Journal of Systems and Information Technology

Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Emerald Publishing
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Can action research be made more rigorous in a positivist sense The contribution of an iterative approach

Kock, Nereu F.; McQueen, Robert J.; John, L. S

1997 Journal of Systems and Information Technology

doi: 10.1108/13287269780000732

How can action research be made more rigorous We discuss in this paper action research, positivism and some major criticisms of action research by positivists. We then examine issues relating the conduct of IS research in organisations through multiple iterations in the action research cycle proposed by Susman and Evered. We argue that the progress through iterations allows the researcher to gradually broaden the research scope and in consequence add generality to the research findings. A brief illustrative case is provided with a study on groupware introduction in a large civil engineering company. In the light of this illustrative case we contend that effective application of the iterative approach to action research has the potential to bring research rigour up closer to standards acceptable by positivists and yet preserve the elements that characterise action research as such.
journal article
LitStream Collection
Distinguishing action research from participative case studies

Baskerville, Richard L.

1997 Journal of Systems and Information Technology

doi: 10.1108/13287269780000733

Action researchers contend that a complex social process can be studied best by introducing changes into that process and observing the effects of these changes. The approach used by organizational consultants must also introduce change, but in this case, the theoretical development and the rigorous empirical foundation are prerequisite elements of the activity. Participative case studies are a common scientific report proceeding from consulting projects. This paper discusses the contrasts between the action research method, consulting, and participative case studies. Ethical problems arise when action research is knowingly or unknowingly conflated with consultation practices, since this combination makes the usual set of action research dilemmas even more problematic. An improved understanding of the action researchconsulting contrasts aids in distinguishing the contributions of participative case studies to the information systems literature.
journal article
LitStream Collection
The corporate data model A study of organisational practice

BeynonDavies, Paul

1997 Journal of Systems and Information Technology

doi: 10.1108/13287269780000734

In this paper we discuss an area of information systems management and development that appears to have been practised by many major European and US organisations the area of corporate data modelling. However, rather suprisingly perhaps, it is clear that there is little theoretical or empirical literature devoted to this important issue. There is little empirical evidence to indicate the actual scale of adoption of this practice, and there is certainly little analytical material devoted to questions of the efficacy of this activity or considerations of good practice in this area. The main aim of this paper is to begin to offer some early empirical and analytical material on corporate data modelling. We have been conducting a study of a number of organisations experience of corporate data modelling in the UK. We would hope that an examination of the current corporate experience of corporate data modelling will stimulate a clearer discussion of the purposes and practices of this important area of modern information systems planning.
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