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  • 1.
    Cederling, Ulf
    et al.
    Växjö University, Sweden.
    Ekinge, Roland
    Whirlpool Sweden AB.
    Lennartsson, Bengt
    Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Taxén, Lars
    Ericsson Utvecklings AB.
    Wedlund, Tommy
    Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    A Project Management Model Based on Shared Understanding2000In: Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 2000, IEEE , 2000Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Traditionally in industrial system development, the total project is decomposed into phases. The result from one phase, normally a document or a system component, is passed to the phase(s) to follow. The deliverables from the "phases" are often prescribed in standards or corporate guidelines. This metaphor, where understanding is packaged into documents, has been a cornerstone for our educational systems as well as for organizing engineering or social development projects. It is assumed that the understanding once achieved by the author(s) of the document will be transferred to its reader(s). In three longitudinal case studies of industrial development projects, a new view has evolved. The analysis team develops a capability to answer questions occurring on the fly, rather than writing down answers to initially stated issues. Our aim is to define a model based upon developing and making available shared understanding. The paper presents a survey of the case studies. In a fourth project an embryo of the new system development model is being applied and evaluated.

  • 2.
    Ekinge, Roland
    et al.
    Whirlpool Sweden AB.
    Lennartsson, Bengt
    Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Taxén, Lars
    Ericsson Utvecklings AB.
    Organizational Knowledge as a Basis for the Management of Development Projects2000Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper presents conclusions from longitudinal case studies on the industrial development of complex systems. The approach is to investigate whether the traditional document based development model can be replaced by on model built upon shared understanding in teams. The need for and use of supporting tools are also discussed

  • 3.
    Kjellström, Gregor
    et al.
    LM Ericsson Telephone Company, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Taxén, Lars
    LM Ericsson Telephone Company, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Stochastic optimization in system design1981In: IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems, ISSN 0098-4094, E-ISSN 1558-1276, Vol. 28, no 7, p. 702-715Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The nonlinear optimization problem and statistical design problem can both be formulated as a region search problem. In this paper, we present a stochastic optimization process, suitable for optimizing functions of a certain measure over generalized regions in R". Conditions for an optimal process are discussed, and examples of a wide range of different optimization problems are given. These include the optimization of constrained, discontinuous and random functions in both discrete and continuous variable space. Design centering and tolerancing of large size system subject to environmental disturbances are also treated.

  • 4.
    Lilliesköld, Joakim
    et al.
    KTH, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Coordinating dependencies in global system development projects – The use of dependency diagrams2004Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper addresses the problems that arise in the coordination of complex system development projects. The empirical setting is based on studies at Ericsson and ABB, and the total project manager’s instrument to manage and coordinate these projects. ABB used what they called dependency diagrams. Ericsson developed a method they call the anatomy concept. The approaches are used as a complement to the traditional work breakdown structure. The paper evaluates the ability of these notations to address the needs of the total project management. The studies have shown that it is crucial to create compact high-level pictures of the resulting product and its projects in order to make the dependencies obvious to everyone involved (organizations as well as persons). The paper stresses that when developing complex system solutions the traditional diagrams easily become complex and unreadable. Thus, there is a need for supplementing approaches.

  • 5.
    Lilliesköld, Joakim
    et al.
    KTH, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Knowledge Integration – Balancing Between Anarchy and Despotism2008Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A central issue in knowledge integration is how to achieve and maintain an optimal trade-off between differentiation and commonalization of knowledge. Too much emphasis on either side aggravates the efficiency of integration. The purpose of this paper is to make an inquiry into the trade-off problem from a particular theoretical perspective called the Activity Domain Theory. Two constructs from this theory are employed: the activity domain and the activity modalities. The activity domain frames the social fabric around actors working towards a common target, and the activity modalities are suggested as main dimensions through which humans coordinate their actions. We will utilize these constructs in analyzing a case study from ABB, a leading supplier of high-voltage equipment all over the world. Our conclusions are two-fold. First, complete commonality enforcement clashes inevitably with activity domain internal ideology. Second, management means such as images, need to be aligned with the activity modalities in order to achieve an optimal balance between anarchy, i.e., no commonality at all, and despotism, i.e., complete commonality. Based on these results, we suggest that the Activity Domain Theory may open up previously untrodden paths for theorizing about knowledge integration

  • 6.
    Lilliesköld, Joakim
    et al.
    Department of Industrial Information and Control Systems The Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Visual Information Technology and Applications (VITA). Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Operationalizing Coordination of Mega-projects - a Workpractice Perspective2006Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper we propose a workpractice approach towards operationalizing the coordination of mega-projects.  The approach matured over several years in development practice at Ericsson, a major supplier of telecommunication products and services worldwide.  Key points in the approach are the management of critical dependencies and the construction of a communal understanding on how to coordinate projects.  Coordination is seen as a workpractice, where actors provide coordination services to the project.  We discuss some results from the application of the approach in relation to an ideal-type classification of mega-projects such as Weber, Rambo and Gaia.  The main conclusion is that the suggested approach enables the coordination of extraordinarily complex mega-projects.

