Overcoming rivalling interests in systems development

Seppo Visala


This paper suggests an ethical priciple that helps to oversome competing interests in organisations and to achieve a ‘rationally motivated’ consensus, especially about power positions that ensue from changes in organisational tasks due to information systems development. It draws on Habermas’s idea of communicative rationality and Rawls’s idea of rational ethics, the idea of intial situation. It introduces an abstract universalisation principle of discourse and critically evaluates the possibilities for approximating it in current organisations with respect to the political games in them in general and its challenges to participatory systems development in particular. A set of recommendations to planning will be derived from the principle.