Moving from using hard to soft IS methods (tools, techniques, etc.) is usually characterised as involving a paradigm shift from positivistic / functionalistic thinking to interpretive thinking. Using ideas from contemporary epistemology, we propose that such a shift should be re- conceptualised as a movement along an epistemological spectrum (or continuum), rather than being a dichotomous shift. As IS practitioners make such “shifts” (or movements) in practice, we argue that our proposed epistemological continuum would aid IS researchers in understanding such movements and their pragmatic consequences.
Probert, Stephen and Rogers, Athena, "Understanding Hard and Soft IS Development Methods: Paradigmatic Rigidities or Different Ends of a Spectrum?" (1999). AMCIS 1999 Proceedings. 225.