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Exploring ‘events’ as an information systems research methodology

Fletcher, G and Greenhill, A 2007, 'Exploring ‘events’ as an information systems research methodology' , International Journal of Technology and Human Interaction, 3 (1) , pp. 1-16.

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This paper builds upon existing research and commentary from a variety of disciplinary sources including Information Systems, Organisational and Management Studies, and the Social Sciences that focus upon the meaning, significance and impact of ‘events’ in both an organisational and a social sense. The aim of this paper is to define how the examination of the event is an appropriate, viable and useful Information Systems methodology. Our argument is that focusing on the ‘event’ enables the researcher to more clearly observe and capture the complexity, multiplicity and mundaneity of everyday lived experience. The use and notion of ‘event’ has the potential to reduce the methodological dilemmas associated with the micromanagement of the research process – an inherent danger of traditional and ‘virtual' ethnographic approaches. Similarly, this paper addresses the over-emphasis upon managerialist, structured and time-fixated praxis that is currently symptomatic of Information Systems research. All of these concerns are pivotal points of critique found within eventoriented literature. An examination of event-related theory within interpretative disciplines directs the focus of this paper towards the more specific realm of the ‘event scene’. The notion of the ‘event scene’ originated in the action based (and anti-academy) imperatives of the Situationists and emerged in an academic sense as critical situational analysis. Event scenes are a focus for contemporary critical theory where they are utilised as a means of representing theoried inquiry in order to loosen the restrictions that historical and temporally bound analysis imposes upon most interpretative approaches. The use of event scenes as the framework for critiquing established conceptual assumptions is exemplified by their use in CTheory. In this journal's version and articulation of the event scene poetry, commentary, multi-vocal narrative and other techniques are legitimated as academic forms. These various forms of multi-dimensional expression are drawn upon to enrich the understandings of the ‘event’, to extricate its meaning and to provide a sense of the moment from which the point of analysis stems. The objective of this paper is to advocate how Information Systems research can (or should) utilize an event scene oriented methodology.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: interpretivism, online behavior, postmodernism
Themes: Media, Digital Technology and the Creative Economy
Schools: Schools > College of Business & Law > Salford Business School > Business and Management Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Technology and Human Interaction
Publisher: IGI Global
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 15483908
Depositing User: H Kenna
Date Deposited: 24 Dec 2008 09:03
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2015 00:49

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