  • 7.
    Lilliesköld, Joakim
    et al.
    KTH, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Operationalizing Coordination of Mega-projects - a Workpractice Perspective2008In: Project Perspectives, ISSN 1455-4186, Vol. XXIX, p. 40-45Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper we propose a workpractice perspective towards operationalizing the coordination of mega-projects. This perspective matured over several years in development practice at Ericsson, a major supplier of telecommunication products and services worldwide. Key points in the perspective are the management of critical dependencies and the construction of a communal understanding of how to coordinate projects. Coordination is seen as a workpractice, where actors provide coordination to the project. The main conclusion is that the suggested approach enables the coordination of extraordinarily complex mega-projects.

  • 8.
    Lilliesköld, Joakim
    et al.
    KTH, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Klasson, Mikael
    Jolex AB, Värmdö, Sweden.
    Managing Complex Development Projects: A Case Study of the Use of the System Anatomy2005Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper investigates the use of a construct called the system anatomy for planning and controlling projects developing complex systems. The anatomy shows, in a compact form, the most crucial dependencies in the system from the perspective of how it ‘comes-to-life’, hence the concept of an ‘anatomy’. The key point in using the anatomy for project planning is to develop and verify the system in the same order as it ‘comes-to-life’. The project plan in made up in three steps. The first step is to define the anatomy itself. This is followed by the grouping of functions into verifiable integration steps called increments. Finally, regular time and resource plans are made for each increment. Thus, the planning can be characterized as an integration driven procedure. This approach has been used extensively at Ericsson, a leading manufacturer of telecommunication systems worldwide. It has proven to be very successful, especially in terms of promoting communication and developing a shared understanding about the project.

  • 9.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Visual Information Technology and Applications (VITA). Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    A Coordination Approach Towards Alignment2004In: Fifth Workshop on Business Process Modeling, Development and Support BPMDS¿04,2004, Riga: Riga Technical University , 2004, p. 224-Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 10.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Visual Information Technology and Applications (VITA). Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    A Framework for the Coordination of Complex Systems’ Development2003Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This study is about the coordination of complex systems’ development. A Framework has been designed and deployed by the author in the development practice of Ericsson, a major supplier of telecommunication systems on the global market. The main purpose of the study is to investigate the impacts on coordination from the Framework. The development projects are very large and subject to turbulent market conditions. Moreover, they have many participants (often several thousand), have tight time constraints and are distributed to many design centres all over the world. In these projects, coordination of the development is of crucial importance. The Framework is grounded in a tentative theory called the Activity Domain Theory, which in turn is based on the praxis philosophy. In this theory the interaction between the individual and her environment is mediated by signs. Coordination is conceived as a particular activity domain which provides coordination to the development projects. The coordination domain is gradually constructed by the actors in this domain by iteratively refining a conceptual model, a process model, a transition model, a stabilizing core and information system support. In this process individual knowledge, shared meaning and organizational artefacts evolve in a dialectical manner. The Framework has been introduced in the Ericsson development practice over a period of more than ten years. Between 1999 and 2002 approximately 140 main projects and sub-projects at Ericsson have been impacted by the Framework. These projects were distributed to more than 20 different development units around the world and were carried out in a fiercely turbulent environment. The findings indicate that the Framework has had a profound impact on the coordination of the development of the most complex nodes in the 3rd generation of mobile systems. The knowledge contributions include an account for the history of the Framework at Ericsson and an identification of elements which contribute to successful outcomes of development projects.

  • 11.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    A Neurobiological Perspective on Socio-Technical Systems2015In: Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Socio-Technical Perspective in IS Development (STPIS'15) / [ed] S. Kowalski, P. Bednar, I. Bider, 2015, p. 56-68Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Socio-Technical Systems approach assumes that an organizational work system can be seen as two independent but tightly correlated systems – a technical one and a social one. Together, these systems determine the performance of the work system. However, in spite of decades of research efforts, it is far from clear how to define these systems. Without a firm basis, analytical and constructive initiatives are bound to become either fragmented or ad-hoc. To this end, the purpose of this paper is to suggest a neurobiological perspective on Socio-Technical Systems. The reason for this seemingly odd point of departure is quite simple: any conceptualization of Socio-Technical Systems must ultimately take stock of the sine qua non of our existence as biological creatures. A fundamental prerequisite for survival is coordination – without coordination, acting in the world is inhibited. Based on many years of coordinating complex system development tasks in industry, I have proposed the construct of activity modalitiesobjectivation, contextualization, spatialization, temporalization, stabilization, and transition – as intrinsic neural predispositions enabling coordination. This position is elaborated into a particular kind of work system, called the activity domain. In the activity domain, individual lines of actions are fit together using means such as IT artifacts and common identifiers to achieve a common goal. Actions are manifested internally as changed brain structures in individuals, and externally as various artifacts reflecting the modalities. In conclusion, I claim that this approach indicates a paradigm shift, which may provide a solid ground for further inquiries into the analysis and construction of Socio-Technical Systems.

