Doing Business with Words: Performative Aspects of Deontic Systems
Final rept. Nov 1985-Apr 1986
LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS AND POLITICAL SCIENCE (UNITED KINGDOM)
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The data-processing approach to business applications of computers is being displaced by an IKBS paradigm. It is argued that an even better approach will account for the ways in which the reality of business is actually created by the information system. This view arises from study of decision support systems and among its key concepts are performatives and deontic structures. Deontic systems are systems of obligations such as one finds in social systems in general and business systems in particular. Performances are ways of signifying changes that people want to make in the deontic structure. In business, very often there are special documents to function as performatives. The mechanical transmission of signals from one machine to another is quite different from the communication of intentions that takes place between persons. A communication act consists of a meaningful utterance an illocution and an intention to change the obligations or expectations of others a performative. These concepts are introduced in the context of an examination of the governance of economic transactions among organizations. Of special practical use is the possibility of using rules to represent organizational knowledge quite independently of the application programs that normally, today, contain a confusing mixture of computational and business factors. Keywords Speech act, Decision support, Norm, Rule, Deontic system, Performatives, Contract, Authorization documents, Economic governance, Markets, Bureaucracy, Organizational knowledge.
- Economics and Cost Analysis
- Computer Systems