Communications of the Association for Information Systems


This conceptual contribution introduces the idea of “facets of work” and explains how it can be applied to challenges in today’s IS discipline. The notion of facets of work emerged from earlier attempts to bring more knowledge and richer, more evocative ideas to systems analysis and design (SA&D). Focusing on facets of work when initially discussing requirements could provide guidance without jumping prematurely to details, precision, and formal notation needed for producing testable software. This paper defines facet of work, identifies underlying assumptions and criteria, and uses three examples to illustrate how 18 facets of work can illuminate different aspects of situations that are amenable to discussion as systems. Potential applications of facets of work include supporting SA&D, supporting empirical research, visualizing multiple aspects of digitalization, and identifying some of the knowledge in a body of knowledge for IS. Six lengthy tables in the Appendix identify concepts associated with each facet, evaluation criteria, design trade-offs, sub-facets, and other details that are potentially useful as the basis of tools, methods, and future research.





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