Theory and Application
Elgar original reference
Edited by Debra Howcroft and Eileen M. Trauth
Debra Howcroft and Eileen M. Trauth Introduction This handbook presents a collection of reﬂections on key themes and emergent issues in critical information systems (IS) research. Written by specialists in their respective ﬁelds, it draws together a variety of contributions to the study of information systems. Common to the contributions is a shared concern with challenging what is seen by some as the current orthodoxy about IS theory and research. Since the publication of the seminal paper by Orlikowski and Baroudi (1991) which noted the dearth of critical IS research, there has been a considerable shift in the research landscape. The last few years have witnessed a more explicit focus on such research, as evidenced in an increasing number of publications, conference streams, special issues and academic electronic networks concerned with discussing critical IS.1 Continuing in that vein, this handbook adopts an inclusive approach to consider alternative insights that can arise from critical IS research. We do not attempt to cover all varieties of this research, but rather incorporate some of its most inﬂuential currents. In this introduction we begin by considering the motivation to engage in critical IS research. We then go on to describe the organization of the book. Included in this is a brief overview of each of the chapters. The evolution of critical IS research Accompanying the development and diffusion of information technologies (IT) throughout organizations and society, comes the research challenge to examine the relationship between IS and the organizations/societies within which they...
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