Probing some theoretical aspects of practitioner-based inquiry research in Information Systems
Averweg, Udo Richard
Kroeze, Jan Hendrik
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Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) practitioners are often located in the social sciences branch of Information Systems (IS). Practitioner research comprises of research that practitioners undertake with a view to the advancement of their practice. A question arises in respect of research conducted by ICT practitioners: does practitionerbased inquiry research have a theoretical base and does practitioner-based inquiry research challenge enlightenment presuppositions based upon an empiricist epistemology? The probing and discussion of this question is the objective of this paper. In this paper, ICT practitioner-based inquiry research in organisations is discussed. Some philosophical underpinnings of practitioner-based inquiry research are probed and a reflection on practitioner-inquiry research is given. It is suggested that actively participating ICT practitioners in the IS research domain are a necessity in the workplace environment but 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.