  • 12.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Visual Information Technology and Applications (VITA). Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    A Practical Approach for Aligning Business and Knowledge Strategies2009In: Knowledge Management Strategies for Business Development / [ed] M. Russ, Hershey PA.: Business Science Reference (IGI Global). , 2009, 1, p. 277-308Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The alignment of business and knowledge strategies necessarily includes the individual and the organizational perspectives. A major problem in this context is to reconcile these perspectives into a common framework for alignment. To this end, an intermediate level is introduced – the activity domain. The activity domain is a canonical structure comprising all kinds of organizational units, irrespective of size and organizational level. The organization is regarded as a constellation of activity domains, each having a capability to produce an outcome that the organization needs in order to fulfill its goals. Alignment is defined as the management of dependencies between capabilities so that these capabilities fit the business’s strategic intentions. As a consequence, business and knowledge strategies can be linked to the same target – the activity domain. Practical guidelines and alignment targets for these strategies are suggested.

  • 13.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Visual Information Technology and Applications (VITA). Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    A Socio-technical Approach Towards Alignment2005In: Software Process: Improvement and Practice, ISSN 1077-4866, E-ISSN 1099-1670, Vol. 10, no 4, p. 427-439Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In order to manage the complexity of the alignment problem, we introduce the construct of workpractices as the main unit of analysis. A workpractice is a meaningful, goal oriented social entity where some actors produce a result that other actors need. The development of products or services provided by an organization is accomplished by coordinating the results of cooperating workpractices. Alignment is achieved by either adjusting the coordination between workpractices or adjusting internal workpractice elements such as processes and support systems. To make this approach operational, we suggest structuring a workpractice according to the Activity Domain Theory - a new theory for coordinating human activity. In this theory, particular emphasis is placed on the achievement of common understanding among the actors. Some results from applying this approach in the Ericsson telecommunication company are discussed. The findings indicate that the proposed approach is a promising way towards achieving and maintaining alignment.

  • 14.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology. Ericsson Utvecklings AB.
    A Strategy for Organisational Knowledge Evolution1999Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper, a strategy for organisational knowledge evolution is presented. Organisational knowledge is defined as knowledge concerning the management of the artefacts provided by the organisation. The strategy is derived from a theoretical, action-oriented representation of knowledge and uses concrete instruments for iterating between reflection and action. The instruments for reflection are conceptual models and information flow diagrams. The instrument for action is an object oriented information management system, where the models are implemented and tried out in practise. By applying these instruments iteratively, organisational knowledge is generated, both as individual and shared knowledge among the actors, as well as objectified knowledge represented by the models and the implemented information management system. We describe how this strategy has been used at the Ericsson telecommunication company to handle the transition to a new software development model. The transition was complicated by the fact that Ericsson has many designers (more than 10 000) working at local design centres all over the world. Our experience shows that the proposed strategy is a powerful way to quickly acquire, deploy and manifest new organisational knowledge

  • 15.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Visual Information Technology and Applications (VITA). Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Activity Modalities - A Multi-dimensional Perspective on Coordination, Business Processes and Communication2007In: Systems, Signs & Actions, ISSN 1652-8719, E-ISSN 1652-8719, Vol. 3, no 1, p. 93-133Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 16.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Adaptive Case Management from the Activity Modality Perspective2012Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Adaptive Case Management (ACM) implies a shift from the process centric view in Business Process Management (BPM) to an information centric view. The shift is motivated by the need for organizations to become more responsive to changes. Such a shift should be guided by some kind of framework in order to be manageable. To this end, the construct of the activity modalities is proposed. These modalities – objectivation, contextualization, spatialization, temporalization, stabilization, and transition – stand for innate predispositions that humans employ to coordinate and carry out actions. A central tenet of this position is that all modalities need to be employed in activity. This is used to analyse the Business Process Modeling Notation, the shift from BPM to ACM, and to propose a research road map. Some alternative modelling approaches from the Ericsson telecom company are suggested as forerunners to an integrated modelling suite that supports all activity modalities.

  • 17.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    An inquiry into ERP systems from an”activity” perspective2009Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The development, acquisition, adaptation, and diffusion of ERP systems in organizations pose immense challenges. In order to meet these challenges, there is a need for a theoretical framework by which informed actions can be taken concerning ERP implementations. The purpose of this contribution is to investigate what insights can be achieved from basing such a framework on the construct of “activity” in Activity Theory. Activity is the social context framing meaningful actions directed to a work object. Since many different kinds of work objects appear in an organization, the organization can be regarded as a constellation of activities that need to be coordinated. This perspective provides an alternative way to investigate what kind of impacts ERP systems will have in organizations. In particular, the contradiction inherent in the meeting between the standardization aspirations of the ERP system and the idiosyncratic worldviews of activities can be analyzed.

