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Abstract

Requirements engineering is a key activity in systems development. This paper examines six systems development projects that have used end user development (EUD) as a requirements engineering technique for communicating across social worlds. For this purpose, we employed the theoretical lens of design boundary object in order to focus on functional and political ecologies during the development process. Four features were investigated: (1) the capability for common representation, (2) the capability to transform design knowledge, (3) the capability to mobilise for design action, and (4) the capability to legitimise design knowledge across social worlds. We concluded that EUD means a high degree of end user involvement and takes advantage of end users’ know-how. It has the ability to capture requirements and transfer them into the final information system without the need to make an explicit design rationale available to the systems developers. However, systems developers have little or no influence on business requirements. Their role is mainly as technical experts rather than business developers. The systems developers took control and power of technical requirements, while requirements that relate to business logic remained with the end users. Consequently, the systems developers did not act as catalysts in the systems development process.

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