The Effect of User Involvement on System Success:
A Contingency Approach
Peter Tait and Iris Vessey
1. Why was the particular research underlying the published report
Research in the article was done in order to understand the reasons for
existence of differences in the completeness of logical data specifications
generated by various systems analysts pursuing/following two different
methodologies. The methodologies studied by the author were:
 Data Flow and
 Data Structure
2. What is the specific research problem?
The author has tried to highlight the fact that in the system development life
cycle, where process modeling is the area of operation of application analysts
and that data modeling is of database designers, the division of labor in this
format is not the right approach to be followed. Instead according to the
author analysts must master both structural and functional aspects of the
system to be developed.
Also the issue of inclusion of data structure modeling in the curriculum of the
MIS studies had been raised in the study.
3. What is the theoretical foundation? What new theory does the article
develop? What about the logical consistency and adequacy of the new
theory/thesis? Assertions made in the article must be critically
The author has based his study on theory that both the data flow and data
structure approach can be used to model object system, however each approach
views the object system differently. Data flow model views the object system as a
set of processes transforming information flows, whereas the data structure
approach views it as a set of interrelated entities. Author has tried to show that
the data flow approach is not able to provide a complete data specification for the
object system as compared to the Data structure approach.
4. What are the hypotheses? Are they derived from the theory offered, or
formulated out of the air?
Author has proposed four hypothesis which are as following:
a) There is no difference in the number of entity views in the two approaches
b) There is no difference in the number of attributes identified by each approach
c) The ratio of number of entity views over number of attributes is same with two
approaches and
d) The ratio of number of attributes over number of data record fields is same in
either approach.
All these are derived from the theory developed by the author.
5. What are the qualitative characteristics of the research design utilized?
The author has used the data obtained from test conducted under a level field
without having any biases for any of the approaches. Even though the sample of
analyst was not very large but still the result obtained were quite significant.
Having more case studies like the one followed by the authors could have further
enhanced the results.