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Philosophy of Science and Research Methods in Information Systems (PHIL)


SS / 2009


Roman Beck


Roman Beck


Das vollständige Programm dieses Kolloquiums wird schrittweise ergänzt.

Doctoral Colloquium

This course provides the foundation for further PhD level work in information systems (IS). The course is largely theoretical; designed to provide a perspective on the current research literature, so that students learn how to identify different research orientations and build an informed opinion on critical research issues, which will help them in developing their own PhD work and thesis.

The primary focus of the course is on the current research methods in IS and the philosophical assumptions which underlie them. The course will explore the various methodological streams in IS, analyzing their special application areas which distinguish one from another.

Day 1:
Tuesday, June 2nd

Lecture Room Madrid
Grounded Theory

Prof. Dr. Walter Fernandez, Australian National University, Australia
09:00 – 10:00

Presentation of the course and the program
Roman Beck

Participants present themselves and their PhD projects

10:00 – 12:30


Walter Fernandez

  • This seminar is for researchers interested in advancing their knowledge on the classical approach to grounded theory research (GTR).
  • The seminar covers the basic process of doing GTR, explains the basic principles of GTR and the philosophical underpinnings of the methodology.
  • The seminar also explores some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding the methodology in the field if information systems and discusses how to address them.
  • Advisable readings: on methodological approach for doing GT using case study data (Fernández, 2004), on myths and misconceptions (Suddaby, 2006; Urquhart & Fernández, 2006)

12:30 – 13.30


13:30 – 17:00

Trouble-shooting Workshop

Walter Fernandez

  • The purpose of the workshop is to help GT researchers to address their particular research issues from the methodological standpoint.
  • This is a hands-on seminar in which participants present their studies and collectively work on the resolution of particular issues under the guidance of a facilitator.
  • To run a more effective workshop, by 29 May 09 participants need to submit a one-page submission to and Cc. to containing the following:
    1. Research abstract describing the research problem
    2. Stage of the research so that we can sequence the presentations effectively.
    3. Up to two key issues/problems you would like to discuss with the group.
  • Advisable readings: Seminal works on GT (Glaser, 1978, 1998; Glaser & Strauss, 1967)

Day 2:
Monday, June 29th

Lecture Room Madrid
Prof. Dr. Dorothy Leidner, Baylor University, USA

13:00 – 13:15

Presentation of the course and the program
Roman Beck

Participants present themselves and their PhD projects

13:15 – 14:45

The Role of IT in Crisis Response:
Lessons from the SARS and Asian Tsunami Disasters

Dorothy Leidner

  • This talk will present a case study of Singapore´s response to the SARS and Asian Tsunami disasters.
  • Using the resource-based view of the firm as our theoretical lens, three research questions are posed: what IS resources are needed in crisis response, how are these IS resources bundled with other non-IS resources, and how are they effectively coordinated?

14:45 – 15:15

Coffee Break

15:15 – 16:45

CIO Leadership Profiles:
Implications of Matching CIO Authority and Leadership Capability on IT Impact

Dorothy Leidner

  • This talk presents evidence that the variation in benefits derived from IT is in part due to the organization´s CIO leadership profile.
  • We show how organizations can assess their current CIO leadership profile and provide recommendations for CIOs who need to change their CIO profile to best fit their organization´s goals.

16:45 – 17:00

Further Discussion and Wrap-up
Roman Beck & Dorothy Leidner

Day 3-4:
Tuesday, July 7th and Thursday, July 9th

Lecture Room Shanghai

Prof. Dr. John Leslie King, Professor University of Michigan, USA
09.00 – 10:00

Presentation of the course and the program
Roman Beck

Participants present themselves and their PhD projects

12.30 – 13.30


10.00 – 12:30
13.30 – 17:00

The lecture covers two primary topics that fall within the broad scope of philosophy of science and research methods: critical perspectives and schools of thought.

Critical Perspectives:
Ability to figure out what is worth putting energy into and what is not.

Schools of Thought:
The topic to focus on – application of information systems in organizations – has never been a very big field of scholarship. Some schools of thought are much larger, and have greater influence on the history of ideas.

