Three Roles of Conceptual Models in Information System Design and Use

Roelf J. Wieringa

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    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].
    Original languageUndefined
    Title of host publicationInformation System Concepts: An In-dept Analysis
    EditorsEckhard D. Falkenberg, Paul Lindgreen
    Place of PublicationAmsterdam
    PublisherNorth Holland
    Number of pages21
    ISBN (Print)0444883231
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 1989
    EventIFIP TC 8/WG 8.1 Working Conference on Information System Concepts - Namur, Belgium
    Duration: 18 Oct 198920 Oct 1989

    Publication series



    ConferenceIFIP TC 8/WG 8.1 Working Conference on Information System Concepts
    Other18-20 Oct 1989


    • EWI-10680
    • IR-67619
    • SCS-Services

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