Artefaction as communication: redesigning communication models


McKay, Judy; Grainger, Nick; Marshall, Peter; Hirschheim, Rudy


The advice found in practical guides like PMBOK regarding designing and managing communication in IT projects, is worryingly superficial and gives little guidance or insights of substance to IS academics and practitioners. Thus, the objective of this paper is to help academics and practitioners better appreciate the complexity involved in IT projects and to foreground many of the attendant issues challenges and potential pitfalls in establishing and managing communications effectively through the projects life cycle. Further, the authors’ aim includes the presentation of relevant and useful models of communication that if internalized, would improve the conceptualization of communication problem situations and thus assist in the planning and implementation of communication strategies in IT projects. The models presented include Galle's model of artefaction, Wittgenstein's language game model and a model developed by the authors which includes aspects of both Galle’s and Wittgenstein’s models. These models, the authors argue, are a considerable advance over the Shannon-Weaver-type conduit/transmission models of communication. The implications of the models are discussed and are illustrated by reference to a short case study.

Publication year


Publication type

Conference paper


Information Systems: Defining and Establishing a High Impact Discipline, 21st International Conference on Information Systems (ACIS 2010), Brisbane, Australia, 01-03 December 2010, paper no. 18


Association of Information Systems Electronic Library


Copyright © 2010 Judy McKay, Nick Grainger, Peter Marshall and Rudy Hirschheim. The authors assign to ACIS and educational and non-profit institutions a non-exclusive licence to use this document for personal use and in courses of instruction provided that the article is used in full and this copyright statement is reproduced. The authors also grant a non-exclusive licence to ACIS to publish this document in full in the Conference Papers and Proceedings. Those documents may be published on the World Wide Web, CD-ROM, in printed form, and on mirror sites on the World Wide Web. Any other usage is prohibited without the express permission of The authors.