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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Critical Realism as an Underlying Philosophy for IS Research

Critical Realism as an Underlying Philosophy for IS Research
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Author(s): Philip J. Dobson (Edith Cowan University, Australia)
Copyright: 2005
Pages: 5
Source title: Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, First Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-553-5.ch107


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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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