Cognitive Research in Information Systems

Cognitive Research in Information Systems

Felix B. Tan (Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand) and M. Gordon Hunter (The University of Lethbridge, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-553-5.ch078
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Abstract

The existence and significance of cognition in organizations and its influence on patterns of behaviour in organizations and organizational outcomes are increasingly accepted in information systems (IS) research (Barley, 1986; DeSanctis & Poole, 1994; Griffith, 1999; Griffith & Northcraft, 1996; Orlikowski, 1992, 1994 #208). However, assessing the commonality and individuality in cognition and eliciting the subjective understanding of research participants either as individuals or as groups of individuals remain a challenge to IS researchers (Orlikowski & Gash, 1994). Various methods for studying cognition in organizations have been offered - for example, clinical interviewing (Schein, 1987), focus groups (Krueger, 1988), discourse-based interviewing (Odell, Goswami & Herrington, 1983). This article proposes that cognition applied to making sense of IT in organizations can also be explored using Kelly’s (1955) Personal Construct Theory and its methodological extension, the Repertory Grid (RepGrid). The RepGrid can be used in IS research for uncovering the constructs research participants use to structure and interpret events relating to the development, implementation, use and management of IS in organizations.

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