Track 11: Research Methods and Philosophy of Science

Research Methods and Philosophy of Science Due to its strong interrelations with disciplines as diverse as management, computer science, psychology, and others, Information Systems research today is characterized by manifold paradigmatic views and methodical approaches. The IS field has a long history of discussing its research methods and different schools of thought competing for attention and legitimacy. Prominent examples include the positivist and the constructivist paradigm, each based on their own epistemological assumptions and accompanied by sets of criteria for conducting methodologically sound research. Whether it is acknowledged or not, the ontological and epistemological premises underlying any form of scientific investigation come with fundamental consequences for the practice of IS research and its results. Not least, the interplay between philosophy of science, the choice and employment of different methods, and the very nature of our research results is reflected by the perpetual debate on the trade-off between rigor and relevance in IS. This includes reflections on the relation between theory and practice, including patterns of transfer and exchange. A continuing discussion of research methods and their philosophical foundations is hence crucial for the future of the field as whole.

Against this backdrop, the purpose of the present track is to discuss the role of philosophy and methodology in the IS discipline in a broader context. Our objective is to provide a platform for researchers who seek to investigate and critically evaluate the boundaries of current paradigms and the associated methods used in IS research. We do not only welcome contributions exploring the functional adequacy and internal consistency of specific methods, but also the equally critical aspects of practical impact, ethical limitations, and societal implications. We also appreciate papers that are aimed at investigating the organization of scientific collaboration and the dissemination of research results. Furthermore, papers are welcome that focus on the adoption or integration of methods used in neighboring disciplines such as computer science, management science, sociology, psychology etc.

  • Positivist Research Methods
  • Hermeneutic Research Methods
  • Critical Theory
  • Design Science/Research
  • Pluralistic Research Methods
  • Evaluation and Selection of Research Methods
  • Philosophical Positions
  • Theory Development
  • Managerial Relevance vs. Generalizability
  • Sociology of Knowledge
  • Cultural Aspects of Constructing and using Research Methods
  • Research Methods for Emerging Issues (e.g., Social Networks, Green IT, Cloud Computing, Big Data)
  • Ethical Implications
  • Interaction with Other Disciplines
  • vScientific Identity of IS
  • Software Tools for Research
  • Evaluation of Research
  • Innovative Patterns of Scientific Collaboration
  • Innovative Patterns of Exchange/Collaboration with Practitioners
  • Approaches to Teaching Research Methods
  • Future Challenges of IS Research
Track Chairs
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Frank, Universität Duisburg-Essen, Germany
Prof. Dr. Dr. Björn Niehaves, Unversity of Siegen, Germany

Program Committee
Prof. Dr. Roman Beck, Goethe University Frankfurt (Main), Germany
PD Dr. Peter Fettke, Saarland University, Germany
Prof. Dr. Stefan Klein, University of Münster, Germany
Prof. Dr. Franz Lehner, University of Passau, Germany
Prof. Dr. René Riedl, University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria & University of Linz, Austria
PD Dr. Kai Riemer, University of Sydney, Australia
Prof. Dr. Bernd Carsten Stahl, De Montfort University, UK
Dr. Michael Schermann, TU München, Germany
Prof. Dr. Stefan Strecker, FernUniversität Hagen, Germany
Prof. Dr. Frédéric Thiesse, University of Würzburg, Germany
Prof. Dr. Volker Wulf, University of Siegen, Germany
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