Information Systems: Critical Perspectives, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Information Systems

Critical Perspectives, 1st Edition

By Bernd Carsten Stahl


272 pages

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Whilst Information Systems has the potential to widen our view of the world, it often has the opposite effect by limiting our ability to interact, facilitating managerial and state surveillance or instituting strict hierarchies and personal control. In this book, Bernd Stahl offers an alternative and critical perspective on the subject, arguing that the ongoing problems in this area could be caused by the misconceptualization of the nature and role of IS.

Stahl discusses the question of how IS can be used to actually overcome oppression and promote emancipation, breaking the book into four sections. The first section covers the theory of critical research in IS, giving a central place for the subject of ethics. The second section discusses the philosophical underpinnings of this critical research. The third and largest section gives examples of the application of critical work in IS. The final section then reflects on the approach and suggests ways for further development.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Section 1: Theory

Critical Research in Information Systems

Theoretical Discourses: A Comparison of the Foucauldian and Habermasian Concepts of Discourse in CRIS

Ethics, Morality and Critical Research in IS, Emancipation Across Cultural Boundaries: A Fundamental Problem of Critical Research in Information Systems

Section 2: Philosophy

Ontology: On Positivism, Realism, and their Relevance for Critical IS Research

Epistemology: On Information, Knowledge and Truth, Methodology: Is there a Specific Critical Way to Knowledge?

Philosophical Syncretism in IS Research: Final Remarks on Ontology, Epistemology and Paradigms

Section 3: Application

Information Systems as Means of (Dis)Empowerment: The Information Society and Decision Support Systems in Local Authorities in Egypt

Responsible and Heroic Management of Workplace Privacy: A Critical View of ICT Management

Trust as Fetish: A Critical Theory Perspective on Research on Trust in E-Commerce

The Ideological Use of Privacy and Security

The Metaphor of Evolution in E-Commerce: A Critical Evaluation

Commercial Colonization: E-Teaching and E-Democracy

Section 4: Reflection(s)

Limitations of the Critical Approach, The Future of Critical Research in Information Systems

About the Author

Bernd Stahl is a Reader in Critical Research in Technology in the Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility at De Montford University in Leicester.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Organization and Systems

There is a material gap in researching organization and systems together. Research from individual discipline base of organisation or systems is firmly established with many successful series in IS by researcher in business schools for example or organisation by researchers in social science schools. Each deals with the other’s filed tangentially. This series on organisation and systems disseminates interdisciplinary research, with a clear focus on design. Books within the series draw out pragmatic principles and frameworks from research for the practical work of IS and organization design.

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