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Studying information systems at the organizational level: interpreting technology

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The aim of this paper is to discuss the objectives of `organisation-level' research into information systems in technology-anchored subjects, and to suggest why there is a need to bring such research closer to social sciences. `Objectives' in our view encompass the nature of research questions postulated, the motivation for doing research, the research audience, and the utilities envisaged for the research findings. The main argument developed here is that rich and sustaining research into information systems practices cannot be based on solely positivist-objectivist approaches. Such approaches, mainly the legacy of natural science, have dominated research into technical aspects of information systems but are inadequate and ultimately ineffectual. On the other hand, purely organisational analyses, devoid of technological richness, are equally improbable, thus the need we articulate here, for an organisationally linked research approach that can encompass the sophistication and detailed nature of the technologies that we use. The natural place to find such an approach, we argue, is within the social sciences.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/27126/

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