view. The journal of strategic information systems, 10 (3). pp. 243-262. ISSN 0963-8687

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Abstract

This paper takes a conversational perspective on the issue of analyst–client interaction, concentrating on how social and organisational contexts impact on the verbal process of defining a new information system. It has been suggested that organisational agendas are built from talk at the interactional level (Boden, 1994), and this paper seeks to explore the relationship between social and organisational contexts and the process of early requirements gathering. Analysts and clients were asked about their aims, their professional role, and other issues that arose in their interactions with each other as part of a larger study in early requirements gathering. The paper discusses three themes from three case studies that can be seen to be embedded in the social and organisational context of early requirements gathering—how the issues to be discussed during the interaction were put forward, professional relationships, and the overall organisational context in which the interaction takes place. Some observations are made about the varying social and organisational contexts of early requirements gathering and the role of individual differences, and the possibility of using typical contexts as ‘repertoire building research’ (Schön, 1983) to flow into practice.

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