Elegance, Relevance, and Provenance: Contextualizing and Analyzing AIS Educators' Choice of Systems Diagramming Techniques
Journal of the Academy of Business Education. 13 (Spring), 140-161 (2012)
Posted: 15 Oct 2014
Date Written: 2012
This study reports survey results of what systems diagramming (SD) methods AIS educators are teaching and explores plausible reasons behind their decisions, including representational elegance, relevance to the accounting purposes being taught, and their provenance from either theory or practice. Results reveal that AIS educators surveyed are more likely to use techniques originating from practice; however, the widespread use of system flowcharts (SF) appears to drive that result. While AIS educators use theory-based methods for teaching system design, they rely on practice-based methods for teaching internal controls, business processes, and system evaluation. We observe that AIS educators, AIS textbooks, and professional accounting exams generally ignore newer SD techniques, even though they may better serve certain needs. Finally, contrary to expectations, we find no significant associations between SD adoption and measures of representational elegance. Future research may explore relationships between adoption in practice, inclusion in texts, and appearance on professional exams.
Keywords: Accounting, AIS, Business, Flowchart, Audit, IT
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