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 SA&D. Focusing on facets of work during initial discussions of requirements could provide guidance without jumping prematurely to details, precision, and formal notation needed for producing testable software. The introduction explains the paper’s goal and organization. The next section defines facet of work, identifies underlying assumptions and criteria, and explains how 18 facets of work were identified. Three examples amplify the initial understanding of facets of work by showing how all 18 facets could be applied to specific situations. The next two sections discuss consolidating basic knowledge about facets of work, making that knowledge more accessible, and applying it in SA&D and in future research. The Appendix explains the disconnected steps that led to the current facets of work. It also presents six lengthy tables that each cover one aspect or another of the 18 facets. Some of those tables form the basis of the tools, methods, and future research mentioned in earlier in the paper.
Alter, Steven: Facets of Work: Enriching the Description, Analysis, Design, and Evaluation of Systems in Organizations, Communications of the Association for Information Systems (forthcoming), In Press.