  • 18.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    An inquiry into Knowledge Integration and Innovation Management from an “Activity Domain” perspective2010Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In spite of many years of research, it appears that there is no commonly accepted understanding of central concepts in organizational discourse such as “knowledge”, “integration”, “coordination”, or for that matter, “organization” itself. The purpose of this contribution is to elucidate these issues with the help of the Activity Domain Theory (ADT). This theory is based on a simple idea: human action is made possible by innate human dispositions that are sculptured in social contexts. Coordination is enabled by certain inherent faculties called the activity modalities: contextualization, spatialization, temporalization, stabilization, and transition. I describe these and other features of the ADT, and provide some examples from the Ericsson development practice, which is where the ADT originated. In addition, I discuss knowledge integration and innovation management from the perspective of the ADT. I conclude that the line of inquiry suggested by the ADT may be well worth to pursue in future research.

  • 19.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Visual Information Technology and Applications (VITA). Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    An integration centric approach for the coordination of distributed software development projects2006In: Information and Software Technology, ISSN 0950-5849, E-ISSN 1873-6025, Vol. 48, no 9, p. 767-780Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper presents an approach for Distributed Software Development (DSD) that is based on two foundations. The first one is an integration centric engineering process, which aims at managing crucial dependencies in DSD projects. The second foundation is a strategy for operationalizing the coordination of the engineering process. The purpose of this strategy is to simultaneously provide global information system support for coordination and achieve common understanding about what should be coordinated and how. The approach has been successfully used at Ericsson, a major supplier of telecommunication systems worldwide, for coordinating extraordinary complex projects developing nodes in the third generation of mobile systems. Although many obstacles have to be addressed, the results indicate that the approach is a viable way to manage DSD during very demanding circumstances.

  • 20.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology. Ericsson AB.
    An Interaction-based Approach for Structuring Coordination Activities2002In: Proceedings of the First IEEE International Conference on Cognitive Informatics (ICCI’02), 2002, p. 270-279Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this contribution we present a theoretical approach which has been utilized to inform the coordination of the development of complex systems. Coordination is regarded a form of human activity in which individual and social aspects as well as technical ones need to be considered. We analyze human activity from an interaction point of view in which various types of signs mediate the relation between individual cognition and phenomena in the environment. The sign-mediated interaction is apprehended as having a connectional, conceptual and linguistic facet. From a cognitive and semiotic analysis of these facets, we conjecture that the following constituents are fundamental for human activity: intersubjectivity, experiential learning, contextuality, spatiality, temporality, stabilizing core and tool usage. These constituents are employed in structuring human activity from a coordination point of view as activity domains. A framework for articulating activity domains is described. This framework, which includes information system support, currently used to coordinate the software integration of the 3:rd generation mobile systems at the Ericsson company. We report on some result from this usage. The results indicate that the theoretical approach is relevant for practical purposes.

  • 21.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    An Investigation of Model Quality from the Activity Modality Perspective2012In: Gmunden Retreat on NeuroIS 2012, 2012, p. 8-Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    If we wish to advance modelling practices beyond its current state of play, we need to reconsider the very foundation models are based on. Models should be useful and easy to grasp for the human mind. This instrumental character of models implies that model quality must be ultimately grounded in our innate predispositions for acting. I have proposed that such faculties can be comprehended as activity modalities: objectivation, contextualization, spatialization, temporalization, stabilization, and transition (Taxén, 2009). The activity modalities can be seen as the brain’s way of integrating sensations arriving in various sensory modalities into a coordinated and purposeful action percept.

  • 22.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    An Investigation of the Nature of Information Systems from a Neurobiological Perspective2015In: Information Systems and Neuroscience / [ed] F. Davis, R Riedl, J. vom Brocke, P.-M. Léger, A. Randolph, Dordrect: Springer , 2015, p. 27-33Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this paper is to investigate how ISs may be conceptualized from an individual, neurobiological perspective. The point of departure is the fact that brains evolved to control the activities of bodies in the world. Based on a number of theoretical contributions bordering between the neural and social realms, a novel IS conceptualization emerges as a dialectical unity of functional organs in the brain and the IT artifact. As a consequence, the IS is conceptualized as intrinsically associated with the individual. I discuss implications of this position for epistemology, ontology, and representation, which are all fundamental aspects of IS research. In conclusion, I claim that a neurobiological perspective on IS has a great potential to advance the discussion of the nature of the IS.

  • 23.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Visual Information Technology and Applications (VITA). Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Articulating Coordination of Human Activity - the Activity Domain Theory2004In: 2nd International workshop on Action in Language, Organisations and Information Systems ALOIS-2004,2004, Linköping: Linköping University , 2004, p. 45-Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 24.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Att styra komplexa projekt med enkla bilder2006In: VerkstadsForum, ISSN 1102-6669, no 7, p. 23-Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    Att utveckla en PLM-applikation är en minst sagt krävande uppgift. PLM-systemet är i sig komplext, kundkraven ändras ofta, ledtiderna för utvecklingen pressas allt mer och konkurrensen mellan olika leverantörer är hård. En applikationsutveckling kan liknas vid utveckling av ett stort IT-system med alla de risker och svårigheter som detta medför.

