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Z. Golez, R.

Kivzchheim ] Omega 28 (2000)


249−268 P
Omega 28 (2000) 249− 268 A
G
www.elsevier.com] loceat] orms E
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3

Paradigma sudah mati, paradigmanya sudah mati...


panjang umur paradigma "warisan Burrell dan Morgan
Tim Goles, Rudy Hirschheim *
Deposisi Decizion dan Infovmation Sciencez, College of Buzinezz Adminiztvation, Jnirevzity of Kouzton, Kouzton,
ZX 77204-6282, JSA

Diterima 1 Desember 1998; diterima 1 Juli 1999

Abstrast

Sebagian besar penelitian di bidang Sistem Informasi tampaknya dipandu oleh satu set asumsi filosofis - yaitu
positivisme. Persatuan paradigma seperti itu bisa terbukti bermasalah karena mungkin menghalangi konsepsi
alternatif masalah di bidang IS. Makalah ini menanyakan apakah bidang tersebut memang mengadopsi
paradigma soliter dan jika demikian, apa implikasinya. Dengan demikian, makalah ini memberikan gambaran
tentang positivisme, landasan paradigmatiknya, mengapa menjadi populer, dan hambatan untuk berubah.
Makalah ini melihat kemungkinan pluralisme paradigma terutama yang berkaitan dengan pragmatisme.
Hubungan antara pragmatisme dan panggilan untuk lebih relevan dalam penelitian IS juga dieksplorasi. Dalam
pemeriksaannya terhadap topik-topik ini, makalah ini mencatat arti yang agak
mengejutkan, Burrell dan gagasan Morgan tentang paradigma telah bermain dalam konsepsi diskusi filosofis
lapangan. Ⓢ2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. Semua hak dilindungi undang-undang.

Keywovdz "Paradigma; Pragmatisme; Perang Paradigma; Positivisme; Anti-positivisme; Epistemologi

1. Introduction presentasi dari output. Ives dkk. [2]


mendefinisikan IS dalam hal lima lingkungan
Unhile ada kesepakatan umum bahwa bidang Sistem (eksternal, organisasi, pengguna,
pembentukan sistem informasi (IS) adalah luas dan pengembangan IS dan operasi IS), tiga
mewujudkan banyak tema dan daerah, ada jauh lebih sedikit proses (pengguna, pengembangan IS dan
kesepakatan ketika datang untuk memutuskan apa lapangan operasi IS), dan subsistem informasi.
benar-benar termasuk dan tidak termasuk , dan apa fitur Lyytinen [3] membagi bidang menjadi
intinya. Mason dan MitroR [1], misalnya, dalam kerangka kerja sembilan komponen "sistem informasi itu
klasik IS, mengkarakterisasi komponen inti menjadi "tipe sendiri, lingkungan operasi IS, lingkungan
psikologis (pengguna), kelas masalah yang harus dipecahkan, pengembangan IS, lingkungan pengguna,
konteks organisasi, metode pembuktian dan penjamin. bukti, lingkungan organisasi, lingkungan eksternal,
dan mode proses penggunaan, proses
pengembangan, dan proses operasi.
Swanson dan Ramiller
* Penulis yang sesuai. Tel. „+ 1-713-743-4692; faks „+ 1-713-743- [4] mendiskusikan bidang ini dalam hal
4693. luasnya area orang menulis makalah
E-mail addvezz „ rudy@uh.edu (R. Hirschheim). tentang 'kerja kooperatif yang didukung
komputer, informasi dan antarmuka,
dukungan keputusan dan sistem berbasis
pengetahuan, proyek sistem, evaluasi dan
kontrol, pengguna, ekonomi dan strategi ,
pengenalan dan dampak, dan penelitian IS.
Orang lain telah menggunakan analisisuntuk
mengidentifikasi subbidang intelektual pada
gabungan0305-0483] 00] $ - lihat materi depan Ⓢ2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.
Semua hak dilindungi undang-undang. PII „S 03 0 5 - 04 8 3 (99) 0 00 4 2 - 0

Z. Golez, R. Kivzchheim ] Omega 28 (2000)


P 249−268
A
G
E
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yang dianggap sebagai kompeten dan berguna kontribusi ''
yang IS menggambar [lih. 5− 8]. Yang lain [9,10] telah
[36, pp. 88-123 seperti dikutip Banville dan Landry [ 31, hal.
enggunakan analisis historis untuk menggali wawasan tentang
54]].
Z. Golez, R. Kivzchheim ] Omega 28 Selain itu, penelitian melibatkan ketidakpastian tugas
(2000)
sifat lapangan. 249−268 P
tinggi, karena masalah untukmulations tidakA stabil, prioritas
Secara keseluruhan, bidang IS dapat dicirikan sebagai G
bervariasi di antara komunitas penelitian yang
E berbeda dan

beragam dan pluralistik. Ada keragaman masalah yang ada sedikit kontrol atas tujuan
5
oleh2 pembentukan
3 papan lisensi
kepemimpinan profesional (seperti bar atau
ditangani; keragaman yayasan teoritis dan disiplin referensi; dan
untuk dokter dan insinyur). Sebagai contoh, beberapa
keragaman metodologi penelitian [11]. Pertimbangkan, kelompok penelitian IS dapat memilih untuk menentukan dan
menghargai proyek yang tidak mengikuti pola rekayasa atau
misalnya, fenomena implementasi SI. Telah diperiksa dari
ilmu sosial empiris yang akrab, meskipun kelompok-kelompok
beragam perspektif yang seperti teknis seperti itu umumnya berada dalam minoritas. Tampaknya ada
- setidaknya sampai tingkat tertentu - otonomi lokal untuk
implementasi[12,13], model perubahan yang
merumuskan masalah penelitian, dan standar untuk
direncanakan Lewin dan Schein [14,15], teori politik [16− 19], melakukan dan mengevaluasi hasil penelitian. Yang lain telah
meragukan apakah 'otonomi lokal' semacam itu benar-benar
pembelajaran aksi [20− 22], teori ekonomi marxis [ 23,24,147],
ada atau hanya isapan jempol belaka [23,38]. Semua ini telah
dan ekonomi institusional [25-27]. Untuk membuat keadaan menyebabkan perdebatan yang agak hidup pada sifat dan
tujuanIS
menjadi lebih buruk, mungkin ada banyak pesan yang
penelitian[2,7,11,28,39− 50].
bertentangan tentang apa yang merupakan 'implementasi IS

yang baik' karena ada perspektif [145]. Terlepas dari apakah

keragaman dianggap sebagai berkah [misalnya, 28] atau

kutukan [misalnya, 11], itu secara luas diterima sebagai ciri dari

lapangan [4,23,29− 33]. Mungkin karena keragaman ini,

beberapa orang sudah terlalu jauh mempertanyakan apakah

bidang IS benar-benar ada. Hing [34], misalnya, mengacu pada

studi tentang sistem informasi yang bisa dibilang '' bahkan

bukan bidang, tetapi lebih merupakan pertemuan intelektual ''

