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Dr Magnus Ramage

Profile summary

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Professional biography

I have worked at the OU since 2000, always as a lecturer (and in the same office) but in a changing set of departments and faculties due to successive reorganisations. Some of the reorganisations made sense and created interesting new collaborations. I have been blessed to work with some brilliant colleagues and in an institution with a real commitment to high-quality learning and social inclusion. It is this sense of mission that makes the OU special.

I hold a PhD from Lancaster University in Information Systems. I am presently an elected member of Senate, and Equality & Diversity lead (and chair of the Athena SWAN self-assessment team) for the School of Computing & Communications.

Research interests

I carry out research on the nature of information, and the history of cybernetics and systems thinking.

For ten years, I co-chaired The Difference that Makes a Difference (DTMD), a series of workshops from 2007-2017 on the way different academic disciplines understand of information, which drew in scholars from social science, technology, physical science, philosophy and art, and led to a number of edited publications. Since 2017 the research group which grew out of this work has been known as the Critical Information Studies group, with a focus on taking a critical approach to information artefacts and their impact on society, through perspectives of race, gender, class, politics and others.

My research on the history of cybernetics and systems takes a biographical form: my colleague Karen Shipp and I led a project to identify and discuss 30 key thinkers in the field of systems. We read their work thoroughly, and secondary sources about their lives and work, and synthesised the results in a book, Systems Thinkers, that forms a collective biography of the field. We have recently revised the book thoroughly (while keeping to the same 30 thinkers) for a second edition.

I have combined these two interests in a number of publications looking at the links between cybernetics and information, enhanced by my work for four years (2012-2016) as editor-in-chief of the long-standing international journal Kybernetes.

Teaching interests

I am module chair of TM353 IT Systems: Planning for Success (first presentation October 2015). Author and/or chair on several previous modules on information systems and systems thinking, including TB872 Managing change with systems thinking in practice, TM255 Communications & Information Technology, T219 Environmental Systems 1, T215 Communications & Information Technology, T853 Information Systems Legacy & Evolution and T205 Systems Thinking: Principles and Practice (chaired T853 in production & presentation, T205 in presentation).

Publications

Editorial (2016-11-07)
Ramage, Magnus; Chapman, David and Wong, Patrick
Kybernetes, 45(10) (pp. 1502-1504)


The usage of best practices and procedures in the database community (2015-04-30)
Holt, Victoria; Ramage, Magnus; Kear, Karen and Heap, Nicholas
Information Systems, 49 (pp. 163-181)


Editorial: Living in a time of change (2013-01)
Ramage, Magnus; Bissell, Christopher and Chapman, David
Kybernetes, 42(1) (pp. 5-12)


Introduction: The difference that makes a difference (2012)
Chapman, David and Ramage, Magnus
tripleC: Communication, Capitalism & Critique, 11(1) (pp. 1-5)


On the design of systems-oriented university curricula (2009)
Jones, Jed; Bosch, Ockie; Drack, Manfred; Horiuchi, Yoshihide and Ramage, Magnus
The Research Reports of Shibaura Institute of Technology (Social Sciences and Humanities), 43(1) (pp. 121-130)


Norbert and Gregory: Two strands of cybernetics (2009)
Ramage, Magnus
Information, Communication and Society, 12(5) (pp. 735-749)


On boundaries and disciplines: constructing a set of key systems thinkers (2006-06)
Ramage, Magnus and Shipp, Karen
Systemist, 28(2) (pp. 225-234)


[Book Review of] 'Storytelling in organizations: Facts, Fictions, and Fantasies' by Yiannis Gabriel (2003)
Matzdorf, Fides and Ramage, Magnus
Management Learning, 34(2) (pp. 271-274)


Rapid institutional appraisal (2001-12)
Armson, R.; Ison, R.L.; Short, L.; Ramage, M. and Reynolds, M.
Systemic Practice and Action Research, 14(6) (pp. 763-777)


So what's a metaproject for? (2001-12)
Ramage, Magnus
Systemic Practice and Action Research, 14(6) (pp. 669-680)


Evaluating groupware support for software engineering students (2001-01)
Drummond, Sarah; Boldyreff, Cornelia and Ramage, Magnus
Computer Science Education, 11(1) (pp. 33-54)


Organisational scenarios and legacy systems (2001)
Brooke, Carole and Ramage, Magnus
International Journal of Information Management, 21(5) (pp. 365-384)


Technology choice at CallCentre (2001)
Brooke, Carole and Ramage, Magnus
Electronic Journal of Information Systems Evaluation, 5(1)


Systems Thinkers (2nd edition) (2020-04)
Ramage, Magnus and Shipp, Karen
ISBN : 978-1-4471-7475-2 | Publisher : Open University/Springer-Verlag | Published : London


Systems Thinkers (2009-09)
Ramage, Magnus and Shipp, Karen
ISBN : 978-1-84882-524-6 | Publisher : Open University/Springer-Verlag | Published : London


Learning and Change in the Work of Donald Schön: Reflection on Theory and Theory on Reflection (2017-07)
Ramage, Magnus
In: Szabla, David B.; Pasmore, William A.; Barnes, Mary A. and Gipson, Asha N. eds. The Palgrave Handbook of Organizational Change Thinkers (pp. 1159-1172)
ISBN : 978-3-319-52879-3 | Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan | Published : New York