    Några insiktsfulla personer på Ericsson insåg att man måste förändra arbetssättet totalt. Man prövade sig fram mot en s.k. inkrementell metodik där integrationsverksamheten är styrande. Systemet byggs upp steg för steg, och i varje steg testas enheterna tillsammans vartefter de blir klara. Detta sätt att utveckla kräver nya metoder och verktyg. En grundpelare i det integrationsdrivna arbetssättet är den s.k. anatomin, som är en enkel bild – oftast ritad i PowerPoint eller Excel – över de mest kritiska funktionella beroendena i systemet.

  • 25.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Visual Information Technology and Applications (VITA). Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Categorizing Objective Meaning in Activity Systems2005In: Activity as the Focus of Information Systems Research, / [ed] Greg Whymark and Helen Hasan, Eveleigh, Australia: Knowledge Creation Press , 2005, p. 169-192Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This book is about certain challenging areas of contemporary Information Systems research. These areas have to do with socio-technical systems situated in real-world environments where change and complexity are overriding factors.

  • 26.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Visual Information Technology and Applications (VITA). Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Cognitive Grounding of Activity Modalities2006In: Proceedings of  Action in Language, Organisations and Information Systems, (ALOIS 2006), Linköping: Linköping University , 2006, p. 75-93Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper, we assume that the social reality and the communal meaning about this reality are reflected in each other. In object-related activity two kinds of congruent elements are constructed – objectivated elements oriented internally towards the human mind and objectified elements oriented externally towards the social reality. We propose that the mutual construction of mind and social reality proceeds along certain dimensions called activity modalities. Previously, the “objectification side” of these modalities has been grounded in the practice of developing large telecom systems. The purpose of this paper is to ground the “objectivation side” of the modalities. We claim that the “ontological categories” in the conceptual structure proposed by Jackendoff are compatible with the activity modalities. Thus, the contribution of this paper is a reinforced grounding of activity modalities as basic dimensions for coordinating human activity.

  • 27.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Conceptualizing Enterprise Systems from an Integrationist Perspective2012Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A purported feature of Enterprise Systems (ES) is that they are “integrated”; meaning that they in some sense bring parts into a unified whole. However, it is far from clear what is integrated into what, or how integration is achieved in practice. Moreover, the very concepts of integration and other related, fundamental concepts such as ‘organization’, ‘coordination’ and ‘knowledge’ are abstruse. To this end, the purpose of this contribution is to make an inquiry into integration by departing from the perspective of integrationism; a new development in the theory of communication.  This view is further elaborated using Vygotsky’s distinction between lower and higher mental functions, and the notion of activity modalities suggested by Taxén.  Integration thus conceived provides a foundation from which inquiries into ESs, both from a theoretical and practical point of view can be carried out. The ideas in the foundation are illustrated by some examples from the Ericsson telecommunication company. A sketch of an ES implementation method is outlined. The main conclusion is that a thorough ground for advancing the knowledge about Enterprise Systems can be established only if our unique human predispositions for coordinating and integrating actions are considered; something which may have far-reaching consequences for advancing our knowledge about Enterprise Systems

  • 28.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science.
    Finns det något att lära av Airbus härvan?2007In: VerkstadsForum, no 3, p. 29-Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    Kostnaden för det försenade A380-projektet uppskattas nu till ofattbara 6.1 miljarder dollar under fyra år. Kunderna drar öronen åt sig och avbokar eller senarelägger sina beställningar. Man börjar se sig om efter alternativ som t.ex. Boeing 777, Boeing 747-800 (en utbyggd variant av gamla ärevördiga jumbojeten) eller Boeing 787 Dreamliner, ett helt nytt plan som ska sättas in i trafik 2008.

    Det är uppenbart att kompabilitetsproblem mellan Catia v4 och Catia v5 är en av orsakerna till Airbus förseningar. Men problembilden är betydligt mer komplex än så, vilket framgår av diskussioner och artiklar på nätet. Det intryck man får är att Airbus och Boeing har valt olika strategier inom framför allt tre områden: kompabilitet mellan verktyg, integration av delleveranser och styrning av verksamheten. 

  • 29.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Visual Information Technology and Applications (VITA). Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    From IT Design to Workpractice Construction2005In: UITQ 2005 - International Research Workshop on User-driven IT Design and Quality Assurance, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, May 24-25, 2005., Linköping: Linköping University , 2005Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper we describe an approach for information system design that aims at constructing the social reality in which the system is used. Thus, rather than designing the information system in a given context, the design target is the context itself, including the information system. The expertise knowledge of users and information system designers are jointly utilized in co-constructing the context, which is structured as a particular form of workpractice called the activity domain. In the activity domain, coordinating elements of a practice are integrated into a coherent whole. The the­ory behind the approach – the Activity Domain Theory – originated in the Ericsson telecommunication company where it has been gradually refined over more than a decade by the author. It has profoundly influenced the coordination of the development of the 3rd generation of mobile systems at Ericsson.

