On IT and SwE Research Methodologies and Paradigms: A Systemic Landscape Review

On IT and SwE Research Methodologies and Paradigms: A Systemic Landscape Review

Manuel Mora (Autonomous University of Aguascalientes, Mexico), Annette Lerine Steenkamp (Lawrence Technological University, USA), Ovsei Gelman (CCADET-UNAM, Mexico) and Mahesh S. Raisinghani (TWU School of Management, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0179-6.ch008
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Abstract

In this chapter, the authors review the landscape of research methodologies and paradigms available for Information Technology (IT) and Software Engineering (SwE). The aims of the chapter are two-fold: (i) create awareness in current research communities in IT and SwE on the variety of research paradigms and methodologies, and (ii) provide an useful map for guiding new researchers on the selection of an IT or SwE research paradigm and methodology. To achieve this, the chapter reviews the core IT and SwE research methodological literature, and based on the findings, the authors illustrate an updated IT and SwE research framework that comprehensively integrates findings and best practices and provides a coherent systemic (holistic) view of this research landscape.
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2. Background On Research Methodologies And Paradigms In It And Swe

We can define a systemic research approach (extended from Ackoff et al., 1962; Checkland, 2000; and Jackson, 1990) as an answering and problem-solving system comprised of the following components: (i) research paradigms (P’s: a set of philosophical ontological, epistemological and axiological assumptions on the world); (ii) research purposes (S’s: observe a situation (explore, describe or measure, predict, explain), or modify a situation of study (control, intervene or evaluate)); (iii) theoretical frameworks (F’s: ideas-constructs, theories, and models); and (iv) research methodologies (M’s: methods, techniques, and instruments), used for gaining or applying scientific knowledge; (v) the situational areas (A’s: natural, artificial, social or hybrid objects of study) on which the M’s are applied.

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