Critical IS research encompasses a wide range of diverse research endeavours that frame their purpose in the context of critical theoretic concerns, such as domination, power and control, on one hand, and liberation, empowerment and emancipation, on the other. Critical social research has eminently practical and essentially democratic purposes. It seeks to achieve emancipatory social change by explaining ‘a social order in such a way that it becomes itself the catalyst which leads to the transformation of this social order’ (Fay 1987, p. 27). In doing so critical IS researchers are challenging the established regimes of truth and norms of knowledge production in both the IS discipline and IS practice. However, compared to positivist and interpretive approaches, critical IS research has not as yet been accepted as an equally valid and legitimate option. To address these concerns the paper revisits the distinguishing characteristics of the critical IS research scholarship, its purpose and theoretical foundations, and specifically examines the methodology question.
Cecez-Kecmanovic, Dubravka, "Critical Approach in Information Systems Research: The Differences that Matter" (2005). ACIS 2005 Proceedings. Paper 27.