  • 30.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Häpnadsväckande resultat på Ericsson2006In: VerkstadsForum, ISSN 1102-6669, no 1, p. 31-Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    I denna krönika tänker jag beskriva en strategi för att kunna hantera alla typer av objekt i ett och samma PLM-system. Strategin riktar i första hand in sig på att uppnå en samsyn på hur hanteringsobjekten och deras inbördes relationer ska definieras. Detta kan i förstone tyckas vs vara en underlig väg att gå. Normalt brukar fokus ligga på PLM-systemet, alltså tekniken. Men jag hävdar, i likhet med många andra, att den största utmaningen ligger i att göra systemet meningsfullt och förståeligt i den arbetspraktik där det ska användas. Om inte de som arbetar med systemet begriper vad man kan göra med det är systemet i dubbel bemärkelse meningslöst.

  • 31.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Information Systems and Activity Modalities: A Coordination Perspective on the Interaction between the Neural and the Social2011In: Gmunden Retreat on NeuroIS 2011, 2011, p. 6-Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Information systems (IS) are clearly something we find in the social realm. ISs are used by socially organized actors to achieve something. On the other hand, actions related to ISs are carried out by individuals that each has developed certain cognitive and physical capabilities to perform such actions. Thus, any model that aspires to cover both ISs and individuals must necessarily say something about the interaction between the social and neural realms. 

  • 32.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Integration eller konvergens – spelar det någon roll?2013In: VerkstadsForum, no 6, p. 29-Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    Man kan tycka att det spelar mindre roll vad saker och ting kallas om man ändå får en känsla för vad det handlar om. Men så är det inte. Om vi väljer ”integration” som styrande princip kommer vi att försöka bygga integrerande bryggor mellan PLM, SE och CM. Om vi i stället väljer ”konvergens” kommer vi att sträva efter att PLM, SE och CM ska försvinna som egna discipliner och med tiden uppgå i något nytt. Skillnaden är helt avgörande. Den här tendensen, att oreflekterat använda i grunden ytterst problematiska begrepp i sina budskap, tycker jag man kan skönja överallt. 

  • 33.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Visual Information Technology and Applications (VITA). Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Interactivity and contextuality in organizational semiosis2004In: 7th International Workshop on Organisational Semiotics, OS 2004,2004, Setúbal: INSTICC press , 2004, p. 97-Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 34.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Visual Information Technology and Applications (VITA). Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    IS Design as Domain Construction2004In: Activity Theory Based Practical Methods for IT Design,  ATIT 2004 / [ed] Bertelsen O, Korpela M and Mursu A, 2004, p. 111-122Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper we describe a method for IS design which focus on constructing the social reality in which the IS is used. This reality is structured as a particular form of work practice – the activity domain – which is the main construct in the Activity Domain Theory. The gist of this theory is to integrate coordinating elements of a practice into a coherent whole in which the IS is one of these elements.The theory originated in the Ericsson telecommunication company where it has been gradually refinedover more than a decade by the author. It has profoundly influenced the coordination of the development of the 3rd generation of mobile systems

  • 35.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Knowledge Integration Reconceptualized from an Integrationist Perspective2012Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The concept of knowledge integration remains on precarious ontological and epistemological grounds. Hence, the purpose of this contribution is to suggest a reconceptualization of knowledge integration from the integrationist perspective proposed by the English linguist Roy Harris. In this view, all knowledge is internally generated by the human capacity for sign-making and hence, knowledge arises from creative attempts to integrate the various activities of which human are capable of. Integrationism provides a general basis for knowledge integration, which is further elaborated using ideas from Vygotsky and the notion of activity modalities suggested by Taxén. The result is the activity domain, which can be seen as a core integrating construct for various organizational units like dyads, groups, teams, projects, organizational units, organizations, and entire network of organizations. The activity domain is illustrated by examples from the telecom industry. Implications for a number of organizational issues are discussed, including the Unit of Analysis in organizational discourse, a reconceptualization of the organization, sense-making, communities of practice, and models. In addition, a procedure for analytical and interventional inquiries is suggested. In conclusion it is proposed that a thorough ground for knowledge integration can be established only if human innate predispositions for coordinating and integrating actions are considered. As a consequence, “Knowledge Integration” should be reconceptualized as “Knowledge In Integration” to move the focus from controversies over the nature of “knowledge” to the more prolific concept of “integration”

  • 36.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Making sense of the IT artefact2007In: Proceedings of the UITQ workshop 2007, 2007, p. 16-16Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The issue of meaning has long been a key concern in HCI (e.g. Bourges-Waldegg & Scrivener, 1998). This concern is becoming increasingly  important with growing pace of technology change, market turbulence, outsourcing of software (SW) development tasks, company acquisitions and mergers, etc. Fisher (2002) has suggested that SW development should be regarded as a human activity where several actors participate. This requires a deep understanding of cognitive and social issues. Moreover, complex things as SW systems cannot be completely designed prior to use. They must evolve at the hands of the users to suit their needs. This in turn requires that the SW system must be designed for evolution. 

