Handbook of Critical Information Systems Research
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Handbook of Critical Information Systems Research

Theory and Application

Edited by Debra Howcroft and Eileen M. Trauth

This important Handbook provides a unique overview of information systems (IS) research by focusing on the increasing interest in critical-related issues.
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Chapter 1: Choosing Critical IS Research

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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