Improving the Societal Effectiveness of IS Research: The Pursuit of Prescriptive Accuracy

15 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2014

See all articles by Stefan Seidel

Stefan Seidel

University of Liechtenstein

Richard T. Watson

University of Georgia - Department of Management

Date Written: August 8, 2014

Abstract

This article promotes the stance that research effectiveness should be judged by the extent to which it serves the goals of those who fund it, typically the general public. The purposes of basic science (science that develops justified explanations and predictions) and practice science (science that develops justified interventions) are distinguished in terms of their goals of predictive and prescriptive accuracy, respectively. Predictive accuracy is the degree to which a conceptualization successfully forecasts outcomes under a set of pre-conditions. Prescriptive accuracy is the degree to which the outcomes of an intervention under a set of pre-conditions are successfully forecast. It is contended that IS in order to meet societal goals should bridge the chasm between basic and practice science by focusing on developing justified interventions in relevant domains and under certain boundary conditions (i.e., contextual factors) based on the explanatory power and predictive accuracy of its theories.

Keywords: Research Effectiveness, Predictive Accuracy, Prescriptive Accuracy, Teleology

Suggested Citation

Seidel, Stefan and Watson, Richard T., Improving the Societal Effectiveness of IS Research: The Pursuit of Prescriptive Accuracy (August 8, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2477917 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2477917

Stefan Seidel

University of Liechtenstein ( email )

F├╝rst Franz Josef Strasse
Vaduz, 9490
Liechtenstein

Richard T. Watson (Contact Author)

University of Georgia - Department of Management ( email )

Athens, GA 30602-6254
United States
706-542-3706 (Phone)
706-542-7196 (Fax)

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