  • 37.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Modeling the Intellect from a Coordination Perspective2011In: Computational Modeling and Simulation of Intellect:  Current State and Future Perspectives / [ed] B. Igelnik, Hershey PA: IGI Global , 2011, p. 413-454Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Usually, models of the intellect take the individual mind and body as the point of departure and proceed outward towards the social and natural environment in which the individual is immersed. As a consequence, important social dimensions contributing to the epigenetic development of the individual is less articulated. In this contribution, I suggest to model the intellect from a more balanced perspective that recognizes both social and individual aspects – the coordination of actions. I argue that coordination is made possible by certain innate dispositions that I call activity modalities: contextualization, spatialization, temporalization, stabilization, and transition. Consequently, a central task for modeling the intellect is to understand how perceptions received through sensory modalities are related to the activity modalities. To this end, I propose a research program for modeling the intellect, based on the concept of “activity” in the Russian Activity Theory and the activity models. Provisional arguments for the relevance of the activity modalities are discussed in three different realms associated with the intellect: the social, conceptual, and neural ones. The chapter is concluded with some preliminary research questions, pertinent for the research program

  • 38.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Molnet som metafor – lätt att gå bort sig i dimman2012In: VerkstadsForum, no 2, p. 8-Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    I min förra krönika hävdade jag att de förhärskande metaforerna får oss att handla ”endimensionellt” när vi driver ett IT-projekt; vi koncentrerar oss på enskilda delar och tappar därför helhetsperspektivet. Idag är den drivande metaforen utan tvekan ”molnet”, men om man bara har det i huvudet är det lätt att gå bort sig i dimman.

    Kan man hitta metaforer som får oss att tänka mer fler-dimensionellt; d.v.s. hålla flera aspekter i luften samtidigt, utan att därför försumma kopplingarna mellan dessa? Om detta finns olika meningar, men en alltmer dominerande gren inom forskningen (till vilken jag själv räknar mig) är praktik-perspektivet (praktik i samma betydelse som ”läkarpraktik”). 

  • 39.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Mångfald eller enfald?2005In: VerkstadsForum, ISSN 1102-6669, no 6, p. 34-Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    En viktig fråga för PLM är hur arkitekturen för samverkande informationssystem ska utformas. På många håll är situationen idag bedrövlig. Organisationen Users Award har tillsammans med olika fackförbund undersökt it-användandet inom sjukvården. Ett stort problem är integrationen av olika system. Bara i Stockholms läns landsting finns 26 patientdatasystem som inte kan prata med varandra. Detta gör att det är svårt att få en korrekt bild av en patients sjukdomshistoria. Användarna tvingas också lägga ner mycket tid på att logga in och ut ur systemen. Stora pengar finns att spara, runt 30 miljarder varje år, vilket är ungefär 15% av landets totala sjukvårdkostnader! 

  • 40.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Om metaforer som motverkar syftet2012In: VerkstadsForum, no 1, p. 8-Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    Vad är det som avgör om komplexa IT-projekt, som t.ex. ERP/PLM implementeringar, går överstyr eller lyckas? Vilka faktorer påverkar projektetens navigering mellan farbart vatten och lömska undervattensgrynnor?

    Forskningen visar att ett projekt är utsatt för flera olika slags risker. Det kan vara tekniska sådana som t.ex. ny och komplex teknik, eller helt enkelt storleken på projektet. Men de största riskerna har med processer och människor att göra: brist på ledningens stöd, svagpresterande projektledare, obefintligt kundengagemang, kommunikationssvårigheter och liknande. Allt detta är numera så välbekant att man borde kunna hantera dessa risker. Ändå envisas många IT-projekt med att gå i stöpet. Kan det finnas andra risker som inte uppmärksammats tillräckligt ännu?

  • 41.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Om PLM och sammanhangens betydelse2004In: VerkstadsForum, ISSN 1102-6669, no 6, p. 35-Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    I denna krönika kommer jag att reflektera över det något diffusa begreppet “kontext” och hur det hänger ihop med PLM. Kontext är ju inte precis ett ord man använder dagligdags. Ändå är kontexten av fundamental betydelse när det gäller att utforma strategier för PLM

  • 42.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    PLM och erfarenhetsbaserat lärande2004In: VerkstadsForum, ISSN 1102-6669, no 3, p. 10-Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    Att driva förändringsarbete är, för att uttrycka det milt, ingen enkel sak. Den främsta orsaken är förmodligen att det är svårare att beskriva och hantera system, där människor är en del av systemet. Metoder och strategier, som fungerar bra inom tekniska tillämpningar, går inte att använda rakt av där människors handlingar kan omtolka, förändra och kanske t.o.m. motverka fattade beslut.