(hlm. 293). Denning et al. [35] menganggapnya sebagai bagian

dari ilmu komputer. Banville dan Landry [31] ORER beberapa

apa diRepandangan sewa. Dengan menerapkan model

pelembagaan sosial dan kognitif [26,37] dari Uhitley [36,37],


mereka menyimpulkan bahwa bidang IS adalah '' adhokrasi
yang terfragmentasi ''. Hal ini terjadi karena untuk dapat
bekerja di IS, seseorang tidak memerlukan konsensus yang
kuat dengan rekan sejawatnya tentang signifikansi dan
pentingnya masalah penelitian selama ada beberapa
komunitas luar yang mendukung. Ada juga diterima secara
luas, melegitimasi hasil atau prosedur yang satu harus
membangun '' dalam rangka untuk membangun tahulklaim tepi
dibingkai dalam hal pekerjaan seminal
Burrell dan Morgan [54]. Kemudian alasan
Bahkan, diskusi tentang sifat dan tujuan
untuk dominasi perspektif ini dieksplorasi,
penelitian IS memberikan motivasi untuk bersama dengan rintangan untuk berubah.
makalah Ue(2000)
Z. Golez, R. Kivzchheim ] Omega 28
ini. Ini adalah pendapat kami bahwa kemudian mengeksplorasi beberapa
P 249−268 pendekatan alternatif berdasarkan
A
sementara
G tidak ada keraguan keragaman di pragmatisme. Akhirnya, kami memiliki
E
bidang IS, keragaman ini belum sepenuhnya beberapa pemikiran tentang implikasi
2 pragmatisme untuk arah penelitian saat ini
diperluas
5
4
ke seperangkat asumsi filosofis dan masa depan.
yang menjadi dasar mayoritas penelitian
sistem informasi. Lebih khusus lagi,
seperangkat asumsi tertentu - 2. When masalahpenting dari ssiense
fungsionalisme di sekitarnya - telah
Siapapun yang melakukan penelitian
mendominasi penelitian IS hingga saat ini dalam bidang apapun harus datang untuk
[23,29,38,51,52]. Ini, meskipun banyak yang mengatasi dengan dua masalah mendasar
dalam nya] mengejar nya pengetahuan.
memperjuangkan pandangan bahwa Mereka sering disebut sebagai '' masalah
ketergantungan pada paradigma penelitian penting dalam sains ''. Itu adalah ''
'bagaimana kita tahu apa yang kita ketahui' ',
soliter menghambat pemahaman penuh dan
dan mengikuti dari itu,' 'bagaimana kita
apresiasi untuk realitas sistem informasi memperoleh pengetahuan' '? Masalah kuno
multifaset [misalnya, 47− 50,53]. Uhy apakah ini telah menjadi inti sains sejak awal. Dan
solusi untuk masalah ini, bisa dibilang,
perbedaan ini ada? Apa itu pernah sebagai perdebatan sekarang seperti yang
diselesaikan? Makalah ini membahas telah terjadi selama berabad-abad [55].
Ini adalah tipikal untuk melacak masalah
pertanyaan-pertanyaan ini. Tujuannya ada
kembali ke Yunani yang merasa peran
dua kali lipat '(1) untuk memeriksa mengapa utama sains adalah mengubah doxa (yang
penelitian sistem informasi begitu miring diyakini benar) menjadi epizteme (yang
diketahui benar). Tetapi kaum Sophis
dalam satu arah; dan (2) menyarankan posisi mempertanyakan bagaimana, dan bahkan
paradigmatik alternatif - pragmatisme - jika, ini bisa dilakukan. Mereka bertanya
apakah mungkin untuk benar-benar
sebagai sarana untuk bergerak menuju aliran mengetahui bahwa ada sesuatu yang benar.
penelitian yang lebih seimbang. Argumen sejak itu telah berubah pada
Makalah ini disusun sebagai berikut. apakah pengetahuan dapat pernah '' terbukti
Pertama ada tinjauan singkat tentang isu-isu '' [56]. Untuk lebih jelasnya, apakah masuk
filosofis seputar pengetahuan dan akuisisi, akal untuk mencari '' kebenaran '' seolah-
dan munculnya positivisme. Selanjutnya, olah itu ada sebagaiindependen
kita akan meringkas literatur yang
menunjukkan dominannya penelitian
positivis di bidang sistem informasi. Ini
kenyataan. Kearifan filosofis konvensional sekarang Kriteria kation telah meninggalkan kita
menyatakan bahwa pengetahuan tidak sempurna tetapi dengan tangan kosong menimbulkan
bersyarat; itu adalah konvensi kemasyarakatan dan relatif anggapan bahwa objek dari quest tidak
Z. Golez,adalah
terhadap waktu dan tempat [57]. Knowledge R. Kivzchheim ] Omega 28 (2000)
masalah ada. (hal. 275)
249−268 P
penerimaan masyarakat. Kriteria untuk penerimaan adalah A
seperangkat konvensi yang disepakati yang harus diikuti jika Penting untuk dicatat bagaimana gagasan G
E
pengetahuan tersebut diterima oleh masyarakat. Kumpulan sains ini menempatkan penekanan pada
akuisisi pengetahuan pada '' komunitas ''. 2
konvensi ini tidak sembarangan tetapi dipikirkan dengan baik 5
dan secara historis telah menghasilkan klaim pengetahuan pengetahuan (kebenaran) adalah 3
yang telahbertahan dalam ujian waktu. Di masyarakat mana pencapaian komunal. Ini adalah apa yang
pun ada segudang klaim pengetahuan; yang diterima adalah komunitas setuju untuk memberikan label ''
yang dapat didukung oleh kekuatan argumen yang lebih baik. 1 pengetahuan 'atau' 'kebenaran' 'atas. Ini
juga tidak sewenang-wenang karena
Mereka adalah pemahaman terbaik yang disepakati tentang
didasarkan pada konvensi yang diterima
apa yang telah dihasilkan pada suatu titik waktu tertentu.
pada saat itu. Juga tidak sepenuhnya
(Klaim pengetahuan tersebut dapat menjadi tidak dapat
relativistik. Sekarang, dalam konteks ini,
diterima karena informasi lebih lanjut dihasilkan di masa
bukanlah gagasan relativistik bahwa ''
depan.) Dengan demikian, Ue menganggap sains, dalam
semuanya relatif, di mana tidak ada klaim
pengertiannya saat ini, untuk menjadi konvensi - yang terkait
pengetahuan yang lebih baik daripada yang
dengan norma, harapan, dan nilai-nilai sosial - yang digunakan
lain '', seperti yang dapat diperdebatkan,
untuk terlibat dalam pencarian untuk pengertian. Sains
misalnya, Feyerabend [61]. Sebaliknya,
menggunakan alat, teknik, dan pendekatan apa pun yang
klaim pengetahuan diteliti melalui konvensi
dianggap tepat untuk materi pelajaran tertentu yang diteliti. komunitas yang diterima; hanya klaim-klaim
Snyder [58] membahas sains dalam hal yang dinilai dapat diterima melalui debat
yang diinformasikan diadopsi. Tetapi apa
... sesuatu yang dilakukan orang. Ini bukan seperangkat
yang dimaksud dengan '' dapat diterima ''?
pernyataan atau teori tertentu, tetapi serangkaian kegiatan
Meskipun penulis seperti Laudan [60] dan Anderson
yang mungkin atau mungkin tidak menghasilkan teori yang
[59] mungkin percaya perbedaan antara
terorganisasi. sains ('' klaim pengetahuan yang dapat
diterima '') dan non-sains ('' klaim
Ilmu pengetahuan, untuk semua maksud dan tujuan, adalah
pengetahuan yang tidak dapat diterima '')
kendaraan pemecahan masalah. Seperti Anderson [59, hal.
tidak secara khusus jelas, bobot bukti
25] menempatkannya "pada dasarnya proses pembentukan
menentang mereka [62]. Perbedaan antara
konsensus". Konsekuensi dari konsep sains ini adalah bahwa
ilmu pengetahuan (ilmu normal) dan non-
hampir setiap upaya ilmiah untuk memperoleh pengetahuan
ilmu pengetahuan atau quasi-ilmu(ilmu
dapat ditafsirkan sebagai '' sains ''. Demarkasi antara sains
semu)- setidaknya di western World - relatif
(ilmu normal) dan non-sains (pseudo-science) mengaburkan.
jelas. Untuk sesuatu yang dianggap ilmiah,
Dan tidak mungkin bahwa blur ini akan bersih. Laudan [60] ia harus menggunakan kumpulan konvensi
menulis " yang disepakati - metode ilmiah. Ini adalah
manifestasi dari konsepsi positivistik sains]
Kenyataan bahwa 2400 tahun mencari demar-
penyelidikan - atau apa yang mungkin
disebut 'ilmu positif' - dan memiliki sejarah
1
Habermas [100] memberi penilaian teoretis yang baik tentang panjang dalam memberikan pemahaman
bagaimana hal ini bisa dilakukan melalui apa yang disebut '' pidato alam yang diterima [63].
yang ideal ''. Situasi berbicara yang ideal memungkinkan peserta untuk
menyelesaikan perbedaan dan kesalahpahaman tanpa melepaskan
orientasi konsensual mereka, karena dengan tidak adanya kekuatan
eksternal, kekuatan akal akan membuat menang argumen yang lebih
3. Penjelasanssiense positirist
baik. Sejauh konsensus ini hanya didasarkan '' pada kekuatan
argumen yang lebih baik '', itu dapat disebut '' rasional '' (lih. [16], bab
I.3). Misalnya, jika sebuah argumen "menang" karena oportunisme, Positivismetelah didefinisikan oleh banyak
pertimbangan kekuasaan atau kurangnya motivasi oleh pihak lain orang selama bertahun-tahun. Holakowski
untuk menjelaskan sudut pandang mereka, maka ia tidak menang [64], misalnya, menyatakan bahwa
dengan "kekuatan" dari akal murni dan karenanya konsensus tidak positivisme mencakup empat poin doktrin
akan disebut rasional. Sebuah konsensus rasional akan direplikasi "(1) aturan fenomenalisme yang
setiap saat sepanjang keadaan pengetahuan tidak berubah yang menegaskan bahwa hanya ada
dapat menyebabkan argumen baru yang '' lebih kuat ''. pengalaman; semua abstraksi menjadi
'materi' atau 'roh' harus ditolak; (2) aturan
nominalisme yang menegaskan bahwa kata-
kata, generalisasi, abstraksi, dll. Adalah
fenomena linguistik dan tidak memberikan
wawasan baru ke dunia; (3) pemisahan
fakta dari nilai; dan (4) kesatuan metode
ilmiah. Burrell dan Morgan [54]
mendefinisikannya sebagai epistemologi ''
yang berusaha menjelaskan dan
memprediksi apa yang terjadi di dunia sosial
dengan mencari keteraturan dan hubungan
kausal antara unsur-unsur penyusunnya ''. hubungan kausal Humean;
Untuk tujuan diskusi kita, positivisme dapat
diringkas sebagai didasarkan pada lima pilar
"(1) Kesatuan metode ilmiah; (2) Cari
Z. Golez, R. Kivzchheim ] Omega 28 (2000)
P 249−268
A
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(3) Keyakinan pada empirisme; (4) Sains (dan Researche
prosesnya) bebas nilai; dan (5) Landasan ilmu rs should
didasarkan pada logika dan matematika. R focus on
Satu, kesatuan metode ilmiah Z. Golez, bahwa
berarti R. Kivzchheim ] Omega 28 (2000) e empirical
249−268 a P
pendekatan yang diterima untuk akuisisi pengetahuan l evidence A
i and G
(metode ilmiah) berlaku untuk semua bentuk t E
penyelidikan. Tidak masalah apakah domain y hypothesis
testing, 2
penelitian adalah benda mati atau benda mati; i 5
s looking for
kehidupan manusia, hewan atau tumbuhan; 3
fundament
fenomena fisik atau non-fisik; dll. Dua, pencarian e al laws and
x
hubungan kausal Humean mencerminkan keinginan t causal
untuk menemukan keteraturan dan hubungan sebab- e relationship
r
akibat di antara unsur-unsur penelitian. Proses yang n s
digunakan didasarkan pada reduksionisme, di mana a (positivism)
l
keseluruhannya semakin jauh dikurangi menjadi .
bagian-bagian penyusunnya. Tiga, keyakinan dalam t Humans are
o products of
empirisme mengacu pada konformasi yang dipegang
t their
kuat bahwa satu-satunya data yang valid adalah yang h
e environments
dialami dari indera. Pengalaman ekstrasensori, alat O (determinism).
pengatur sadar dan tidak sadar, persepsi subyektif, b i Operationalizin
j n
dan sejenisnya, tidak dianggap dapat diterima. e d g and
Empat, sains dan prosesnya bebas-nilai c i measuring
t v
mencerminkan keyakinan bahwa tidak ada nilai i i constructs,
intrinsik dalam sains. Pelaksanaan sains tidak v dRealitalong with
e u
memiliki hubungan dengan keyakinan politik, ideologi, ya is quantitative Hu
atau moral. Ini melampaui semua keyakinan budaya l
interpr analysis
.eted techniques ma
and
dan sosial yang dipegang oleh ilmuwan. Lima, logika, ns
I thehypothesis
by pos
dan lebih umum, matematika memberikan fondasi tindividtesting, will
sains. Mereka menyediakan bahasa universal dan ses
iual. It uncover s
dasar formal untuk analisis kuantitatif, senjata penting s
is universal laws
free
dalam mencari hubungan kausal. sociall
a that explain
will
Positivisme juga mencakup posisi ontologis y and govern
tertentu. (Ontologi mengacu pada sifat dunia di ‘constrreality and
‘ hav
sekitar kita; khususnya, potongan realitas yang dipilih g
ucted (nomothetic).
i e
oleh para ilmuwan.) Posisi yang diadopsi oleh (nomi
v aut
positivis adalah salah satu realisme. Ini mendalilkan nalism
e ono
n
).
bahwa alam semesta terdiri dari objek dan struktur ’ my
yang diberikan secara obyektif. Ini ada sebagai ’Hnowl (vol
edge unt
entitas empiris, pada mereka sendiri, independen dari (
is
r aris
apresiasi pengamat dari mereka.2 Ini sangat berbeda e
relativ
a m).
dengan ontologi alternatif, yaitu relativisme atau e.
l Und
instrumentalisme, yang menyatakan bahwa realitas T Resea
i erst
adalah konstruksi subyektif dari pikiran. Konsep dan a srchers
S m andi
b u should
nama yang disampaikan secara sosial mengarahkan l ) ng
b .focus
bagaimana realitas dipahami dan disusun; Karena itu e j the
1 e on
realitas bervariasi dengan bahasa dan budaya yang A c worl
meani d is
berbeda. Uhat secara subyektif dialami sebagai s t
i ng and best
realitas obyektif s v A
exami don
u e s
ne theE
m se by
p totalityp anal
O i u
ti of
n a s yzin
m
2
Posisi ontologis realis ini sering disebut sebagai 'realisme o tsituatit g
o e p
na na' dan bagi banyak ilmuwan sosial telah digantikan oleh n on
l m subj
ti
bentuk 'realisme ilmiah' yang lebih moderat. Realisme ilmiah s (anti-
o o ecti
g l o
menyatakan bahwa sementara dunia ada secara a positivi ve
i o n
b sm).
c g
independen dari yang dirasakan ('realisme klasik'), dunia sacc
o a i
hanya dapat diketahui melalui model-model dunia. Model- l c oun
a
u
model itu sendiri tidak dapat diubah - mereka tidak pernah a ts of
b
t a l
dapat diketahui secara pasti ('realisme fallibilistic'); memang, t s a
o
pekerjaan sains adalah untuk mengembangkan model dunia h s a situ
u
yang lebih baik [140]. u s atio
t
e m s
n p u n or
h
a t m phe
u
i p
t o t no
m
u n i me
a
r s o na
n n
e s (ide
n
o ogr
a
f aphi
t
s c).
Tabel 2
Asumsi tentang sifat masyarakat [54]

