Research Methods and Philosophical Foundations of IS


Track Chairs

Guy Paré, HEC Montreal, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Briony J. Oates, Teesside University, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
James J. Jiang, National Taiwan University, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Pare Oates JamesJiang


The field of information systems (IS) has a long tradition of discussing its research methods and philosophical assumptions. This track invites submissions that enrich and advance such discourse. We invite manuscripts that deal with specific research methods relevant to IS, the philosophy of research and science in IS, or the connection between and interplay of the two. We define research methods broadly, including research design, quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis, critical research, literature review methods, and mixed research methods.

Of particular interest are papers which review the premises and practice of a research method or technique in order to understand how it can be properly applied to studying IS related phenomena. We also welcome studies that provide novel perspectives on, and examples of, methods to analyze contemporary IS topics such as open innovation, big data and analytics, social media and online communities, and neuroIS, to name but a few. Further, the track is interested in papers which focus on the adoption or adaptation of methods and philosophical stances used in other disciplines such as computer science, health sciences, sociology, psychology, and history.

Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • How can we improve current IS research practices related to data collection (e.g., experiments, surveys, interviews, aggregating Internet-accessible data) and data analysis (e.g., SEM, econometrics, grounded theory, simulation)?
  • What are the methodological and ethical considerations for big data and the creation, sharing and reuse of large datasets from data available in the public domain?
  • Are there effective ways of using multiple methods to coordinate research streams?
  • Can topics and problems that have historically been addressed through particular approaches such as experiments or surveys be re-envisioned using other techniques?
  • Are there preferred or more effective methods for some research topics or problems and how can methods be best compared?
  • What sorts of questions are left unanswered by our research methods?  How does our concentration on the production and codification of research methods deflect our attention from the desired ends for IS research?
  • What can IS research learn from the increasing adoption of ‘evidence-based practice’ in other disciplines, and what can it contribute to evidence-based practice in IS or other disciplines?
  • What innovative research methods are needed to investigate novel uses of ICTs?
  • What are the philosophical foundations of Design Science Research?
  • Can pragmatism, as a research philosophy, be applied as a mixed methodology perspective in information systems? What about other practice-oriented philosophies?
  • How can we assess the rigor and quality of various forms of stand-alone literature reviews? How can we approach multi-level research? What are the methodological implications of several levels of analysis in a study, from either a quantitative or qualitative perspective?
  • Is it possible that we can be overly methodological, creating a methodological straitjacket that prevents innovation in our research?


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