  • Going Critical: Perspective and Proportion in the Epistemology of Rob Kling (King 2007)
  • Rob Kling and the Irvine School (King 2004)
  • Social analysis of information systems: The Irvine School, 1970-1994 (Kenneth 1994)

More details about the lecture

Day 5:
Tuesday, July 14th

Lecture Room Madrid

Prof. Dr. Natalia Levina, New York University, Stern School of Business, USA
09.00 – 10:00

Presentation of the course and the program
Roman Beck

Participants present themselves and their PhD projects

10.00 – 12:30

Practice Perspectives as a way of bridging paradigm divides

Natalia Levina

  • Burrell and Morgan Paradigms of research in social sciences. [1]
  • Practice Perspective as a way of bridging paradigms

Readings : Burrell and Morgan – book intro

12.30 – 13.30


13.30 – 15:00

Students present few key papers in the practice perspective in IS Research

  • Barley, 1986, “CT Scanners Paper” [2] (Frank Zickert)
  • Orlikowski, 1992, “Duality of Technology Paper” [3] (Immanuel Pahlke)
  • Orlikowski, 2000, “Technology in Practice” [4] (Oliver Marschollek)
  • Shultze and Boland, 2000, “Knowledge Management Technology”[5] (Sven Weber)
  • Levina & Vaast “Emergence of Boundary Spanning Competence” [6] (Katharina Vogt)

Recommended (Skim):
  • Jones and Karsten, 2008, “Giddens’s Structuration Theory and IS,” [7]

15:00 – 15.30

Coffee Break

15.30 – 17:00

Example of using and developing theory in different paradigms

Natalia Levina

Examples of positivist and paradigm-bridging work

  • Levina and Su (2008) [8]
  • Levina and Vaast (2008, MISQ) [9]

Day 6:
Wednesday, July 15th

Lecture Room Madrid

Prof. Dr. Natalia Levina, New York University, Stern School of Business, USA
09.00 – 12:10

Students present their work (10 minute break in the middle)

12.10 – 13.00


13.00 – 15:00

Students present their work

15:00 Conclusion and Get Together
Day 7:
Friday, October 9th

Lecture Room Madrid
Prof. Dr. Rolf T. Wigand, University of Arkansas at Littel Rock, USA
10:00 – 12:00

Title and abstract of the presentation will follow soon

Assigned Papers
1. Burrell, G. and G. Morgan, Sociological paradigms and organisational analysis: elements of the sociology of corporate life. 1979, London: Heinemann. xiv, 432.
2. Barley, S.R., Technology as an Occasion for Structuring - Evidence from Observations of Ct Scanners and the Social-Order of Radiology Departments. Administrative Science Quarterly, 1986. 31(1): p. 78-108.
3. Orlikowski, W.J., The Duality of Technology: Rethinking the Concept of Technology in Organizations. Organization Science, 1992. 3(3): p. 398-427.
4. Orlikowski, W.J., Using technology and constituting structures: A practice lens for studying technology in organizations. Organization Science, 2000. 11(4): p. 404-428.
5. Schultze, U. and R.J. Boland, Knowledge management technology and the reproduction of knowledge work practices. Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 2000. 9(2-3): p. 193-212.
6. Levina, N. and E. Vaast, The Emergence of Boundary Spanning Competence in Practice: Implications for Implementation and Use of Information Systems. MIS Quarterly, 2005. 29(2): p. 335-363.
7. Jones, M.R. and H. Karsten, Giddens´s structuration theory and information systems research. Mis Quarterly, 2008. 32(1): p. 127-157.
8. Levina, N. and N. Su, Global Multisourcing Strategy: The Emergence of a Supplier Portfolio in Services Offshoring. Decision Sciences, 2008. 39(3): p. 541-571.
9. Levina, N. and E. Vaast, Innovating or Doing as Told? Status Differences and Overlapping Boundaries in Offshore Collaboration. MIS Quarterly, 2008. 32(2): p. 307-332.

max. participants: 18 (-568 remaining)
registrations: 586
credits: 0
Studienabschnitt: Doktorandenstudium
registration required: ja: to registration form


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