The development of an implementation methodology for a conceptual framework tool used for the improved viewing and utilisation of organisational information
Thesis (MScEng (Industrial Engineering))--Stellenbosch University, 2008.
This thesis reports on a research project conducted at Stellenbosch University, focusing on the field of information management, and contributing to the development of an approach for structuring information in such a manner that context becomes apparent, which on its part assists persons (and groups of persons) in selecting useful information from a larger whole, given a certain context. This document is composed of three general sections. The first section is a literature study focusing on the following topics: (1) Information overload: The amount of information in the world, as well as its rate of generation is discussed, together with the notion of information overload, its causes, symptoms and possible solutions. (2) Information utilisation in organisations: General concepts concerning the utilisation of information in organisations are discussed, together with the manners in which organisations fail in efficiently utilising information, but also some examples where organisations have succeeded. (3) Information modelling: Various well-known information modelling approaches currently employed to improve information utilisation are discussed and compared. It is however mentioned that none of these approaches are sufficiently general, flexible and simple enough to assist typical organisational knowledge workers in efficiently interacting with information. The second section of this thesis focuses on the conceptual framework information modelling approach currently being investigated at Stellenbosch University as a means for improving the information utilisation efficiency of organisational knowledge workers. The basic concepts of the approach are discussed, and it is compared with the more well-known information modelling approaches mentioned in the literature study. The research being conducted on the approach is further briefly discussed, which includes the purpose of this thesis (which is the development of a methodology for conceptual framework implementation in organisations), the research method followed, and the thesis hypothesis, which is: Information represented by a conceptual framework implemented through the use of the developed conceptual framework implementation methodology, offer a truthful view on information found in an organisation. The methodology developed is subsequently discussed in terms of its phases and activities, each of which is discussed in terms of its description, the rationale behind and prerequisites of its execution, details of the manner of its execution, and the eventual outputs thereof. The final section of this thesis provides information on the validation of the conceptual framework implementation methodology described in the previous section, which were done in two parts. A theoretical validation was done through a comparison of the developed methodology with existing methodologies for the implementation of other information modelling approaches. A practical validation was also done through two case studies by which conceptual frameworks were implemented at two separate organisations. The document is finally concluded through a summary of the contents of this thesis, the outcome of the hypothesis test, and some closing remarks.