June 22, 2021

Critique Theoretical Paper 1: Can the Field of MIS be Disciplined?

Paper Title: Can the Field of MIS be Disciplined?

Author: Claude Banville & Maurice Landry

Summary of Content of Paper:

The authors on that paper, trying to raise the argue that the current scientific development modules are introduce a narrow definition of scientific progress which is not suitable for MIS as a science. To explain that, the authors sorted the current used models, starting by the Kuhnian Model that use the Paradigm concept. Even though, Kuhn’s writings didn’t mention a clear definition for Paradigm, (Ritzer, 46, P7) defined “A paradigm … serves to define what should be studied, what questions should be asked, and what rules should be followed in interpreting the answers obtained. The paradigm is the broadest unit of consensus within a science and serves to differentiate one scientific community (or subcommunity) from another”. From that definition we can understand that multiple communities from different background will produce multiple understanding for MIS from their point of view. Kuhn has reacted to that issue and his critics by proposing to drop the Paradigm concept and replace it with Disciplinary Matrix that consist of 1) symbolic generalizations, 2) common beliefs and models, 3) shared values, 4) exemplars and other elements. Also, Kuhn (31, P.176) recognized the importance of the concept of scientific community.

The second model introduced by the authors is Whitley’s Model which applies the methods of The Sociology of work organizations. His newly introduced model depends on three variables 1) Functional Dependence, 2) Strategic Dependence, and 3) Strategic Task uncertainty. Those three Variables forms the Classification of Intellectual Fields. Also, Whitley identified sets of Contextual Factors that effecting the structures of scientific fields which are: 1) Degree of reputational Autonomy, 2) Degree of Concentration of control, and 3) Structure of reputational audiences.

A: Quality of the Research

Item Your Comments
1. Is the research question or objective clearly stated?     Yes, the research stated clearly the objectives.
2. Is the research question interesting and important?     Yes, its important to understand the different Scientific models and if they are suitable for MIS as science.
3. Is the work original?       It’s original as it was published at Communications of the ACM(Vol. 32, Issue 1.)
4. Is the background research clear and relevant?     Yes, if found it clear and relevant
5. Are there any ethical problems?   The paper doesn’t contain any ethical problems

B: The Research Method

Item Your Comments
Summarise the research method     Qualitative research, based on sorting-out the different Science development models and find if any of those models can be used for MIS.
Does the research method seem appropriate for the research question?   It was appropriate, since all the ideas was clear.
Are the methods adequately described?     Yes, it was mentioned clearly by the authors
Were the analyses done correctly?     Yes, it was done correctly to reach a logical conclusion
Are the conclusions supported by the data?     It was supported by the different Since Models theories

C: Quality of Presentation

Item Your Comments
Is the work well presented?       Yes, it was well presented and organized
Is the paper well structured?     Yes, it’s well structure to flow the ideas in a proper way.
Are symbols, terms, and concepts adequately defined?   The terms were clearly defined
Would additional tables, figures help to clarify the work?   The ideas was very clear without any need for additional tables of data of any figures

D: Additional Notes

Use this section to record additional notes on the paper. In particular you should identify any links to other topics and papers from the module     I found this paper very important to understand the origin of MIS as a science. This science is not only related to technologies or information, it also considering the sociality as well.

E: References

Popper, K.R. Objective Knowledge: an Evolutionary Approach. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1972.

Kuhn, T.S. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 2nd ed. Univ. of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1970

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