Methodological practice and policy for organisationally and socially relevant IS research: an inclusive-exclusive perspective

  • Robert M. Davison
  • Maris G. Martinsons


In this research paper, we argue that the tendency of Information Systems (IS) researchers to work with a rather parsimonious set of research methods, notably those that follow the positivist tradition, demonstrates a significant degree of methodological exclusiveness. We contend that such an exclusive practice is both counterproductive to good IS research and unethical. Further, it severely and unreasonably limits the extent to which IS research and researchers can contribute to both pressing organisational problems and the scholarly literature. We synthesise our position in a set of four arguments that guide our discussion of the nature and consequences of methodological exclusiveness, as well as possible solutions. We end the paper with an exposition of steps that could be taken to address the current situation.


epistemology methods rigour relevance inclusiveness exclusiveness 


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Copyright information

© Journal of Information Technology (JIT) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert M. Davison
    • 1
  • Maris G. Martinsons
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Information SystemsCity University of Hong KongHong Kong
  2. 2.Department of ManagementCity University of Hong KongHong Kong

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