To reveal is to critique: actor-network theory and critical information systems research

W.R. Doolin, Alan D. Lowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

It has been suggested that, in order to maintain its relevance, critical research must develop a strong emphasis on empirical work rather than the conceptual emphasis that has typically characterized critical scholarship in management. A critical project of this nature is applicable in the information systems (IS) arena, which has a growing tradition of qualitative inquiry. Despite its relativist ontology, actor–network theory places a strong emphasis on empirical inquiry and this paper argues that actor–network theory, with its careful tracing and recording of heterogeneous networks, is well suited to the generation of detailed and contextual empirical knowledge about IS. The intention in this paper is to explore the relevance of IS research informed by actor–network theory in the pursuit of a broader critical research project as de? ned in earlier work.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-78
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Information Technology
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Keywords

  • critical research
  • empirical work
  • critical scholarship
  • management
  • information systems
  • qualitative inquiry
  • actor–network theory
  • empirical inquiry

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