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IT-kvalitet i praxis: systemutvecklares kunskap om och syn på kvalitet

Publiceringsår: 2002
Språk: Svenska
Sidor: 265
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Lund Studies in Informatics
Volym: 1
Dokumenttyp: Doktorsavhandling
Förlag: Department of Informatics


This work is about IT quality and systems developers' knowledge and view of it. IT quality is considered as the characteristics of a system or program that influence e.g. the experience of using it, the easiness to learn and understand it, how it could be customised according to new demands, and the possibility for those who have developed it to understand how it works and can be enhanced. There are at least three good reasons for studying the concept of IT quality and systems developers' knowledge and view of it. Firstly, everybody has sometimes experienced that computer systems and programs do not work, as we would like them to do. Secondly, the use of information technology is continuously increasing and it is becoming more and more a part of the ordinary day. Consequently, the quality of information technology affects a lot of people. And thirdly, systems developers' knowledge about and view of IT quality is, to our knowledge, an almost unexplored issue.

In this thesis we study IT quality as a concept and as a question of knowledge and knowing. Our perspective of knowledge is not only knowledge that can be verbalised and expressed as clear logical statements and rules, but also experience-based knowledge that is expressed in actions in practical situations. This implies both a theoretical and practical focus on systems developers' knowledge and a focus on professional systems developers in practice.

With the point of departure in the concept of IT quality, theoretical and practical knowledge and practice we explore systems developers knowledge about IT quality. We have asked questions like; How do systems developers apprehend quality? Which concepts do they use when talking about quality? How do they judge quality? How can they act for better quality?

Our empirical study, comprising 19 in-depth interviews, shows that the concept of IT quality is inherently complex and that it in itself contains a variety of qualities that together constitute the meaning of IT quality. Therefore, a common definition of IT quality as a point of departure for actual use is meaningless. Moreover, systems developers' judgements of IT quality are often based on values and comparisons. Hence, the ability to judge quality rests on personal experience, and therefore evaluations of quality can only in part be regulated by rules such as measurements, calculations and standards. Furthermore, to reach high quality is to exceed beyond the customer's requirements. Therefore, the ability to reach high quality rests on personal experiences from practice and "fingerspitzgefühle", i.e. practical knowledge and the ability to judge.

The conclusion we draw about IT quality in practice is that concepts and definitions can pinpoint important aspects, but that quality always is somebody's evaluation from a perspective. In that sense, quality cannot be operationally defined. IT quality as a phenomenon is constituted by values, perspectives and contexts. This means that interested parties choose qualities, that can partly be expressed by concepts and definitions, and that judgements of these always are carried out in context and always are valuations.


Ekonomicentrum II, Lund
  • Erik Stolterman


  • Information Systems, Social aspects
  • Informatics
  • judgement ability
  • IT quality assessment
  • IT artefact
  • IT quality
  • knowledge in practice
  • systems theory
  • Informatik
  • systemteori


  • ISSN: 1651-1816
  • ISBN: 91-628-5277-9

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