This text is about a journey. This journey began when I worked as a professional engineer, and progressed over a period of 20 years during which I worked as a professional analyst, academic and teacher, and engaged in reflective study, reading and thinking. In the sections that follow I describe the thinking by which I came to focus upon certain concepts as crucial for effective Systems Analysis/Inquiry, and to develop my own perspectives on those concepts, which later formed the foundation for a body of work comprising more than 100 publications. The work is thus the result of reflection on success and failure, thinking and re-thinking, including a consequential struggle for conceptualization and understanding.
The first section is an introduction, summarising the essence of the thesis that is elaborated in these documents. This section effectively explains the substance of the thesis and sets out my original contribution to the Information Systems field. The next section is a reflective commentary on words, assumptions and ideas influencing contextual inquiry, after which is a section on Primary Contribution, including a short summary of, and introduction to, Contextual Inquiry. An overview of the selected papers is set out, including a structured analysis of the papers that shows where the key themes are taken up and developed within the body of work. The selected full papers accompany this document.