Peraturan Perubahan radikal


Z. Golez, R. Kivzchheim ] Omega 28 (2000)
Masyarakat
P cenderung menuju persatuan dan kohesi.
249−268 Masyarakat mengandung konflik struktural yang mendalam.
A
Kekuatan masyarakat menjunjung tinggi status quo. Masyarakat cenderung menindas dan membatasi anggotanya.
G
E
2 digunakan dalam pengertian yang lebih luas dari Burrell dan Morgan
hanya
5 ada di pikiran pengamat. (Sikap ontologis yang terakhir daripada gagasan Huhn yang lebih khusus.
4 yang didukung oleh anti-positivisme.)
adalah
Selama berabad-abad, positivisme telah menikmati
kesuksesan besar. Ini telah memiliki hubungan yang sangat
bahagia dengan ilmu-ilmu fisik di mana pertumbuhan yang luar
biasa dalam pengetahuan telah dialami. Ini telah
memungkinkan manusia untuk mencapai bulan,
mengembangkan obat-obatan dan prosedur untuk melawan
penyakit, membangun gedung pencakar langit, menemukan
komputer, dan sejumlah kemajuan lain yang terlalu banyak
untuk disebutkan. Namun aplikasinya dalam ilmu-ilmu sosial
kurang spektakuler. Sepanjang sejarah, individu telah berusaha
menerapkan positivisme ke alam manusia, memperkuat atau
memodifikasi konsepsi yang diperlukan. (Munculnya
'postpositivisme' sebagai perkembangan evolusioner dari
pikiran positif hanyalah satu contoh nyata; bnd. [65− 67]). Kritik
telah muncul untuk mempertanyakan validitasnya pada
sejumlah kesempatan [68-70]. Dari perspektif historis, orang
dapat dengan jelas melihat ketegangan yang tidak
menyenangkan yang telah ada dalam penerapan positivisme
dalam ilmu-ilmu sosial. Ini telah menimbulkan apa yang
Tashakkori dan Teddlie [71] sebut sebagai '' perang paradigma
'' '' pertempuran 'yang diperjuangkan oleh penganut
positivisme melawan anti-positivis. Namun, ilmu positivis masih
berkuasa. Visibilitasnya di seluruh ilmu sosial jelas bagi semua
orang untuk melihat [62], dan popularitasnya di IS adalah tanpa
pertanyaan [23,38]. Dalam makalah ini, kita akan
mengeksplorasi popularitas ini melalui lensa paradigma-
paradigma Burrell dan Morgan.

4. Paradigma

Pada tahun 1979, Burrell dan Morgan [54] memperluas


kesadaran kolektif para peneliti dengan memperkenalkan
tipologi paradigma mereka untuk analisis teori sosial dan
organisasi.3 Dengan mengidentifikasi asumsi fundamental
yang berbeda tentang sifat

3
Istilah '' paradigma '' telah ditafsirkan cukup berbeda oleh peneliti
yang berbeda. Dalam pengertian Huhnian, paradigma adalah ''
prestasi ilmiah yang diakui secara universal yang untuk sementara
waktu memberikan masalah model dan solusi kepada komunitas
praktisi '[57, hal. viii]. Burrell dan Morgan [54] menggunakan istilah ini
sebagai "kesamaan perspektif yang mengikat kerja sekelompok ahli
teori bersama-sama" [54, hal. 23]. Dalam makalah ini, paradigma
ilmu sosial (lihat Tabel 1) dan sifat pada pengaturan sosial dan organisasi yang
masyarakat (lihat Tabel 2), mereka tiba pada ada. Ini terutama berfokus pada struktur dan
matriks yang terdiri dari empat paradigma analisis hubungan kekuatan ekonomi.
penelitian yang berbeda „fungsionalisme, Paradigma humanis radikal mencari
Z.
interpradisitisme, strukturalisme radikal, Golez,
dan R. Kivzchheim ] Omega perubahan
28 (2000) radikal, emansipasi, dan potensi,
249−268
humanisme radikal (Lihat Gambar 1). dan menekankan peran yang dimainkan P A
Paradigma fungsionalis berkaitan dengan kekuatan sosial dan organisasi dalam G
E
memberikan penjelasan tentang status quo, memahami perubahan. Ini berfokus pada
tatanan sosial, integrasi sosial, konsensus, semua bentuk penghalang untuk emansipasi 25
kepuasan kebutuhan, dan pilihan rasional. "khususnya, ideologi (komunikasi 3
Ini berusaha untuk menjelaskan bagaimana terdistorsi), kekuatan dan dorongan
elemen-elemen individu dari suatu sistem psikologis dan kendala sosial; dan mencari
sosial berinteraksi bersama untuk cara untuk mengatasinya.
membentuk keseluruhan yang terintegrasi. ~
2 yang tampaknya sederhana Matriks 2ini memiliki

Paradigma interpretivist mencari penjelasan dampak yang jauh melampaui apa yang
di dalam alam kesadaran individu dan dapat diantisipasi oleh pembuatnya, atau
subjektivitas, dan dalam kerangka acuan siapa pun, [73,74]. Mungkin kontribusi yang
dari perspektif '' 'peran sosial dan institusi paling signifikan dari gambar Burrell dan
ada sebagai ekspresi makna yang Morgan -
dilekatkan laki-laki ke dunianya' '[72] p. 134].
Para ahli strukturalis radikal memiliki
pandangan masyarakat dan organisasi yang Gambar 1. Paradigma Burrell dan
Morgan.
menekankan perlunya menggulingkan atau
mengatasi keterbatasan yang ditempatkan
Baroudi yang kedua, meskipun Ualsham agak lebih optimis
tentang kemungkinan tren.

