• Leslie P. Willcocks
  • Chris Sauer
  • Mary C. Lacity


The field of Information Systems (IS) has long concerned itself with the process of enquiry, that is, what should be researched, the methods that can be properly utilized, and the assessment of the validity of outcomes. Like almost all social scientists, IS scholars have been greatly influenced by methods adopted by the natural sciences, and by the power of quantitative techniques. At the same time IS scholars have come from varied backgrounds, and the research role of qualitative enquiry, what the IS field has come to call ‘interpretive’ and ‘critical’ approaches, have been frequently juxtaposed against ‘positivist’ approaches. There is a case to be made that these are no longer helpful distinctions, if they ever were. Lee and Hubona (2009), for example, show common issues across seemingly different research approaches, namely common scientific basis, the fallacy of affirming the consequent and the issue of summative validity. A strong case has also been made for multi-methods and mixed methodologies (Mingers, 2001), and this approach has been increasingly adopted in recent years.


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© Leslie P. Willcocks, Chris Sauer and Mary C. Lacity 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leslie P. Willcocks
  • Chris Sauer
  • Mary C. Lacity

There are no affiliations available

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