Diagnosis of an information system failure. A framework and interpretive process

G. B. Davis, A. S. Lee, K. R. Nickles, S. Chatterjee, R. Hartung, Y. Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In diagnosing an episode of information system application failure, the IS professional and others doing the analysis face two challenges: (1) relevant data must be identified, collected, and organized; and (2) the data must be analyzed and interpreted to form a coherent picture of the perspectives, actions, and events which resulted in the troubled or failed system. This article provides a diagnostic framework and interpretive process for performing a diagnosis. The premise underlying the diagnostic framework is that an information system is a social system has uses information technology. The social and technical dimensions in the diagnosis of an information system are represented in a two-dimensional framework. Once the data and comments about the failure have been organized in the framework, the process of interpretation follows procedures based on interpretive methods (hermeneutics). The framework and associated interpretive process assist those doing a diagnosis in applying two powerful bodies of knowledge to failure diagnosis - socio-technical systems and interpretive methods. The article describes the framework and interpretive process, explains the rationale for them, and demonstrates their use for a case situation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293
Number of pages1
JournalCorrosion Science
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1992


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