Z. Golez, R. Kivzchheim ] Omega 28 (2000)


P 249−268 4
Meskipun seperti akan diperlihatkan di bagian 'Breaking the Mould',
A
G ini mulai berubah.
E
2
5
4

Gambar. 2. Representasi proporsional dari penelitian IS dimodelkan


pada kerangka Burrell dan Morgan (diadaptasi dari [77, p. 586]).

kerja telah untuk melegitimasi (atau setidaknya memberikan


dorongan untuk melegitimasi) pendekatan alternatif untuk
mempelajari organisasi dengan membawa cahaya ''
ketidakpuasan yang berkembang dengan dominan, ortodoksi
fungsional '' [75, hal. 681). Di bidang sistem informasi, pekerjaan
Burrell dan Morgan telah digunakan untuk menunjukkan tidak
adanya paradigma pemersatu [76]. Uhile ada perdebatan yang
sedang berlangsung mengenai keinginan satu paradigma
tunggal untuk mempelajari sistem informasi (lihat, misalnya,
[11,28]), pemeriksaan sebelumnya di lapangan meninggalkan
sedikit keraguan bahwa informasi penelitian sistem hingga saat
ini telah dikelompokkan di sekitar paradigma soliter. Alavi dkk.
[29] meninjau 792 artikel yang diterbitkan lebih dari 20 tahun
dalam jurnal MIS utama. Kesimpulan mereka '' '' Hampir semua
metodologi penelitian yang digunakan dalam artikel yang
termasuk dalam penelitian dapat dicirikan sebagai metodologi
tradisional yang bermotif setelah penelitian dalam ilmu alam ''
(hal. 369). Orlikowski dan Baroudi [23], dalam analisis penelitian
yang dipublikasikan selama periode lima tahun (Januari 1983 −
Mei 1988) dari empat sumber utama (Communication dari
ACW, Pvoceedingz dari Intevnational Confevence pada
Infovmation Syztemz, WIS Quavtevly, dan Wanagement
Science), melangkah lebih jauh dan menentukan bahwa ''
sementara tidak ada satu bidang topik atau teori yang
mendominasi penelitian sistem informasi, jelas ada seperangkat
asumsi yang berlaku tentang apa yang menjadi konstitusi
penelitian sistem informasi yang dapat diterima '' (hal. 6).
Ualsham [38] memperluas pekerjaan Orlikowski dan Baroudi
untuk memasukkan periode dari Januari 1992 hingga Juli 1993,
menggunakan skema klasifikasi mereka tetapi memperluas
ulasannya untuk memasukkan jurnal-jurnal Eropa. Dia juga
menjatuhkan Sains Wanagement dan menambahkan
Infovmation Syztemz Rezeavch untuk mencapai pilihan jurnal IS
mainstream yang lebih akurat. Temuan Ualsham, Orlikowski dan
informasi dapat memperoleh beberapa
menuju penerimaan yang lebih besar dari wawasan dari pengalaman sepupu mereka
perspektif penelitian alternatif di bidang IS. di bidang teori organisasi.
Meskipun proporsi positivist ke artikel non- Stern dan Barley [78] telah
positivist bervariasi dari studi ke Z.studi, mengidentifikasi
Golez, R. Kivzchheim ] Omega 28 (2000) empat set situasi yang
249−268 membatasi ahli teori dari mengadopsi P
konsensus yang tak terbantahkan adalah A
bahwa positivisme mendominasi penelitian perspektif alternatif "lingkungan di mana G
E
sistem informasi. Ini secara grafis lapangan didasarkan; pencarian lapangan
direpresentasikan dalam bentuk paradigma untuk kehormatan; diAkultur dalam 2
5
Burrell dan Morgan pada Gambar. 2. pengaturan batas di dalam lapangan; dan 3
konstruksi sosial yang mengatur karier
akademis. Untuk ini kita bisa menambahkan
satu lagi "kurangnya yang dirasakan
5. Hambatan untuk perubahan alternatif enak.

Jelas bahwa sebagian besar penelitian


5.1. Lingkungan sosial
sistem informasi dilakukan dari perspektif
positivis. Tetapi mengapa demikian?
Mungkin instruktif untuk memberikan Studi organisasi tumbuh dari sebuah
jawaban dalam hal perdebatan serupa di gerakan oleh mereka yang tertarik di
bidang teori organisasi. Paralel antara lapangan untuk membangun identitas yang
bidang sistem informasi dan teori organisasi akan memisahkan mereka dari sosiolog dan
mencolok [28,31]. Pada tahap awal mereka ahli teori man- agerial. Dalam mencari
(dan sampai batas tertentu masih hari ini) rumah untuk bidang yang menggerakkan ini,
keduanya menarik peneliti dengan berbagai ahli teori organisasi mencatat preseden di
latar belakang. Arus penelitian di kedua banyak sekolah bisnis, di mana program
bidang sering kali tampak tidak perilaku organisasi telah dipintal dari bidang
berhubungan. Keduanya menggunakan ilmu manajemen (yaitu, manajemen operasi
berbagai metodologi. Keduanya dan penelitian). Akibatnya, pada tahun
memanfaatkan bidang referensi yang terkait 1980-an sejumlah peneliti organisasional,
erat, terutama psikologi dan sosiologi terlepas dari apakah latar belakang mereka
(antara lain). Penelitian, pada umumnya, di dalam sosiologi, psikologi, atau teori
kedua bidang telah didominasi oleh manajemen, telah mendirikan kamp di
perspektif positivis [31,77,78].4 Tampaknya sekolah-sekolah bisnis. Namun demikian,
seolah-olah bidang sistem informasi, sampai migrasi ini datang terkait tekanan
batas tertentu, mengalami teori
pertumbuhan yang sama dengan teori
organisasi. Akibatnya, peneliti sistem
. Disiplin yang ada di sekolah bisnis (misalnya, akuntansi, fokus pada serangkaian variabel yang lebih
keuangan, ilmu manajemen) didasarkan pada tradisi yang kecil, dan untuk memperbaiki atau
relatif positivis. Siswa menyerukan relevansi pragmatis dan mengisolasi variabel-variabel tersebut, ''
penerapan untuk karir masa depan Z. Golez, R. Kivzchheim
mereka. ] Omega 28
Konstituen (2000)
dibandingkan dengan (mempelajari) sistem
P 249−268
eksternal
A sekolah bisnis, yang menyediakan peluang keterkaitan antar kelompok variabel '' [79 ,
G
pendanaan dan penelitian, juga didasarkan pada '' dunia nyata hal. 240]. Peneliti menemukan mereka dapat
E
''. Hasil bersih dari lingkungan sekolah bisnis adalah untuk meningkatkan atau melindungi reputasi
2
menyenggol penelitian organisasional terhadap sudut tenggara mereka dengan mempersempit ruang
5
dari4 kerangka Burrell dan Morgan - paradigma fungsionalis lingkup masalah yang mereka selidiki [78].
[78]. Hahn [57] paling baik menjelaskan alasan di
Dalam pembuluh darah seperti itu, para peneliti awal IS balik pilihan ini "
datang dari sejumlah latar belakang diRerent. Namun dalam
kasus IS, ini termasuk bidang ilmu komputer dan teknik, dua Di bawah kondisi sains normal, ilmuwan
disiplin yang disebut '' keras ''. Hal ini tercermin dari banyaknya penelitian bukanlah inovator tetapi
makalah IS awal yang membahas masalah teknis [34]. Peneliti pemecah teka-teki, dan teka-teki yang
sistem informasi juga tertarik pada sekolah bisnis. menjadi konsentrasinya hanya yang ia
Kecenderungan sekolah bisnis terhadap positivisme, yakini dapat dinyatakan dan dipecahkan
digabungkan dengan pengaruh fungsionalis para ilmuwan dan dalam tradisi ilmiah yang sudah ada
insinyur komputer, membantu menjangkarkan penelitian
sistem informasi dalam paradigma fungsionalis. Penerapan ini untuk IS adalah jelas.
Serupa dengan pertumbuhan dan
transformasi organisasi, sistem informasi
5.2. Seavch fov vezpectability telah menyebar luas dan meresap di semua
aspek organisasi dan masyarakat. Batas-
Sebagai bidang muda dan muncul, ada kecenderungan yang batas di bidang IS, tidak pernah didefinisikan
dengan jelas, menjadi semakin tidak pasti.
kuat pada bagian peneliti dalam studi organisasi untuk Peneliti IS dengan kecenderungan positivis
mencerminkan praktek-praktek bidang yang lebih mapan, berada dalam kebingungan. Fenomena
minat yang mereka coba pelajari adalah
terutama '' keras '' ilmu pengetahuan [79]. Ini juga berlaku membesar dan berevolusi. Itu tidak akan
untuk sistem informasi, dengan ketergantungan pada bidang tahan cukup lama bagi mereka untuk
mengukurnya. Secara kiasan, itu seperti
referensi dalam pencarian awal untuk legitimasi. '' Cara cepat mencoba memaku Jell-O ke dinding. Untuk
untuk penerimaan dan stabilitas tampaknya sesuai dengan mengatasi perasaan gejolak ini, mereka
mencari hiburan dalam kerangka acuan di
budaya dan norma penelitian disiplin referensi '' [11, hlm mana mereka merasa kom- pleks dan
390− 391]. Namun, model sains yang dipilih untuk emulasi oleh memegang kendali - fungsionalisme. Cara
lain untuk melihat ini adalah menerapkan
peneliti IS pada umumnya didasarkan pada pandangan yang Hukum Haplan tentang Instruktur "" Berikan
objektif dan rasional tentang realitas [11,47]. Akibatnya, anak kecil palu, dan dia akan menemukan
bahwa semua yang dia temui perlu
pencarian lapangan untuk kehormatan menjadi sangat ditumbuk. Itu bukan kejutan khusus untuk
beralasan dalam paradigma fungsionalis. menemukan bahwa seorang ilmuwan
merumuskan masalah dengan cara yang
membutuhkan solusi mereka hanya teknik-
5.3. Pvoblematic boundavy zetting teknik di mana ia sendiri sangat terampil ''
[80, hal. 28].
Peran organisasi telah berubah secara substansial sejak
1950-an. Merger, akuisisi, dan globalisasi telah menghasilkan 5.4. Conztvuction sosial caveevz akademis
organisasi yang melampaui batas regional dan bahkan
nasional. Hubungan dan jaringan interorganisasional semakin
Terkait erat dengan masalah kehormatan
mengaburkan garis antara organisasi '' tradisional '' dan entitas
sebagai lapangan adalah pencarian individu
masa kini. Organisasi telah menjadi semakin kompleks dan
dari anggota lapangan untuk kehormatan
meresap, namun pada beberapa waktu lebih amorf. Batas-
akademik. Untuk pertama, mendapatkan
batas lapangan dan fenomena yang menarik bergeser dan
masa jabatan, dan kedua, membangun
berkembang, menyebabkan teori dan empiris diAculties [78].
reputasi, seseorang harus mempublikasikan
Ketika organisasi dan lingkungan mereka berevolusi dan
di jurnal yang lebih mapan dan dihormati.
menjadi lebih kompleks, banyak peneliti memilih untuk
Commen- tators in both the organizational
studies and infor- mation systems fields
have noted that one consequence of the
''publish or perish'' imperative is that newco-
mers, in order to improve their chances of
acceptance by a ''high quality'' journal, tend
to follow the path of those who have
previously had success [38,47,75,78]. Since,
as previously discussed, pioneers in the
infor- mation systems field based their work
on objective foundations, the eRect was to this ''pub- lish positivism or perish'' mindset.
reconfirm positivism as the underlying One is the nature of
philosophy of practically all the papers
published in mainstream information
systems journals, at least in the US [23,38].
Z. Golez, R. Kivzchheim ] Omega 28 (2000)
249−268
There are two other factors that reinforce P
A
G
E
2
5
3
objective research. According to Ualsham [38], in con- trast to Uhile there may be some referees and
the interpretive approach, positivist methods are usually less journal editors open-minded and non-
time consuming. A researcher can com- plete more studies in egotistical enough to contem- plate such an
less time using empirical tech- niques, Z. Golez,
and thusR.improve
Kivzchheim
his ]or
Omega 28 (2000)
alternative, very few have actually done so.5
P 249−268
her A chances of publication. The second factor is the Similarly, for functionalists, moving
G
socialization of newcomers to the field. Although one could northward on the regulation — radical
E
argue that, after tenure, scholars are free to adopt alternative change dimension would be akin to opening
2
research philosophies, it is unlikely that they will aban- don the the city gates to a horde of barbarians„
5
4
approach that has enabled them to achieve tenure, for two anarchy would reign. A mind conditioned to
reasons. One, their future success remains dependent on, or stability and consensus has diAculty
at least strongly influenced by, adhering to the values of the accepting change and con- flict. Given these
established ortho- doxy, which controls access to refereed unpalatable alternatives, it is not sur- prising
journals, research opportunities, funding, and further pro- that paradigmatic conversions remain rare.
motions and academic appointments [23,75]. This tends to
admit those who have a shared paradigmatic perspective with
the gatekeepers, while excluding others [47,78]. Two, by this
point in his or her career a particular set of assumptions has 6. Breaking the mold
become ingrained in the individual. For a researcher to migrate
from one frame of reference to another is tantamount to a reli- Notwithstanding the barriers to breaking
gious conversion„ it happens, but is so unusual an event as to
be ''heralded... in the literature, in that the theorist is usually out of the functionalist mold, a growing
welcomed by those whom he has joined and often disowned number of scholars argue that the
by his former paradigm col- leagues'' [54, p. 25].
dominance of a single perspective results in a
narrow view that does not fully reflect the
5.5. Jnpalatable altevnatirez
multifa- ceted nature of social,
Through the process of accepting papers for publi- cation, organizational, and phenomeno- logical
referees and journal editors have achieved a position of
influence and leadership. As has previously been shown, the reality [eg, 75,81,82]. There have been an
vast majority of these individuals have strong functionalist increasing number of scholars advocating the
leanings. If one accepts Bur- rell and Morgan's premise of
paradigm incommensur- ability, then the only alternative to appli- cation of multiple methods, theories,
positivism is some form of anti-positivism. Making this shift and philosophical approaches to information
would amount to a tacit admission by an individual that his or
her prior eRorts were misguided. His status would change from systems research [23,38,47− 50,53].
a leader of the ''mainstream navigators'' to a camp follower of Proponents of this viewpoint argue that a
the ''knights of change'' [47].
single research perspective limits, distorts, or

