This work is motivated by the need for a firm foundation for analyses in support of a number of contemporary challenges facing the information systems (IS) profession and discipline in such areas as the management of digital identity and of data quality. This paper reviews alternative approaches to the three key components of metatheory that underlie theories and practices in the IS field: ontology, epistemology and the relatively new field of axiology, which is concerned with the notion of value. Mainstream assumptions about the researcher as an independent, value-free observer of phenomena are being undermined by recognition that researchers adopt one or more perspectives, most commonly of a single stakeholder, that the inherent bias in most research is towards the particular value-sets of the favoured stakeholders, and that this needs to be acknowledged, reflected and allowed for when drawing inferences from reported research. In order to support the categories of research that are the motivation for the p esent work, a pragmatic metatheoretic model is proposed, which approximates and articulates a layman's 'common sense' interpretation. It comprises a working set of assumptions in each of the areas of ontology, epistemology and axiology. The model is relevant to IS practice, and to that portion of IS research activity that is intended to be relevant to IS practice.
Clarke, Roger, "A Platform for a Pragmatic Metatheoretic Model for Information Systems Practice and Research" (2021). ACIS 2021 Proceedings. 53.