Information Systems Paradigm Paper

Essay by clarecongUniversity, Bachelor's September 2004

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The field of information systems (IS) is young, diverse, and in a period of continuous exploration and change. The development and innovation of the field has caused the majority of today's organizations to utilize information systems for key business processes. "Great strides have been made ... in developing [IS] applications to support every aspect of business, in making data available throughout the organization, in supporting the computing needs of all organizational members, and in enabling new forms of business" (Vessey et. al., 130).

The increase in the organizational use and dependence on information systems has fuelled the ongoing debate over whether a common IS paradigm should exist. Certain IS theorists such as Ein-Dor, Segev, Weber, and Farnoomand have argued that the advancement in information systems development and research requires the formation of a paradigm. Other theorists such as Banville, Landry, Weill, Olson, and Kuhn have contended that the formation of an overall IS paradigm could diminish the discovery of alternative IS theories and thus limit the progress in the field.

Kuhn contends that "a paradigm is something that emerges gradually as a result of successful scientific inquiry, rather than something that is agreed upon in advance as a guide to future inquiry" (Cushing, 50). This ongoing debate over the role of paradigms in the IS field has resulted in a mishmash of IS theories but no common paradigm.

Therefore drawing from established IS research and theories, particularity the work of Weber and Laudon, it is the goal of this paper to present a personal IS paradigm. Since "the IS discipline derives its theories from computer science on one hand, and from organizational behaviour and organizational theory on the other. [And since] IS affects, and [is] affected by society" (Vessey et. al., 130), the IS paradigm presented in this paper and...