5 even obscures our view of relationships


This is not intended as a blanket indictment of referees and editors,
but rather as an acknowledgement of human nature. Most of us find it between information systems, people,
diAcult to grant credence to radi- cally opposing viewpoints, much less
switch our allegiance to them. However, there has been a trend organizations, and society.
towards methodologi- cal pluralism in IS journals [38], and those
individuals who have demonstrated receptivity towards research An exclusive view is, in our opinion,
outside the functionalist domain are to be commended. Nevertheless, always only a partial view, and the
the overall state of aRairs remains such that research in the positi- vist dominance of positivism, by not
mode is generally accepted without questioning its philo- sophical
acknowledging the legitimacy of other
underpinnings, while non-positivist researchers must still justify their
research traditions, has limited what
assumptions and approaches [38].
aspects of information systems
phenomena we have studied, and how
we have studied them. This has
implications not only for the development
of theory and our understand- ing of
information systems phenomena, but also
for the practice of information systems
work. The find- ings of information
systems research filter into the
practitioner community and are used as
prescrip- tions for practice. Restricted
research, thus, has far- reaching
consequences. [23, p. 7]

6.1. Altevnatire appvoachez


going about one's research'', p. 329) allows
One way to view the debate about us to further cast the debate in terms of
alternative para- digms may be to view it in methodological monism versus methodo-
terms of research approaches. For example, logical pluralism (''a diversity of methods,
Galliers [83] has developed a taxonomy Z. Golez, theories,
of R. Kivzchheim ] Omega 28 (2000)
249−268 P
research approaches in the context of A
objective and interpretive philosophies. G
E
Galliers' defi- nition of approaches (''a way of
2
5
3
even philosophies'' [47, p. 78]). By adopting this point of view, gamut from enthusiastic embracing to grudging
information systems researchers may be roughly divided into accep- tance to outright disdain.
three diRerent groups, each with its own outlook on paradigm Journals often serve as indicators of the
appropriateness. Landry and Banville Z. Golez,
[47] haveR. characterized
Kivzchheim ] Omega 28 (2000) winds of change in academia. In
prevailing
P 249−268
these A groups as mainstream navigators, unity advocates, and the IS field, it is poss- ible to trace the
G emergence of interpretivism as a valid
knights
E of change. The first group, mainztveam narigatovz, is
composed of supporters of the dominant orthodoxy. Their research approach through monitoring their
2 editorial policy and contents [38]. Ue have
epistemological
5 roots are in logical positivism, which cements
them 4 in the functionalist paradigm. The second group, unity already seen a quote that demonstrates how
adrocatez, is more concerned with the acceptance of WIS Quavtevly is opening its doors to
information systems as a scientific discipline than with a interpretive methods. The editorial policy of
specific paradigm. In the unity advocates' view of the world, an Infovmation Syztemz Rezeavch as set forth
immature or pre- science discipline is characterized by the in 1990 was to publish the ''full variety'' of IS
existence of several competing paradigms. A more desirable research [85]. Although interpretive research
state, that of a full-fledged scientific discipline, is character- is not specifically men- tioned in this or
ized by the reign of a single dominant paradigm. Since the subsequent editorial remarks, ensuing
editorial statements emphasize the
current state of information systems research is dominated by
''significance of in- formation technology in a
positivism, unity advocates tend to clus- ter towards this end of
broader social context'' [34] and the
the paradigm dimension. The third group, knightz of change, is
importance of ''diversity in our research per-
of the opinion that reality is multifaceted, and forged from the
spectives'' [86]. These declarations bespeak
interpret- ations and interactions of individual actors. They also
of a recep- tivity to interpretive methods and
give credence to the belief that no single research approach
positions. Perhaps the most broad-minded
can fully capture the richness and complexity of what we IS journal is Accounting, Wan- agement, and
experience as reality. Thus they champion a manifold (some Infovmation Zechnologiez, with its call for
might say motley) assortment of research approaches ''openly interpretive and critical analy- sis,...
springing forth from diverse para- digms. histories,.. .(and) field research which avoids
Perhaps the best way to illustrate the past and cur- a naı¨ ve sense that one can just see,
rent attitude towards alternative research paradigms in the record, or report accurately'' [87]. Taken as a
information systems field is with a quote from a recent editor of whole, these remarks indi- cate a growing
WIS Quavtevly„ tolerance, or even enthusiasm, for inter-
pretivism.
On the empirical side, we welcome research based on Editorial policy statements are well and
positivist, interpretive, or integrated approaches. good, but what is more to the point is journal
Traditionally, WIS Quavtevly has emphasized positi- vist content. As was noted earlier, in 1989 Alavi
research methods. Though we remain strong in our et al. [29] found little evi- dence of
commitment to hypothesis testing and quanti- tative data interpretive methodologies in a 20-year span
analysis, we would like to stress our interest in research that of MIS literature. Two years later, Orlikowski
applies interpretive tech- niques, such as case studies, and Baroudi [23] determined that, in a five
textual analysis, ethno- graphy, and participant]observation. year period from 1983 to 1988, only 3.2% of
[84, p. vii] articles published in mainstream US MIS
journals were interpretive. In a follow-up
Although there are a number of ways to interpret this study, Ualsham [38] concluded that there is
statement (and a number of issues that can be raised if it were compelling evidence for the emergence of
to be thoroughly analyzed), one point stands out. The journal interpreti- vism in journal content, especially
has a ''commitment'' to positi- vist research, but only an in European IS journals. In place of
''interest'' in other approaches. Uhile some may feel that this is summarizing Ualsham's work, it may be
semantic nit-picking, we would argue that it is an accurate more telling to illustrate his conclusion with
reflection of the general attitude towards research approaches an example. A recent issue of Infovmation
in the IS field. There may be growing inter- est in interpretive Syztemz Jouvnal (April 1997) consisted
research, but its reception runs the entirely of interpretive research. This
particular issue is notable not only for the
fact that all of the articles in it were
interpretive, but also for the strong, even
extreme, nature of the articles. The issue
began with a relatively traditional example of
interpretive research; case histories from
Lacity and Uillcocks [88] examining
outsourcing in government agencies. This
was followed by a participant obser- vation
study by Nandhakumar and Jones [52],
which forcefully argued for much closer
interaction, or engagement, between the
researcher and the phenom- ena of interest,
in this case EIS development at a large
manufacturing company. Then Brooks [89]
used a technique of paradigm bridging,
structuration model analysis, to examine the
introduction of new technol- ogy to an
organization. Finally, Harvey [90] provided

