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avatar for Steven Alter

Steven Alter

University of San Francisco
Professor Emeritus
Steven Alter is Professor Emeritus at the University of San Francisco. He served as vice president of a manufacturing software start-up that was acquired by Applied Materials. Upon returning to academia he wrote four editions of a major IS textbook. That effort led to research focused on developing systems analysis and design methods that business professionals could use for their own understanding and to help them collaborate more effectively with IT professionals, consultants, and vendors. The result was various versions of the “work system method (WSM),” which focuses on the business problem of creating or improving a sociotechnical work system, rather than the more limited technical challenge of creating or improving software that satisfies requirements. Most of his articles in journals and conference proceedings are related to WSM, work system theory (WST), service systems, and extensions of WST such as a theory of workarounds. Most of his articles are available at www.stevenalter.com