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A Framework for Validating Information Systems Research Based on a Pluralist Account of Truth and Correctness

Mingers, John, Standing, Craig (2020) A Framework for Validating Information Systems Research Based on a Pluralist Account of Truth and Correctness. Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 21 (1). Article Number 6. ISSN 1536-9323. E-ISSN 1558-3457. (doi:10.17705/1jais.00594) (KAR id:59930)

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Research in information systems includes a range of approaches which make varied contributions in terms of knowledge, understanding, or practical developments. In these days of “fake news” and spurious internet content, scholarly research needs to be able to demonstrate its validity – are its finding true, or its recommendations correct?

We argue that there are fundamental validation criteria that can be applied to all research approaches despite their apparent diversity and conflict. These stem from current views of the nature of truth, and the related but wider concept correctness, within philosophy.

There has been much debate about the nature of truth – is it correspondence, coherence, consensual or pragmatic? Current debates revolve around the idea of a pluralist view of truth – that there are different forms of truth depending on the context or domain. Related to truth is the wider concept of correctness – propositions may be true but correctness can also be applied to actions, performances or behavior for which truth is not appropriate. We develop a framework for research validity and apply it to a range of research forms including positivist, interpretive, design science, critical and action-oriented. The benefits are: i) a greater and more explicit focus on validity criteria will produce better research; ii) having a single framework can provide some commonality between what at times seem conflicting approaches to research; iii) having criteria made explicit should encourage debate and further development. The framework is applied to a variety of empirical papers employing varied research approaches.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.17705/1jais.00594
Uncontrolled keywords: action research, correctness, critical research, design science, interpretive research, positivist research, simulation, truth, validation
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Department of Analytics, Operations and Systems
Depositing User: John Mingers
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2017 13:42 UTC
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2022 22:29 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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