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Abstract

While there have been many calls to use reflection in information systems (IS) research, the intent of those who linked the word to inquiry, the pragmatists, seems to be unclear. They suggested that sensory inputs (experiences) are reflected off specific concepts, either intuitively or explicitly. This paper argues that it may help to distinguish two types of reflection, ‘intuitive reflection’ and ‘concept reflection’. The former involves reflection without an explicit and formal process of selecting and considering the concept (idea, stance) that is to be used to reflect on a past sensory experience. Explicit concept reflection involves selecting a specific concept against which to reflect. The reflection literature is revisited using this distinction. Without a clearer understanding of the pragmatic stance on thinking as re-viewing, the useful pluralist and emancipatory implications of using reflection are in danger of being missed.

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