Business systems analysis as research

Peter Bednar, Christine Welch

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


A business analyst who commences an investigation into design requirements for a new work system probably does not 'label' her inquiry process as research. However, a research perspective is needed if a productive learning spiral is to be established in which 'useful' systems can be created. Systematic, collaborative inquiry adopting an complex, open systems perspective is required in order to establish bases for greater understanding of contextually dependent and individual conceptions of business situations. A professional analyst will recognize that she is attempting to facilitate and engage support for an organizational change process. Similarly, a researcher must recognize that her presence is not 'neutral' and take responsibility for the intervention that her actions constitute. This paper discusses the nature of business systems analysis and its relationship(s) to critically informed research processes. It examines research within complex open systems such as business organisations, taking into account the kinds of logic required when researching messy, uncertain problem spaces.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationECRM 2011 Proceedings of the 10th European Conference on Research Methods for Business and Management Studies
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International Limited
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)978-1908272027
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2011
Event10th European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies - Normandy Business School, Caen, France
Duration: 20 Jun 201121 Jun 2011


Conference10th European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies


  • critically informed research
  • business analysis
  • reflective practice
  • complex open systems


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