Practitioner-based research in information systems
Averweg, U G
Kroeze, J H
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A practitioner is a professionally employed person in a selected discipline such as information and communication technologies (ICT). ICT practitioners often operate in the domain of Information Systems (IS), the social science branch of ICT. Practitioner research comprises of research that practitioners undertake with a view to the advancement of their practice. Questions arise in respect of research conducted by ICT practitioners: (1) What is the context of the IS professional when conducting practitioner-based research; and (2) Does practitioner-based research have a theoretical base and does practitioner-based research challenge the traditional dichotomy between positivist and interpretivist research in IS? An investigation and discussion of these questions in the IS discipline is the objective of this article. In this article, ICT practitioner-based research in organisations is discussed. Some philosophical underpinnings of practitioner-based research are probed and a reflection on practitioner research is given. It is suggested that active ICT practitioners are a necessity in the IS research domain. Their participation requires that the actual context in which IS practices are conducted, should be analysed. To ensure that such IS research is valid, an epistemological base is needed for critical reflection and thoughtful action from which to draw.
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