Expanding the concept of ‘model’: the transfer from technological to human domains within systems thinking (2012-02)
Ramage, Magnus and Shipp, Karen
In: Bissell, Chris and Dillon, Chris eds. Ways of Thinking, Ways of Seeing (pp. 121-144)
ISBN : 978-3-642-25208-2 | Publisher : Springer | Published : Berlin


Introduction (2011)
Ramage, Magnus and Chapman, David
In: Ramage, Magnus and Chapman, David eds. Perspectives on Information. Routledge Studies in Library and Information Science (pp. 1-7)
ISBN : 9780415884105 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : New York


Competing models of information in the history of cybernetics (2011)
Ramage, Magnus
In: Ramage, Magnus and Chapman, David eds. Perspectives on Information. Routledge Studies in Library and Information Science (pp. 8-20)
ISBN : 978-0-415-88410-5 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : New York


Conclusion (2011)
Chapman, David and Ramage, Magnus
In: Ramage, Magnus and Chapman, David eds. Perspectives on Information. Routledge Studies in Library and Information Science (pp. 154-159)
ISBN : 978-0-415-88410-5 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : New York


Evaluating collaborative technologies: a simple method (2010-01)
Ramage, Magnus
In: Donelan, Helen; Kear, Karen and Ramage, Magnus eds. Online Communication and Collaboration: A Reader (pp. 73-77)
ISBN : 978-0-415-56478-6 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon


Communities of practice – real and virtual (2010-01)
Ramage, Magnus
In: Donelan, Helen; Kear, Karen and Ramage, Magnus eds. Online Communication and Collaboration: A Reader (pp. 176-178)
ISBN : 978-0-415-56478-6 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon


Information systems: a cyborg discipline? (2004-07)
Ramage, Magnus
In: Kaplan, Bonnie; Truex, Dwayne P.; Wastell, David; Wood-Harper, A. Trevor and DeGross, Janice I. eds. Information systems research: relevant theory and informed practice. IFIP International Federation for Information Processing (143)
ISBN : 1402080948 | Publisher : Kluwer Academic Publishers | Published : Boston, USA


Global perspectives on legacy systems (2002)
Ramage, Magnus
In: Henderson, Peter ed. Systems engineering for business process change: new directions: collected papers from the EPSRC research programme (pp. 309-316)
ISBN : 1852333995 | Publisher : Springer | Published : London, UK


Perspectives on Information (2011-04)
Ramage, Magnus and Chapman, David eds.
Routledge Studies in Library and Information Science
ISBN : 978-0-415-88410-5 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : New York


Online communication and collaboration: A Reader (2010-01)
Donelan, Helen; Kear, Karen and Ramage, Magnus eds.
ISBN : 978-0-415-56478-6 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon


Religion, Information and Ritual: Understanding Difference in a Sacred Context (2017)
Ramage, Magnus
In : IS4SI 2017 Summit DIGITALISATION FOR A SUSTAINABLE SOCIETY (12-16 Jun 2017, Gothenburg, Sweden)


Meaning, Selection & Narrative: The Information We See and the Information We Don’t (2017)
Ramage, Magnus
In : IS4SI 2017 Summit DIGITALISATION FOR A SUSTAINABLE SOCIETY (12-16 Jun 2017, Gothenburg, Sweden)


Cyberneticists at war and peace: wrestling with ethical dilemmas of information (2015-06)
Ramage, Magnus and Bissell, Christopher
In : The Difference That Makes a Difference (DTMD 2015) (5 Jun 2015, Vienna University of Technology, Austria)


Teaching software systems thinking at The Open University (2015-05)
Wermelinger, Michel; Hall, Jon; Rapanotti, Lucia; Barroca, Leonor; Ramage, Magnus and Bandara, Arosha
In : Joint Software Engineering Education and Training Conference (18-22 May 2015, Florence, Italy) (pp. 307-310)


IT project management in developing countries: approaches and factors affecting success in the microfinance sector of Bangladesh (2011-12-04)
Mia, Mohammed Badruddozza and Ramage, Magnus
In : 6th International Research Workshop on IT Project Management (IRWITPM) (4 Dec 2011, Shanghai, China)


Overlapping and Information Systems in Microcredit: a Bangladesh perspective (2011-06)
Mia, Mohammad Badruddozza and Ramage, Magnus
In : Second European Research Conference on Microfinance (16-18 Jun 2011, Groningen, The Netherlands)


Systems thinkers think About systems education under the April 2010 (volcanic ash) clouds of Austria (2010-08)
Bosch, O.; Maani, K.; McIntyre, J.; Ossimitz, G.; Ramage, M. and Vesterby, V.
In : Systems for Education, Engineering, Service and Sustainability: Proceedings of the Fifteenth International Federation for Systems Research Conversation (10-15 Apr 2010, Pernegg, Austria)


Forms and processes of information systems evolution (2006)
Ramage, Magnus
In : 11th Conference of the UK Academy of Information Systems (9-11 Apr 2006, University of Gloucestershire, UK)