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Chad Anderson: Materiality and Affordances

Today Chad Anderson reported on the ground work for his dissertation. He cited several Organizational scholars who have called for more theorizing in how materiality relates to the IT artifact.

He then related the theory of affordances which originated from Gibson’s 1979 work in Ecological Psychology. Gibson died shortly after proposing the theory, and many others have gone on to explicate it. Chad relates affordances to IT research as the relationship between “features of an information system and the abilities of an individual within the context of an environment.” It will be interesting to see where this goes… and I am sure Chad can correct me if I mis-discribing something!

This colloquium session was a bit more theoretical than most, but very interesting.

Alan Lee, Formative & Summative Validity

alan_leeIn a very provocative research seminar at GSU yesterday, Alan Lee explained how information systems researchers typically test how well the data fits their model (establish formative validity, modus ponens), but rarely test how well the theory works, or predicts (establish summative validity, modus tollens).

Here is a few other items I noted:

  • He asked: Instead of doing a grounded theory investigation of the literature, why not do a hermeneutic interpretation? He cited scholars who have said that the logic of the hermeneutic circle is hypothetical deductive reasoning, which is the logic of modus tollens (summative).
  • He sees a truce between the different research camps (qualitative, quantitative, etc.) not an open armed embracing, all-on-the-same-team feeling. I can see that.
  • In his paper, there are useful tables which outline how each research method area uses formative and summative validity… formative validity is found in the hermeneutic circle, replication across cases and the principle of dialogical reasoning.
  • There was a discussion about how methodological papers can become a check-list for researchers, which stifles creativity in methods.

His paper should be published in MISQ.

ditch EBSCO and ProQuest

proquestEBSCO and ProQuest are easy to use to find PDFs of research journal articles, however, their PDFs are very large, and poor quality. My friend Chad passed me this list of direct links to journals where higher quality, and smaller PDFs can be found. These links work best if you are on a university network. Here they are:

MIS Quarterly   1977-present

Information Systems Research    Back issues are currently unavailable

Journal of Management Information Systems  2000-2007
Communications of AIS    1999-present
Journal of AIS   2000-present
European Journal of Information Systems    1997-present
Information & Organization    2001-present
Decision Support Systems    1985-present
Organization Science   2001-present
Management Science    2001-present
Journal of Strategic Information Systems    1991-present
Information & Management    1977-present 

I have been impressed with the quality and consistency of sciencedirect.

Have any more good links? Add them in comments!

Three Paper Dissertation Format

The time is soon approaching when I will be writing and defending a dissertation proposal. I have usually liked the idea writing three smaller papers rather than one large monography of comparable size. Today I found a great comment on the AOM OCIS Student Blog which describes some great benefits of the three paper format.

Learning Styles and Problem-based learning

I recently presented some research at the IAIM conference in Paris. The central research question was:iaim-logo1

Can satisfaction with problem-based learning be explained by students’ learning styles?

A few people at the conference were interested in a few instruments I mentioned:

The paper is available in the proceedings.