Informing Research: Where to Now?
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ItemWhat Do We Really Mean by Rigor in Information Systems Research?( 2022-01-04)The term “rigor” entered the information systems (IS) vernacular nearly four decades ago to reflect an ideal that would help transform IS into a coherent research field. Today, rigor is often both claimed and demanded by IS authors as evidence for the worthiness of research. However, it seems that we, as an IS community, lack both a shared understanding of what this ideal represents or what qualifies as attaining this ideal. In this paper, we analyze the usage of the term “rigor” in four leading IS journals, aiming to grasp some of its meanings within the IS community. The findings reveal that “rigor” in IS has multiple meanings, denotes a variety of referents, and is used for various purposes. Yet, even if the exact meaning of rigor is unclear or ambiguous, many IS researchers are dissatisfied with the current level of rigor and demand more. In contrast, we argue that our research endeavors could benefit from relaxing, rather than intensifying, the need for rigor.
ItemA Network-Graph Based IT Artifact Aiding the Theory Building Process( 2022-01-04)To support theory building, we introduce a network-graph based IT artifact to provide high recall during exploratory searches and high precision using knowledge gained through the literature discovery process. The use of network graphs, where all data is represented as a node, relationship, or property of either, offers a flexible and tailorable methodology able to accommodate the highly iterative process of theory building. This IT artifact was developed to enable aggregation and normalization of data from varied sources and formats to support the acquisition and assessment of literature needed throughout this process. Our goal in presenting this IT artifact is to promote an accessible and pragmatic approach addressing the varied challenges of Information Systems researchers during the information seeking process.
ItemA Framework for Describing Theoretical Perspectives: Overview and Application to the Work System Perspective( 2022-01-04)This paper summarizes a framework for describing theoretical perspectives (an FDTP) and uses it to describe the work system perspective (WSP) in a way that integrates ideas that often had been discussed in isolation from each other. It also illustrates how the FDTP can support application of the WSP to the idea of digital transformation (DT). It discusses the general value of the FDTP along with potential applications.