Three Roles of Conceptual Models in Information System Design and Use


Wieringa, Roel (1989) Three Roles of Conceptual Models in Information System Design and Use. In: Eckhard D. Falkenberg & Paul Lindgreen (Eds.), Information System Concepts: An In-dept Analysis. North-Holland, Amsterdam, pp. 31-51. ISBN 9780444883230

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Abstract:This paper attempts to draw together results from information systems
research, linguistic theory, and methodology in order to present a unified
framework in which to understand conceptual models. Three different roles
of conceptual models (CM's) in the design and use of information systems
(IS's) are investigated. The descriptive role of a CM is that it is an abstract
representation of the universe of discourse (UoD) of the IS; the normative
role of a CM is that it contains prescriptions for the behavior of entities in the UoD. A third role of CM's emerges when a computer is viewed as a
symbol-manipulating machine capable of performing speech acts like commanding and promising. These acts are commands or promises only against a background of shared conventions, which is stored in a shared CM. A CM playing this role is called institutional. This paper is an abstract of Wieringa [1989].
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