Track 9: IS Philosophy and Research Methods

This track invites submissions that address the philosophical, theoretical, and methodological foundations and practices of Information Systems (IS) research. In particular, we seek contributions that critically assess and reflect on the motivations, assumptions, methods and consequences of IS research in light of recent developments in areas such as social media, big data and analytics, intelligent/autonomous agents, the Internet of Things, AI and robotics, open source systems, and the sharing economy. We also welcome submissions that develop new methodological approaches or examine traditional approaches to IS research, in light of their adoption, (mis)use, evaluation, and implications for knowledge production, publication, and decision making. This track is open to conceptual and empirical papers that advance our knowledge of how we (can) study and theorize IS phenomena, defined broadly.

Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  •  Philosophical foundations of IS research and their implications for methodology and the nature of knowledge.
  • Philosophical and theoretical perspectives that enable a fresh look at the concepts of data, information, knowledge, systems and decisions.
  • The persistence of paradigm incommensurability and implications for research.
  • The nature of theory within IS research and new/alternative ways of theorizing.
  • The contribution to IS research and philosophical and methodological implications of theoretical perspectives such as critical realism, sociomateriality, design science, new institutionalism.
  • Contributions of IS research to and interaction with other disciplines in the study of information, systems and technology.
  • A way of seeing is also a way of not seeing (Poggi, 1965) – what remains unanswered by the use of current IS methods?
  • The possible tension between methodological prescription or rigour on the one hand, and creativity, imagination and insight on the other.
  • Philosophical, methodological and ethical issues in researching social media and online communities.
  • Ethical or moral dimensions of information and technology use on the lives of individuals and communities, such as the role and use of data and knowledge in a surveillance society.

Track Chairs:

Mary Tate
Queensland University of Technology, Australia
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Sebastian Boell
The University of Sydney, Australia
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Bill Doolin
Auckland University of Technology, NZ
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