Capturing Reflexivity Modes in IS: A Critical Realist Approach

Information and Organization, Vol. 18, Issue 1, pp. 51-72, January 2008

27 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2009 Last revised: 18 Jun 2015

Date Written: January 1, 2008

Abstract

Critical realism is a subject of growing interest in the IS literature. This article aims at implementing a critical realist framework: Archer [Archer, M. (2003). Structure, agency and the internal conversation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press] internal conversation theory. As a contemporary sociologist, Archer suggests both a general vision of social practice and a typology of reflexivity modes. Her multilayered framework could be extremely useful in overcoming a current limitation in IS: the weakness of reflexivity modeling. Indeed, though much research sheds light on the structure-action relationship, it does not illuminate users' biographical realms and reflexivities. In consequence, some genuine motives in ICT-related practices remain poorly understood. To address this deficiency, this article applies Archer's framework to an IS environment through a meta-analysis of interviews. Results partially confirm the relevance of internal conversation theory and its potential added value to the study of ICT-mediated interactions. A further reflexivity mode and possible re-organizations of the Archer framework are also proposed.

Keywords: Critical realism, reflexivity, reflexivity modes, morphogenetic approach, Archer, information systems

JEL Classification: M10

Suggested Citation

de Vaujany, Francois-Xavier, Capturing Reflexivity Modes in IS: A Critical Realist Approach (January 1, 2008). Information and Organization, Vol. 18, Issue 1, pp. 51-72, January 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1323862

Francois-Xavier De Vaujany (Contact Author)

Université Paris-Dauphine ( email )

Place du Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny
Paris, 75016
France

HOME PAGE: http://www.dauphine.fr

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