Z. Golez, R. Kivzchheim ] Omega 28 (2000)


249−268 P
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a series of ethnographic field studies in powerfully arguing that mountable barriers between the paradigms
IT is a masculine culture that represses feminine expression. [93]. Opponents of incommensurability
Harvey's work is especially notable because it is an extremely counter with argu- ments that, while that the
rare example of research in the radical Z. Golez, R. Kivzchheim
change ] Omega 28
dimension. (2000)assumptions of each paradigm are
central
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Research
A of this type, whether considered critical theory or indeed incompatible, the paradigm
G humanist research, it is still virtually unheard of in
radical boundaries are permeable [77,94]. For
E
mainstream IS journals (but note the two counter- examples of example, Burrell and Morgan have
2
Hirschheim and Hlein [91] and Ngwe- nyama and Lee [92]).
5 categorized both symbolic interac- tionism
The4point here is that not only is more interpretive research and abstracted empiricism in the
seeing the light of day, but that it is breaking out of the case- functionalist paradigm, while hermeneutics is
study stereotyping that was prevalent not so very long ago. 6 placed in the interpre- tive paradigm. It can
be argued that interactionists, with their
emphasis on understanding social phenom-
6.2. Wultipavadigm pevzpectirez ena through an analysis of the interaction
between humans and their social context,
Yet even the knights of change, with their clarion call for have more in com- mon with proponents of
methodological pluralism, argue for change within Burrell and hermeneutics (''Hermeneutics is concerned
Morgan's four paradigms. Others argue that Burrell and with interpreting and understanding the
Morgan's framework, by virtue of its widespread acceptance products of the human mind which
and impact, has normal- ized and rationalized emerging characterize the social and cultural world''
streams of research, constraining alternative perspectives. [54, p. 235]) than with abstract empiricists
(''research in which the social world is
In time, influential frameworks can become as restraining
treated methodologically as if it were a world
and restrictive as those they originally challenged. .. we are
of hard, concrete, tangible reality'' — ibid., p.
sometimes presented through responses to a conceptual
106). This facilitates a greater flow of ideas
framework... with a new, rich set of alternative perspectives
and information between interactionists and
through which we can continue our study and talk about our
hermeneutics advocates than between
sub- ject matter. [82, p. 190]
interactionists and empiricists, undermin- ing
Although there are a number of proposed alterna- tives to the notion of an impenetrable barrier
Burrell and Morgan [eg, 74], we shall focus on two in particular„ between paradigms. From a conceptual
multiparadigm perspectives, and paradigm interplay. These standpoint, multipara- digm adherents also
concepts both question one of the pillars upon which Burrell argue that perspectives involving multiple
and Morgan have based much of their argument — paradigm paradigms open more windows through
incommen- surability. which to view a particular phenomenon,
Paradigm incommensurability is an outgrowth of Burrell and permitting a more comprehensive outlook.
Morgan's contention that paradigms are mutually exclusive.
This stance implies that the provincialism
Proponents of incommensurability argue for the separate and
that comes with paradigm confinement
distinct development and application of each paradigm. They
might instead be turned toward the
contend that the diRerent epistemological, ontological,
production of more complete views of
methodological, and sociological assumptions upon which
organizational phenomena via multipara-
each para- digm is based are so contradictory as to erect
digm consideration [77, p. 587].
insur-
Multiple paradigm advocates, in general,
6
As mentioned earlier in this paper, the field of information systems look for limited paradigmatic de´ tente where
seems to be following in the footsteps of organiz- ational studies. In feasible via contra- dictions, tensions, and
that light, the interested reader may want to peruse one of the more linkages inherent in the diRerent paradigms
unusual and interesting approaches to organization theory„ Jermier's '' [75]. This may be best illustrated by using
'Uhen the Sleeper Uakes'„ A Short Story Extending Themes in Radical the analogy of studying religion. Uhile there
Organization Theory'' [141], and related commentary by Smircich may be basic diRerences between Islamic,
[142]. Buddist, and Chris- tian beliefs, there are
nonetheless similarities as well. By
comparing and contrasting the similarities
and diRerences, the religious scholar comes
to a greater understanding of each in its own
light, as well as a fuller appreciation of the
connections between them.
Gioia and Pitre [77] oRer one thesis on
how perspec- tives arising from diRerent
paradigms might be linked to yield a more
sweeping vista of organizational
phenomena. They recognize the existence
of bound- aries between paradigms, but
unlike Burrell and Mor- gan, they consider
the boundaries to be ill-defined. In a sense,
this is an extension of Burrell and Morgan's
position that each paradigm defines ''a range
of intel- lectual territory... with room for much
variation within them'' [54, p. 24]. If theorists
can ''adopt more

