My struggle to integrate the rational and intuitive was reflected in a Box Feature from the second edition of Information Systems which I coauthored with my friend Val Silbey. We changed the subtitle to People and Computers in Organizations to emphasize the human dimension of systems work. Added emphasis appears in red: (Note 122)

The discussion of the definition phase in Chapter 10 refers to the use of the top down approach in the study of the present organization and analysis of specific requirements. In contrast, the bottom up mode is suggested for the study of the present application and analysis of general requirements. This corresponds respectively to the classic distinction between deductive and inductive problem solving. For a complex problem, neither strategy is successful by itself. A whole brain strategy combines both strategies to solve a problem. A concrete expression of this view is given by Robert Pirsig in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance:

Inductive inferences start with observations of the machine and arrive at general conclusions. For example, if the cycle goes over a bump and the engine misfires, and then goes over another bump and the engine misfires, and then goes over another bump and the engine misfires, and then goes over a long smooth stretch of road and there is no misfiring, and then goes over a fourth bump and the engine misfires again, one can logically conclude that the misfiring is caused by the bumps. That is induction: reasoning from particular experiences to general truths.

Deductive inferences do the reverse. They start with general knowledge and predict a specific observation. For example, if, from reading the hierarchy of facts about the machine, the mechanic knows the horn of the cycle is powered exclusively by electricity from the battery, then he can logically infer that if the battery is dead the horn will not work. That is deduction.

Solution of problems too complicated for common sense to solve is achieved by long strings of mixed inductive and deductive inferences that weave back and forth between the observed machine and the mental hierarchy of the machine found in the manuals. (Note 123)

The analogy of the motorcycle (application) and its mechanic (project leader) gives tangible meaning to the bottom up and top down ideas. In the study of the present application, we begin with the particulars of existing reports and infer the system flow diagram. An understanding is reached by organizing details into a whole. Similarly, in the analysis of general requirements, interview records provide particulars for arriving at the general requirements statement.

In sharp contrast, we initiate situation review with the study of the present organization by making general observations in a narrative summary. These observations are made more explicit as we move to the statement of personnel responsibilities. Then, in the analysis of specific requirements, we begin with the proposed system flow diagram. This big picture of the general solution is elaborated by deducing particular reports to accomplish the general flow.

Mixed solution strategies must be used in solving complex problems whether that involves fixing a motorcycle or improving an organization's information system capabilities. This means that the problem solver, to be successful, must use a whole brain approach in the design and implementation phase as well as the definition phase.