Rigor, Relevance and Research Paradigms: A Practitioner's Perspective

Rigor, Relevance and Research Paradigms: A Practitioner's Perspective

John C. Beachboard (Idaho State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2004 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-144-5.ch008
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Abstract

A practitioner leaves behind the world of failed multimillion-dollar information systems projects to seek solutions in academe. In making the transition from IS practitioner to IS researcher, the author encounters two fundamental tensions regarding the conduct of social science. The first tension concerns the challenge of conducting research meeting the criteria of scientific rigor while addressing issues relevant to practitioners. The second tension centers on the debate concerning the suitability of positivist and non-positivist approaches to research in the social sciences. A review of the literature discussing these tensions led the author to the observation that the two tensions appear to be related. This insight led to the investigation of multi-paradigmatic research frameworks as a means of reconciling these related tensions. The essay provides a personalized account regarding the author’s motivation for conducting practitioner-oriented research, the intellectual journey made through the literature to acquire tools of the social science field, and his observations concerning the advantages of multi-paradigmatic research in the IS field.

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