Sep 2, 2010

Generability in positivism and interpretivism

Como as questões da generalização continuam na ordem do dia (à mais de 100 anos!), esta entrada pode ser útil para mais pessoas dos sistemas de informação (SI), ou não ;)

Lee, A. S. and Baskerville, R. L. (2003). Generalizing generalizability in information systems research. Information Systems Research, 14(3), pp. 221-243:
"Although Yin’s case research method is considered to be positivist, his concept of analytical generalization has received attention and approval from a prominent interpretive IS researcher,Walsham (1995b). Walsham accepts Yin’s notion of generalizing to theory and extends it to four types of generalization. Walsham explains (pp. 70–80) that, beginning with the facts or the rich description of a case, the researcher can generalize to concepts, to a theory, to specific implications, or to rich insight. All four of Walsham’s examples involve generalizing from empirical statements (reflecting the observations made in a case study) to theoretical statements (concepts, theory ,specific implications,and rich insight).
Klein and Myers (1999) also recognize the process of generalizing from empirical statements to theoretical statements. Whereas they acknowledge that “interpretive research values the documentation of unique circumstances,” they also emphasize, “it is important that theoretical abstractions and generalizations should be carefully related to the case study details as they were experienced and/or collected by the researcher” They add: “The key point here is that theory plays a crucial role in interpretive research,and clearly distinguishes it from just anecdotes” (p. 75). For them,generalizing from idiographic details to theory is so important that they elevate it to one of their seven principles for assessing interpretive field work: The principle of abstraction and generalization." (p. 234)
Yin, R. K. (2009). Case Study Research: Design and Methods (Applied Social Research Methods). Sage Publications, Inc, 4th edition.

Klein, H. K. and Myers, M. D. (1999). A set of principles for conducting and evaluating interpretive field studies in information systems. MIS Quarterly, 23(1), pp.67-93.

Eisenhardt, K. M. (1989). Building theories from case study research. The Academy of Management Review, 14(4), pp.532-550.

Walsham, G. (2006). Doing interpretive research. European Journal of Information Systems, 15(3), pp.320-330. [have no full access to the mentioned paper of Walsham, but this 2006 paper, by the same author, expands on the 1995 paper mentioned above]

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