Social Theory and Philosophy for Information Systems / Edition 1

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This volume aims to widen the imagination of information systemsresearchers in addressing questions about fundamental relationshipsbetween philosophy, social theory and technology.

Each chapter is written by an expert/experts in both IS and theparticular line of thinking under review. Lee provides a groundclearing introduction to the philosophy of science. Markuscritically appraises the promise that still lies withinfunctionalism and neo-functionalism. Introna and Ilharco discussHusserl's and Heidegger's phenomenology in relation to 'thescreen'. Myers, Probert, and Klein and Huynh reveal the abidingapplicability of hermeneutics, Adorno's and Habermas's criticalsocial theory respectively. Willcocks details the evolution ofFoucault's mode of thinking and its usefulness, including essentialconcepts of power/knowledge, genealogy, the disciplinary societyand technology.

Jones and colleagues reconsider structuration theory, andprovide considerable insight into Giddens' later thinking and itsrole in IS. Howcroft and her co-authors focus on the social shapingof technology approaches, including actor network theory, whileMingers brings critical realism into play suggesting that it canprovide an underlying philosophy for information systems. Finally,Merali details and assesses an area strangely neglected by ISresearchers, namely complexity theory. Overall the book provides arich, insightful and critical set of fresh, key contributions tothe study of technology and information systems.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...I would highly recommend that all libraries...acquire a copy of this book..." (Journal of the Operational Research Society, No 57, 2006)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470851173
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 8/23/2004
  • Series: John Wiley Series in Information Systems Series, #32
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 472
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 1.19 (d)

Meet the Author

John Mingers is Professor of OR and Information Systems andDirector of Research at Kent Business School, University of Kent,UK. His research interests include the use of systems methodologiesin problem situations, particularly the mixing of differentmethodologies within an intervention (multimethodology); thedevelopment of critical realism as a philosophy for informationsystems; the development of theory concerning the nature ofinformation and meaning; and autopoiesis and its applications. Hehas published several books, including Self-Producing Systems:Implications and Applications of Autopoiesis and InformationSystems: An Emerging Discipline? (with Professor FrankStowell).

Leslie P. Willcocks is Professor of InformationManagement at Warwick Business School. He received a doctorate fromthe University of Cambridge, is visiting professor at Erasmus andMelbourne Universities, and joint Editor-in-Chief of the Journalof Information Technology. He is co-author of 23 books and haspublished over 140 papers in journals ranging from HarvardBusiness Review to MIS Quarterly, MISQ Executive andJournal of Management Studies. His research interestsinclude organizational issues, politics, outsourcing,implementation, e-business and evaluation.

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Table of Contents

List of Contributors.

Series Preface.


1. Thinking about Social Theory and Philosophy for InformationSystems (Allen S. Lee).

2. Fit for Function: Functionalism, Neofunctionalism andInformation Systems (M. Lynne Markus).

3. Phenomenology, Screens, and the World: A Journey with Husserland Heidegger into Phenomenology (Lucas D. Introna and Fernando M.Ilharco).

4. Hermeneutics in Information Systems Research (Michael D.Myers).

5. Adorno: A Critical Theory for IS Research (Stephen K.Probert).

6. The Critical Social Theory of J ยจ urgen Habermas and itsImplications for IS Research (Heinz K. Klein and Minh Q.Huynh).

7. Foucault, Power/Knowledge and Information Systems:Reconstructing the Present (Leslie P. Willcocks).

8. Structuration Theory and Information Systems: A CriticalReappraisal (Matthew Jones, Wanda Orlikowski and Kamal Munir).

9. WhatWe May Learn from the Social Shaping of TechnologyApproach (Debra Howcroft, Nathalie Mitev and Melanie Wilson).

10. Re-establishing the Real: Critical Realism and InformationSystems (John Mingers).

11. Complexity and Information Systems (Yasmin Merali).


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