Becker & Niehaves (2007) Epistemological Perspectives on IS Research

Abstract

Epistemological Perspectives on IS Research: A Framework for Analysing and Systematizing Epistemological Assumptions

Over the last three decades, a methodological pluralism has developed within information systems (IS) research. Various disciplines and many research communities as well, contribute to this discussion. However, working on the same research topic or studying the same phenomenon does not necessarily ensure mutual understanding. Especially within this multidisciplinary and international context, the epistemological assumptions made by different researchers may vary fundamentally. These assumptions exert a substantial impact on how concepts like validity, reliability, quality and rigour of research are understood. Thus, the exten- sive publication of epistemological assumptions is, in effect, almost mandatory. Hence, the aim of this paper is to develop an epistemological framework which can be used for systematically analysing the epistemological assumptions in IS research. Rather than attempting to identify and classify IS research paradigms, this research aims at a comprehensive discussion of epistemology within the con- text of IS. It seeks to contribute to building the basis for identifying similarities as well as differences between distinct IS approaches and methods. In order to dem- onstrate the epistemological framework, the consensus-oriented interpretivist approach to conceptual modelling is used as an example.

Citation Jorg Becker, Bjorn Niehaves (2007). Epistemological Perspectives on IS Research: A Framework for Analysing and Systematizing Epistemological Assumptions. Information Systems Journal, vol. 17 no. 2, pp. 197–214. DOI

BibTex entry for this article:

BibTex entry for this article:

@article{becker2007epistemological,
author = {Becker, Jorg and Niehaves, Bjorn},
doi = {10.1111/j.1365-2575.2007.00234.x},
isbn = {1365-2575},
issn = {13501917},
journal = {Information Systems Journal},
number = {2},
pages = {197--214},
pmid = {14530},
title = {{Epistemological Perspectives on IS Research: A Framework for Analysing and Systematizing Epistemological Assumptions}},
volume = {17},
year = {2007}
}

Key ideas

Keywords:

Epistemological framework, Interpretivism, Linguistic interpretivism, Positivism, Research paradigms

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