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Proceedings Paper

Contingency theoretic methodology for agent-based web-oriented manufacturing systems
Author(s): John R. Durrett; Lisa J. Burnell; John W. Priest
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Paper Abstract

The development of distributed, agent-based, web-oriented, N-tier Information Systems (IS) must be supported by a design methodology capable of responding to the convergence of shifts in business process design, organizational structure, computing, and telecommunications infrastructures. We introduce a contingency theoretic model for the use of open, ubiquitous software infrastructure in the design of flexible organizational IS. Our basic premise is that developers should change in the way they view the software design process from a view toward the solution of a problem to one of the dynamic creation of teams of software components. We postulate that developing effective, efficient, flexible, component-based distributed software requires reconceptualizing the current development model. The basic concepts of distributed software design are merged with the environment-causes-structure relationship from contingency theory; the task-uncertainty of organizational- information-processing relationships from information processing theory; and the concept of inter-process dependencies from coordination theory. Software processes are considered as employees, groups of processes as software teams, and distributed systems as software organizations. Design techniques already used in the design of flexible business processes and well researched in the domain of the organizational sciences are presented. Guidelines that can be utilized in the creation of component-based distributed software will be discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 December 2000
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 4208, Network Intelligence: Internet-based Manufacturing, (29 December 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.411780
Show Author Affiliations
John R. Durrett, Texas Tech Univ. (United States)
Lisa J. Burnell, Univ. of Texas/Arlington (United States)
John W. Priest, Univ. of Texas/Arlington (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4208:
Network Intelligence: Internet-based Manufacturing
Nina M. Berry, Editor(s)

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