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play between paradigms. Their position is
that there are three possible paradigmatic
positions from which to launch
multiparadigm
Z. Golez, R. Kivzchheim ] Omega 28 (2000) research„ paradigm incom-
P 249−268
A mensurability, paradigm integration, and
G paradigm crossing. Pavadigm
E
incommenzuvability, as mentioned, excludes
2 any possibility of eRective ''joint ventures''
5
4 between paradigms, making this approach
moot as far as paradigm interplay is
concerned. Pavadigm inte- gvation
synthesizes contributions from diRerent
Fig. 3. Burrell and Morgan's four paradigms with transition zones. para- digms in an attempt to achieve a more
general model or theory. There is one major
drawback to this approach. Although the
extreme positions in terms of one or both of the two paradigms may blur at the edges, they
remain based on competing and irreconcil-
dimensions'' (ibid.), it follows that the dimensions are
able assumptions. Advocates of paradigm
continuums, and it becomes diAcult to envision an ab- solute or integration often underestimate or overlook
entirely the impli- cations of blending
impassable barrier dividing them. Gioia and Pitre [77] argue that
concepts and arguments grounded in
this is the case; that it is ''diAcult, if not impossible, to establish diRerent paradigms while ignoring the
incompatible assumptions upon which they
exactly where one para- digm leaves oR and another begins''
are based. Pavadigm cvozzing postulates
(p. 592). In place of hard and fast barriers between paradigms, interdependent relationships between
paradigms by emphasizing interparadigmatic
they posit the existence of transition zones, or intermediate
contrasts and connections. A researcher
regions with blurred and shifting lines of demarcation (see Fig. engaged in paradigm crossing ''recognizes
and confronts multiple paradigms, rather
3). Gioia and Pitre argue that these zones may be bridged. For
than ignoring them as in the integra- tionist
example, in his work on ztvucuva- tion theovy Giddens [95] position, or refusing to confront them as in
the incommensurability position'' [93, p.
rejects the dualistic nature of the objective]subjective
533].
dichotomy, arguing that sub- jects (people) and objects Schultz and Hatch [93] identified four
basic approaches to paradigm crossing„
(structure) do not constitute separate realities, but rather a
zequential, pavallel, bvidging, and intevplay.
duality within the same reality. For Giddens, structure is simply In sequential paradigm crossing the
relationship between paradigms is linear and
'memory traces in the human mind'. Structuration theory takes
uni- directional. The results of research in
up a central location on the objective-subjective conti- nuum, one paradigm are used to inform or advance
research in another. Lee [102,146] illustrated
eRectively bridging the transition zone between the two
this approach in organizational studies, in
extremes. Orlikowski and Robey [96] and Orli- kowski [97] draw which insights developed using interpretive
methods were used to lay the groundwork
on structuration theory to provide examples of this approach in
for func- tional research into the same
the information systems field. In a like vein, the cvitical theovy phenomena.
Parallel paradigm crossing applies
of Jurgen Haber- mas [98− 100] may be seen in the context of
diRerent para- digms at the same time, on
bridging in that it encompasses empirical knowledge (which equal terms, to a particular problem.
Examples of this are Hassard's [103] study
may be considered functionalist), hermeneutic knowledge
of the British Fire Service, Martin's [104]
(which may be considered interpretivist) and critical knowledge work on organ- izational culture, and Lacity
and Hirschheim's [105] analysis of IS
(knowledge devoted to exposing oppression and domination,
outsourcing. Hassard presented four
or, in Burrell and Morgan's terms, radical humanism) [101]. Gioia diRerent accounts of work behavior in the
British Fire Service, with each account
and Pitre [77] argue that other philosophical perspectives, such
based on a diRerent Burrell and Morgan
as action research, some forms of Marxism and Ueberian the- paradigm. Martin [104] took a multipara-
digm approach to the study of dynamic
ories, and solipsism, may be seen as having a foot in more than
organizational cultures, arguing that as
one paradigm. organizational culture changes, viewing it
from diRerent social science per- spectives
yields a more comprehensive understanding
6.3. Pavadigm intevplay of the process. Lacity and Hirschheim [105]
analyzed
In another approach to multiparadigm research, Schultz and 13 case studies using alternative
Hatch [93] introduce the concept of inter- multiparadigmatic lenses. Parallel paradigm
crossing allows for the com- parison of crossing is based on the work of Gioia and
paradigms, but emphasizes contrasts and Pitre [77], as pre-
diRerences between paradigms while
neglecting simi- larities.
Bridging as a technique of paradigm
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viously discussed. It involves the use of what Schultz and between ongoing human actions, social
Hatch [93] term ''second-order concepts'' (p. 534) such as processes, con- texts, and organizational
structuration, negotiated order, and organiz- ing. By using properties, Orlikowski and Robey provide an
these means of alternative social and Z. or-Golez, R. Kivzchheim
ganizational ] Omega 28
inquiry, (2000)
alternative to researchers uncomfor- table
P 249−268
researchers
A can work in transition zones between paradigms. with the either]or choice between objectivism
ThisG
E
approach is the con- verse of parallel paradigm crossing. and subjectivism.
Bridging empha- sizes similarities between paradigms at the
2
expense of diRerences. For example, Barley [106] applied
5
4 turation theory [95] to investigate the relationship
struc-
between technology and organization structure. He analyzed 7. Whe end of the paradigm wars
how the implementation of new technology, a CT scanner used — the rise of pragmatism
as a diagnostic tool in hospitals, pro- vided an opportunity for
organizational structural change by way of altering the Paradigm warriors have been
interaction between physicians and radiology technicians. By characterized as main- stream navigators,
recognizing that the human activities of social construction unity advocates, and knights of change [31].
which help create organizational structure are in turn influ- However, a new group is emerging which is
enced by the objective characteristics of the very struc- ture calling for an end to the paradigm wars —
thus created, Barley [106] bridged the gap between subjective the pacif- ists. These theorists and
and objective perspectives of the same phenomena. researchers argue that there are strengths
Paradigm interplay simultaneously acknowledges both and weaknesses in both the positivist and
anti-positivist positions, and point out that
diRerences and similarities between paradigms. It permits the
the con- flicting paradigms have, in spite of
researcher to take advantage of cross-ferti- lization between the best eRorts of their most ardent
supporters, achieved a state of coex- istence
paradigms by transposing contri- butions from studies in one [71]. Datta [107] has presented five
paradigm into the theoretical frameworks of another. ''This compelling arguments in support of this
assertion.
transposition allows the findings of one paradigm to be
1. Both paradigms have been in use for a
recontextua- lized and reinterpreted in such a way that they number of years.
inform the research conducted within a diRerent paradigm'' [93, 2. There are a considerable (and growing)
number of scholars arguing for the use of
p. 535]. Paradigm interplay utilizes a mind-set of both− and multiple paradigms and methods.
instead of eithev− ov to produce a new state of awareness. This 3. Funding agencies support research in
both para- digms.
is done in two steps. First, the researcher focuses on three sets 4. Both paradigms have had an influence on
of contrasts and con- nections between paradigms„ various policies.
5. Much has been learned via each paradigm.
generality]contextuality; clarity]ambiguity; and
This paradigmatic coexistence, or de´ tente,
stability]instability. After identi- fying and probing these has abetted the emergence of a fresh
contrasts and connections in relation to the research perspective on research. This viewpoint,
grounded in the philosophical school known
question(s), the next step is to move between paradigms by as pvagmatizm, is based on the proposition
exploring the implications of the contrasts and connections in that researchers should use ''whatever
philosophical and]or methodological
terms of one another on opposing dimensions. According to approach (that) works best for the par-
Schultz and Hatch, this ''transforms the paradigm debate from ticular research program under study'' [71, p.
5]. Uhile a full examination of pragmatism is
war.. . into a much more fluid or nomadic situation, where a beyond the scope of this article, a brief
shifting number of positions and researchers interact'' (p. 552). overview will help clarify its appeal as an
Although Orlikowski and Robey alternative approach to information sys-
[96] do not explicitly refer to their work as paradigm interplay, tems research.
their research into the relationship between information Pragmatism has its roots in the work of
technology and organizations may serve as an example. They late 19th and early 20th century scholars
constructed a theoretical frame- work that focuses on the and philosophers Uilliam James, CS Pierce,
interaction between the objec- tive and subjective dimensions John Dewey, and Oli- ver Uendell Holmes,
of social reality, arguing that information technology is ''.. . and contemporary philosophers such as
physically and socially constructed by subjective human action, Richard Rorty and Donald Davidson [108]. It
while (it is) also objectified and reified through institutionali- represents a distinctively American
zation'' (p. 164). By bringing to light the interchanges approach to philosophy, and as such has
met with a lukewarm reception by European
scholars, possibly due to its emphasis on
''what works'' while abstaining from the use
of metaphysical concepts such as ''Truth''
and ''Reality'' which have led to much
discussion and debate that, however
enjoyable, has arguably
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produced little in the way of research results [71]. In a nutshell, framework within which a scholar operates.
the overriding issue for pragmatists is whether or not To help diRerentiate pragmatism from
something, be it philosophical assumptions, methodology, or positivism and anti- positivism, we shall
information, is useful Z. Golez, R. Kivzchheim ] Omega 28 on three of these assump- tions„
(2000)
focus
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— useful
A in the sense that the something in ques- tion is ontology (the nature of reality); epistemology
G
instrumental in producing desired or antici- pated results. (the acquisition of knowledge); and axiology
E
However, it is important to understand that the pragmatists' (the role of values in research).
use 25 of the term ''useful'' is not the same as utilitarian. As noted earlier in the paper, positivists
4
Pragmatists infuse ''useful'' with value, but the value is depen- argue that there is an external, objective
dent on the researcher's beliefs and interpretation of the reality that exists inde- pendent of the
relevance and importance ''of a set of ideas as defined by their individual. Anti-positivists counter that reality
purposes and those shared by their community'' [148, p. 129]. is equivocal, that each individual uniquely
In a research setting, pragmatists place the research question inter- prets it. Pragmatists take the position
above such considerations as methodology or the underlying that there is an objective reality, existing
worldview [71]. A fuller understanding of this con- cept may be externally to the individual. However, this
facilitated by a comparison of some fundamental assumptions reality is grounded in the environment and
of pragmatism to those of positivism and anti-positivism. experience of each individual, and can only
Assumptions concerning what forms the basis for be imperfectly understood. The choice of
''legitimate'' research help create the conceptual one version of reality over another by a
researcher is governed by how well that
choice results in anticipated or desired
7
outcomes [71]. For example, upon observing
To some extent, it is tempting to draw a parallel between
an object consisting of a flat surface
pragmatism and the scientific realism of Bhaskar [143]. For Bhaskar,
scientific realism is more than an ontological stance in that it adopts a
supported by four legs, a positivist would
particular epistemology as well. His version of scientific realism agrees define it as a table, no matter how it was
with Huhn that knowledge is a social and historical product. The task of being used. An anti-positivist would define
science is to invent theories that aim to represent the world. In this the object based on his or her individual
way, science generates its own rational criteria that determine which perspective„ if he were eating oR it, it would
the- ories are to be accepted or rejected. Crucially, it is possible for be a table; if he were sitting on it, it would be
these criteria to be rational precisely because there is a world that a bench; if he were standing on it, it would
exists independently of our cognizant experience [144]. The theories be a platform, and so forth. A pragmatist
which result from these rational criteria may be wrong, since they are would define the object based on what use it
based on the known world rather than the world itself. But nonetheless,
was to him. If he intended to eat, it would be
they are what the community agrees on and is based on a community
stan- dard of what constitutes ''valid'' or ''believable'' knowledge claims. a table. If he intended to sit on it, it would be
According to Bhaskar [143], it is our knowledge of the world that is a bench. If he intended to stand on it, it
circular; the world itself exists, and we experi- ence perceptions of that would be a platform. The crucial diRerence
world. The goal of science is to build sophisticated models using is that the object is not defined in terms of
rational criteria to represent the world. As already mentioned, the what it is or how it was or is being used, but
models represent only what we know of the world and this knowledge rather by how it helps the pragmatist achieve
is inherently flawed; but as we build successive models we may his pur- pose.
improve our representation. By making use of cognitive materials and In a like vein, positivists believe that
operating under the control of something like a logic of ana- logy or
knowledge is objective, and is acquired by
metaphor, we can postulate a model. Ue do not believe that the model
examining empirical evi- dence and testing
exactly duplicates the world; but, if this model were to exist and act in
the way specified, then it allows us to account for observed hypotheses to uncover general or
phenomena. Lastly, Bhas- kar notes that models are composed of fundamental laws. By contrast, anti-
abstractions and are untruthful, by definition, since they oversimplify. positivists believe knowledge is relative and
The greater the level of abstraction, the more this is so since they reality is too complex to be ''known'' by a
move further from empirical phenomena and oversimplify by group- ing single perspective. Pragmatists fall
lower level abstractions. somewhere in between positivists and anti-
positivists. They view the process of
acquiring knowledge as a continuum, rather
than as two opposing and mutually exclusive
poles of objectivity and subjectivity. This
allows the pragmatist to select the approach
and meth- odology most suited to a
particular research question, providing a
conceptual foundation for the use of both
quantitative and qualitative tools.7
Positivists believe research is (or should
be) value- free„ ''Researchers stand as
neutral observers, using scientific
techniques that allow them to get beyond
human biases so that they can make contact
with 'rea- lity' and document facts'' [148, p.
125]. Positivists typi- cally go to great
lengths to minimize their personal values
and theoretical leanings and to ensure the
in- ternal and external validity of their work,
as exempli- fied by the wide acceptance and
use of the principles