  • 43.
    Taxén, Lars
    Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson, Stockholm, Sweden .
    Polyphase filter banks using wave digital filters1981In: IEEE Transaction on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing, ISSN 0096-3518, Vol. 29, no 3, p. 423-428Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The branch filters in a digital polyphase network can be designed either as FIR filters by decomposing the impulse response of an FIR low-pass prototype filter, or as o r d i i IIR filters by the synthesis method of Bellanger. The use of all-pass networks has hitherto been considered unfeasible because of the associated computational difficulties involved in the design of filter banks with many branches. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that it is indeed possible to design the branch filters as all-pass-low-pass sections without the need of a prototype filter. Moreover, these sections can be realized as wave digital filters, which give improved properties over the other designs with respect to hardware requirements, group delay, sensitivity, dynamics and limit cycles. Examples, including the design of the practically important 60-channel filter bank for the transmultiplexer, are given

  • 44.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Visual Information Technology and Applications (VITA). Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Proceedings of The 13th International Conference on Thinking2007Other (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    Taxén L. (Editor)

  • 45.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Reconceptualizing Information Systems from the Activity Modality Perspective2013In: Gmunden Retreat on NeuroIS 2013, 2013, p. 23-Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The information system (IS) community has long debated the nature of ISs without reaching closure (e.g. Baskerville, 2012). This uncertainty may have contributed to spectacular IT project failures (e.g. Dalcher, 2003). Thus, there is a need to reconceptualize ISs from new and innovative positions. At previous NeuroIS retreats (2011, 2012), I have discussed the construct of activity modalities as a conceptual link between the brain and human action (Taxén, 2009). In this contribution I will pursue this line of inquiry into the IS area. 

  • 46.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Se upp med ”best practice”!2006In: VerkstadsForum, ISSN 1102-6669, no 4, p. 23-Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    ”Best practice” är ett starkt försäljningsargument när eventuella kunder till PLM och ERP-system ska övertygas. Säg den VD som inte vill att hans företag ska arbeta på samma sätt som de bästa i branschen. Men vad innebär egentligen ”best practice” eller ”bäst i klassen” som man kanske skulle kunna säga på svenska? 

  • 47.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science.
    SOA – hype eller ett genombrott?2007In: VerkstadsForum, no 5, p. 29-Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    Efter BPR (Business Process Reengineering) och ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) verkar SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) bli nästa vattenhål som alla flockas omkring. Frågan är om det är en flödande eller sinande källa. Som alltid när systemleverantörer och konsulter pratar om ”genombrott” är en sund skepsis på sin plats. Grundtanken med SOA, att koppla IT-systemen till affärsprocessen, är förstås riktig. SOA tvingar IT att tänka i affärstermer. I stället för att bekriga varandra ska affärsstrategen och IT-chefen likt lejonet och lammet vandra hand i hand mot de saligas ängder. 

  • 48.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Standard eller anpassning?2007In: VerkstadsForum, no 4, p. 27-Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    När ett företag överväger att introducera ett PLM-system i sin verksamhet finns det starka skäl att undvika anpassningar av systemet. Anpassningar kostar pengar och kräver resurser för att underhållas och utvecklas. Nya releaser av PLM-systemet är oftast inkompatibla med anpassningarna, vilket kan medföra stora problem. Att arbeta med anpassningar upplevs många gånger av företagsledningen som varande utanför ”kärnverksamheten”. Överväganden som dessa har lett till att PLM-leverantörer gärna marknadsför sina system som standarsystem under slagord som ”best practice” (se min krönika i VF 4/2006) eller ”COTS” (Commercial off-the-shelf). Anpassningar uppfattas alltså som något man bör undvika.

  • 49.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Styra mellan Skylla och Charybdis inom PLM2005In: VerkstadsForum, ISSN 1102-6669, no 2, p. 21-Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    I min förra krönika tog jag upp problemet med att många informationssystem inte kan samverka med varandra. Om dessa system råkar befinna sig inom en och samma organisation, är den naturliga strategin att ”förenkla” situationen genom att ”konsolidera” verksamheten, d.v.s. man försöker ersätta de många systemen med ett. Den stora genomslagskraften för affärssystem som SAP R/3 m.fl. kommer, vill jag påstå, från ett sådant sätt att tänka. Det finns förstås situationer där ”ett system för alla” strategin är riktig. Det gäller speciellt om samma eller likvärdiga data hanteras i olika system. Om däremot detta tänkande tillåts genomsyra all informationshantering, riskerar man att hamna i en etter värre situation. Man försöker då stödja all verksamhet med samma verktyg, vilket naturligtvis är omöjligt. Mycken möda kan gå tillspillo innan man inser det. 

  • 50.
    Taxén, Lars
    Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Sustainable enterprise interoperability from the Activity Domain Theory perspective2012In: Computers in industry (Print), ISSN 0166-3615, E-ISSN 1872-6194, Vol. 63, no 8, p. 835-843Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The investigation of sustainable enterprise interoperability requires an explicit position of what constitutes the enterprise. In particular, human aspects like agency, sense-making, interpretation, common understanding, etc., must be taken into account. To this end, the purpose of this contribution is to make an inquiry into interoperability from the perspective of the Activity Domain Theory (ADT). In this theory, the enterprise is considered as a constellation of activity domains. The activity domain is characterized by the activity modalities - objectivation, contextualization, spatialization, temporalization stabilization, transition - which represent human, innate predispositions for coordinating actions. Interoperability is focused to one particular modality: the transition between activity domains. An example from the telecom industry is used to illustrate the approach. Implications for various aspects of interoperability are discussed. In conclusion, it is argued that the ADT is an alternative framework for advancing the understanding of sustainable interoperability between enterprises and enterprise systems.

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