Critical Realism as an Underlying Philosophy for IS Research

Critical Realism as an Underlying Philosophy for IS Research

Philip J. Dobson (Edith Cowan University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-553-5.ch107
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Abstract

Many recent articles from within the information systems (IS) arena present an old-fashioned view of realism. For example, Iivari, Hirschheim, and Klein (1998) saw classical realism as seeing “data as describing objective facts, information systems as consisting of technological structures (‘hardware’), human beings as subject to causal laws (determinism), and organizations as relatively stable structures” (p. 172). Wilson (1999) saw the realist perspective as relying on “the availability of a set of formal constraints which have the characteristics of abstractness, generality, invariance across contexts.”

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