Loughborough University
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Towards an integrated information system for a public organisation in Brunei Darussalam

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posted on 2010-12-06, 09:16 authored by Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Abdul Karim
Information systems, by nature, are open to interpretation from a number of viewpoints. This thesis emphasizes that information systems are not 'technical' systems that have behavioural and social consequences, they are 'social systems' that rely to an increasing extent on information technology for their functions. Hence any systems development methodologies used cannot deal simply with the problem of how one designs technically reliable and cost effective information systems. Instead it regards systems development as an example of multidimensional social change, the application of technology may not be a desirable solution to the situation. The choice of a development methodology should therefore take into account its sensitivity to the cultural, social, and political aspects of systems design. The aims of the thesis are three-fold. The first aim is to transform an idea or perception of needs into actionable drivers for change in a public sector organisation in Brunei Darussalam. The second aim is to identify and diagnose the problems associated with the management of information. Finally, the study aims to identify a suitable methodology that can be used to investigate a number of organisational issues. This work incorporates a practical case study of a problem situation at the Ministry of Religious Affairs, the sole government agency responsible for perpetuating and disseminating Islamic teaching in Brunei Darussalam. The methodology used to investigate the problem situation is Checkland's Soft System Methodology (SSM). This is well chosen as the case study deals with human activity systems that are not well defined. Systems intervention via a semi-structured and informal discussion interviews were used to identify the unstructured problem situation (stage 1) of the SSM. The SSM progressed through to the recommendation of actions that constitute culturally feasible and desirable change. In fact, although manual systems are less efficient and effective than their computer-based counterparts, they are preferred in the first instance. Only when the manual system has reached maturity should a computer-based replacement be considered.



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© Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Abdul Karim

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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