Signs of Value in an IS Business Case

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A business case is a formal investment document with a structured overview of relevant information that provides a rationale and justification of an investment. Business cases have become popular as part of managing value creation in information systems (IS) projects. Nevertheless, business cases are often poorly communicating the rationale and justification of the value to be gained from IS investments. Against this backdrop, we investigate how an IS business case can communicate well when seen through the lens of semiotics. Semiotics is the study of how meaning is generated and interpreted through signs. In this paper, we use semiotics to analyze an IS business case on the digitization of diplomas at a Danish University. Our analysis shows that its (1) addresser and addressee should be explicitly and implicitly identifiable; (2) self-referentiality helps set the context and allow uncertainties in the message; (3) a template instigates the medium and codes for value. We discuss the contribution of our findings to research on IS business cases.
Original languageEnglish
Publication dateDec 2019
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019
EventPre-ICIS workshop on Pragmatist IS research: Values and Ethics in the Digital Age - Munich, Germany
Duration: 14 Dec 201914 Dec 2019
Conference number: 7th


WorkshopPre-ICIS workshop on Pragmatist IS research
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