Learning within Enterprise Application Integration Context LO30166

From: dpdash@ximb.ac.in
Date: 05/14/03

Replying to LO30160 --

Dear Abdul,

It seems, your inquiry has two sides to it: (i) a broader side that seeks
to study the general effects of introducing a computer-based integration
system within an organisational setting, using information and
communication technology (ICT), and (ii) a narrower side that seeks to
study the more specific effects on learning (presumably both at individual
and organisational levels) during the life-cycle stages of the
'application integration' process.

This is a rich area to study and, I am sure, you will soon find yourself
among a constellation of scholars studying similar topics. Although I do
not know at what stage you have reached, I am assuming that you would be
interested in any kind of guidance. Therefore, I am providing some
comments which should be considered more relevant at the beginning stage
of your research.

The first difficulty in your path is to decide where to begin. In doctoral
research, you are not supposed to begin at the very beginning! You are
supposed to begin from somewhere specific. Through your research, you move
some distance and leave it there as a potential new beginning for someone,
may be even you! There is a thumb rule in some circles that a good PhD
should keep you enthused for about 7 years after you get your degree! [The
number 7 is well-recognised in the LO list!]

Introducing technology-mediated processes within human collectives offers
many issues that require research-based support. You may find a meaningful
professional future for yourself in this area. Accordingly, you may say,
'I am interested in designing information systems' or 'I am interested in
improving the quality of interaction among people' or something else. This
kind of personal commitment will also help you in choose a starting point.
['Better systems' are not always the product of 'better knowledge';
'better actions' do not presuppose 'better systems'! These get structured
along different paths.]

The context of ICT application within organisations provides several
alternative starting points: cognitive science, organisational economics,
computer-supported collaborative work, organisational knowledge
management, competitive advantage, complexity science, information
science, ... and many more. These fields deploy their own distinctions to
cut open the whole phenomenon to render it researchable, e.g.,
distinctions such as action, communication, agency, structure, system,
practice, model, game, strategy, user, discourse, constraints, ... and
many more.

Therefore, at the outset, you need to define what interests you. Then, on
the basis of that, you need to define the 'scope' of your study. In this
process, you will benefit from looking at others' PhD theses on related
topics. I find this one on the Web, which might be of interest:

PhD thesis of Leshan Li (Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Braunschweig)
Action Theory and Cognitive Psychology in Industrial Design: User Models
and User Interfaces (Available Online)

I also hope to learn from others' comment on your research in the LO list.

All the best!

>I am a post graduate research student In Brunel Unversity in West
>London, United Kingdom. I have had the interest to research the above
>area. As you might know that Application Integration is a strategic and
>complex combination of the state of the art technologies as well as
>systems to create the ever lasting dream of integration within
>organizations. In simple words I am trying to study what patterns of
>learning takes place at every stage of systems life cycle from the
>evaluation for adoption to during implementaion to post implemenation


Dr. D. P. Dash
Associate Professor, General Management
Xavier Institute of Management, Xavier Square
Bhubaneswar 751013, INDIA

E-mail: dpdash@ximb.ac.in Homepage: http://home.ximb.ac.in/~dpdash

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