Research Commentary: Information Systems and Conceptual Modeling — A Research Agenda

Yair Wand, Ron Weber


Within the information systems field, the task of conceptual modeling involves building a representation of selected phenomena in some domain. High-quality conceptual modeling work is important because it facilitates early detection and correction of system development errors. It also plays an increasingly important role in activities like business process reengineering and documentation of best-practice data and process models in enterprise resource planning systems. Yet little research has been undertaken on many aspects of conceptual modeling. In this paper, we propose a framework to motivate research that addresses the following fundamental question: How can we model the world to better facilitate our developing, implementing, using, and maintaining more valuable information systems? The framework comprises four elements: conceptual-modeling grammars, conceptual-modeling methods, conceptual-modeling scripts, and conceptual-modeling contexts. We provide examples of the types of research that have already been undertaken on each element and illustrate research opportunities that exist.


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