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and methods set forth by Cook and Campbell [110]. Anti- that can bring about positive consequences
positivists, on the other hand, view research as bound by the within your value system'' [71, p. 30].
values of the researcher. They readily acknowledge their One example of this approach in the IS
biases and subjectivity, arguing that the Z. alternate
Golez, R. Kivzchheim ] Omega 28
perspectives (2000)
field may be seen in Gable's [111] use of
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generated
A by this approach oRer a more accurate reflection of both qualitative and quan- titative methods
G
a complex and multi-faceted reality. Pragmatists once again to study IS consultant engagement success
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take a middle position. They cheerfully concede that an indi- factors. By integrating case study and
2
vidual's values play a significant role in research, but believe
5 survey data, as opposed to using case data
that4the positivist zeal for objectivity is mis- spent time and to feed the survey process, Gable was able
eRort in attempting to attain the unat- tainable [71]. Similarly, to develop a contextual rich- ness
pragmatists see the anti- positivists relativistic approach as characteristic of ideographic research, while
problematic due to its notion that all insights, perspectives, and at the same time triangulating the results to
values are equally valid [109]. To a pragmatist, values are rel- improve the study's validity. Although Gable
evant and important only insofar as they influence what to refers to this as multi-method, his emphasis
study and how to do so. on the research objectives and call for
tolerance of methodological pluralism clearly
Thus, pragmatists decide what they want to research, falls within the spirit of pragmatism. More
guided by their personal value systems; that is, they study recently, Hing and Applegate [45], while not
what they think is important to study. They then study the explicitly mentioning pragmatism, echo its
topic in a way that is congruent with their value system, underlying doctrine„
including vari- ables and units of analysis that they feel are
most appropriate for finding an answer to their research Ue use the methods that work for us,
question. [71, p. 26] nothing more and nothing less. Ue are
not wedded to these methods, but to the
It should not be taken from the preceding, however, that insights they can uncover and the
pragmatism espouses an anything-goes approach to research. understandings they can aRord us. Ue
On the contrary, pragmatism oRers a wel- come opportunity to use them until they no longer provide
improve the rigor and relevance of IS research. Pragmatism benefit, and then we either switch
recognizes the importance of theory as a means of explaining methods or move on to other topics.. .
and predicting phenomena, while subjecting it to the test of
practice and time in order to determine its usefulness or value The rising acceptance within the IS field of
[109]. Similarly, regardless of what particular method- ology is alternate research methods and paradigms
selected, the standards of scholarly rigor and thoroughness are is earnestly welcome. It signifies a growing
still applicable. maturity of the field and its con- stituents.
However, the use of multiple research
methods does not necessarily indicate the
8. Implisations of pragmatism for information systems researcher is approaching the question from
researsh multiple paradigms. To truly reflect a multi-
faceted reality, methodological pluralism
To summarize in metaphorical terms, positivism may be must have a philosophical foundation that
viewed as an orchestra. There is one common score, with embraces a pluralistic perspective.
clear-cut and well-defined roles and expec- tations for each Otherwise the use of multiple methods within
musician. Anti-positivism might be likened to a solo performer, a single paradigm will still only result in a
free to select and interpret a piece of music according to his or unidimensional view of the rich and varied
her own prefer- ences. Pragmatism, then, is a jazz ensemble, tapestry called reality.
with each performer having a certain amount of freedom within As we have argued, pragmatism
a general but loosely-defined framework. It oRers a very undercuts the tra- ditional dichotomistic
practical basis for research that has great appeal to an applied warfare between conflicting paradigms by
field such as IS„ ''Study what interests and is of value to you, providing a philosophical basis grounded in
study it in the diRerent ways that you deem appropriate, and pluralism [112]. Through its position that
use the results in ways there are multiple concepts, interpretations,
and classificatory formats of a phenomenon,
pragmatism facilitates the construction of
meaningful bridges and interplay between
conflicting paradigms [109]. This is
illustrated by the recent attention
pragmatism is receiving as a philosophical
foundation for futures studies [113], the
study of business ethics [109,112], and
organization studies [109].
Uhat does this growing acceptance of
pragmatism as a philosophical basis for
academic research mean to the IS field? If,
as some claim, the paradigm wars are over,
what are the next steps in the evolution of IS
research? One insight might be found in
Markus' address to the 1997 International
Federation for Infor- mation Processing
(IFIP) conference. She argued that

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one of the directions the field should now take is ''the undesirable. It is done at the expense of
appreciation of practicality in IS research'' [33, p. 18]. The constraining the domain of inquiry by taking
intent of what she terms practical research is not to replace or one viewpoint and construing all others
overshadow research that builds or tests Z. Golez, R. Kivzchheim
academic ] Omega 28
theory, but (2000) its lens. This we argue leads to a
through
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rather
A to complement theoretical research with ''rigorous reduction in the variety of research
G
research that describes and evaluates what is going on in approaches and limits their potential cross-
E
practice'' [33, p. 18]. This is underscored by the 1997 fertilization. Instead, paradigmatic pluralism
2
International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS), with is needed. Indeed, paradigmatic pluralism
5
4
its emphasis on ''the issue of relevance and relationship of IS should not simply be tolerated, but a goal
research to practice'' [114, p. xvii]. More recently, WIS Quav- the IS community should strive for.
tevly announced a renewed thrust aimed ''at better imbuing Paradigmatic pluralism's strength is its
rigorous research with the element of rel- evance to managers,
consultants, and other prac- titioners'' [102, p. viii]. The recognition of the intrinsic diversity of
discussions presented by Benbasat and Zmud [115], problem formulations faced by the
Applegate and Hing [116], Lyytinen [117], and Lee [118]
support this thrust. Prag- matism provides an attractive community of IS researchers. There are
approach to meet these calls for increased interplay between commu- nities and sub-communities
research and prac- tice. For example, pragmatism is
suggested as a philo- sophical basis for the synergistic addressing rich and varied problems. Ue
combination of consulting and academic research in IS [119]. believe the next step is to intensify the
Daven- port and Markus [120], in like fashion, note the value of
consulting and academic research learning from each other. interactions between these sub-communities
Similarly, although not overtly referred to, Avison et al.'s [39] because no one community has a privileged
advocacy for greater use of action research to make IS
academic research more relevant to practitioners endorses the position over the others nor is always
tenets of pragmatism. superior in its problem solving capabilities.
(Indeed, to be consistent with the pragma-
tist position, one might sensibly argue that
9. Conslusions
the final verdict ought to rest with the
As has been suggested in the paper, there is con- siderable practitioner community which relies on the
evidence to support the case that paradig- matic dominance outcomes of IS research.) Instead, the
has occurred in the short span of the evolution of IS. In a credibility of the IS research community as a
classical article Dickson [9] noted that the ''genesis'' of the IS whole rests on its competence in handling
concept can be linked to decision making and ''viewing the diverse problems, in its ability to solve
management process as a cybernetic control system within the problems in the sense of generat- ing
organization, relying heavily upon the computer as the control successful IS solutions. This necessitates that
mech- anism'' (p. 6). Several more recent articles note that this diRer- ent research communities recognize
control notion is still predominant in IS research [121− 124]. This one another and interrelate their research
is hardly surprising when one considers that the one dominant outputs. IS researchers should exhibit more
paradigm guiding IS research, namely functionalism, embracing tolerance towards adherents of diRerent
the so-called 'scienti- fic method', favors control over research orientations. This includes the claim
interpretation and emancipation. Parenthetically, it can be for equi- table distribution of research
noted that the idea that IS can contribute to better resources among adher- ents of diRerent
organizational control has become a cornerstone of Uestern traditions. Several institutional arrangements
manage- ment ideology [24,125,126]. It also underlies the can serve this end. For example, tenure and
research on IT for competitive advantage [127− 129]. But whilst promotion committee compositions should
the preeminence of functionalism has been the case historically, reflect competencies in a variety of research
need it continue in the future? traditions, thus leading to more favorable
It is our belief that paradigmatic unity (or more specifically, decisions for those engaging in non-
paradigmatic dominance) is fundamentally
traditional research. Publication policies
should not only reflect the pluralistic nature
of the field but encourage research that
interrelates diRerent IS pro- blem solving
capabilities. In some specialties such as [50], ''In- formation Systems and Qualitative
Computer Supported Cooperative Uork this Research'' [48], the Software Engineering
has already occurred [cf. 130− 132]. It can also Conference on 'Reality Con- struction' [133];
Z. Golez, R. Kivzchheim ] Omega 28 (2000)
be seen in the publication decisions of249−268
some specific papers such as Hirschheim and P
A
major research jour- nals, for example, ACW Hlein's [76] paradigmatic analysis of GE
Zvanzactionz on (Oflce ) Infov- mation information sys- tems development, 2
5
Syztemz' special issue on the Language Cooper's [134] review of the IS research 3
Action View (April 1988) and WISQ's special literature, Iivari's [135] analysis of seven con-
issue on Inten- sive Research (March 1999); temporary IS schools, Orlikowski and
conferences such as IFIP UG8.2's conferences Baroudi's [23] article on IS research
on ''Information Systems Research„ A traditions, and Iivari et al.'s.
Dubious Science?'' [49] and ''The Infor-
mation Systems Research Arena for the 90's''
[136] paradigmatic review of five 'contrasting' ISD approaches; her case study research methods, but for
and even on the web [45]. her ideas on organizational use of
Publication policy changes are starting to become visible. technology. Methods and per- spectives are
Z. Golez, R. Kivzchheim ] Omega 28 (2000) They provide standards on which
important.
Uhilst 249−268
P the major IS research journals such as Communicationz
A to judge the rigor and relevance of a piece of
G
of the
E ACW, Wanagement Science, WIS Quavtevly, Infovmation
research. But they are secondary to the
contributions of ideas. This is where the true
Syztemz
2 Rezeavch, Jouvnal of Wanagement Infovmation value of research diver- sity becomes
5
4
Syztemz, and Decizion Science have traditionally published apparent. To revisit the metaphor of ''many
flowers blooming'', the seeds from which the
mostly functional- ist IS research, there has been an increasing flowers spring are the various and sundry
number of non-functionalist pieces beginning to appear [eg, research methods and philosophies intrinsic
to the information systems field. The more
38,91,92,137− 139]. One can also see the emergence of journals these seeds are nurtured, the more flowers
which have specifically recognized the need to publish scholarly we will see.

pieces that are not necessarily informed by the functionalist


paradigm„ eg Account- ing, Wanagement and Infovmation
Asknowledgements
Zechnologiez; Scandi- narian Jouvnal of Infovmation Syztemz;
Infovmation Syztemz Jouvnal; Infovmation Zechnology and This paper has benefited from discussions
the authors have had with Heinz Hlein, Halle
People; and Euvopean Jouvnal of Infovmation Syztemz. Note Lyytinen, Juhani Iivari, Uynne Chin, and
though how these journals are all very new (none of them is George Zinkhan. Ue would like to also thank
two anonymous reviewers who provided
older than 1990). This shows that research communities valuable comments on the paper.
addressing problems within diRerent paradigms have
developed enough of a critical mass to make their knowledge
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