Pluralism and Pragmatism in the Information Systems Field: The Case of Research on Business Processes and Organizational Routines

Jan Mendling, Nicholas Berente, Stefan Seidel, Thomas Grisold

Publikation: Wissenschaftliche FachzeitschriftOriginalbeitrag in FachzeitschriftBegutachtung


In an effort to contribute to the recent debate around epistemological and methodological anarchism inspired by the thinking of Paul Feyerabend, we reflect on Habermas’s pragmatist perspective of social science. We argue that the information systems field instantiates a sort of pluralism that goes beyond the relativistic conclusions of Feyerabend. This is evident through the different traditions of research into business processes and organizational routines. There is a healthy diversity of epistemological and methodological approaches in this research. Accompanying this diversity is an openness to novelty and change. Yet, at the same time, this does not necessitate the abandonment of rigor and a cumulative tradition implied by “anything goes.” Anything does not go, and that’s a good thing. There is not a singular, hegemonic approach to what constitutes strong information systems research, but neither have we devolved into anarchy.
FachzeitschriftACM SIGMIS Database
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2021

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