On the Logic of Bricolage - A Case Study in System Design


The paper describes the development of an internet based 3-D service system for students. Starting as an information service for just one major field of study (business education) the anarchic implementation process enlarged permanently the system boundaries. From the viewpoint of technical rationality the system design of the reported project was badly planned and designed. But this (correct?) approach described in the literature, what we will call the mental model of engineers, failed – lacking support in the faculty – several years ago. In contrast to the traditional technical solution based on literature in organizational theory we will show that there is an inherent logic in the process of muddling through („bricolage“ or what we call the mental model of handcraft).