In its quest for knowledge and understanding the Information Systems (IS) field has generally been torn between positivist and interpretivist approaches. However, in this paper an approach that accepts many of the underlying beliefs of both positivism and interpretivism is presented: the fictive approach. This blended approach – most comprehensively developed by Vaihinger - reveals how much of what we do in the IS field can be seen as creating and working with fictions. From the abstractive to the aesthetic all fictions are evident to some extent in the IS discipline. While the fictional approach has its challenges it is paradigmatically creative, rich and holistic; all important and arguably necessary characteristics when it comes to understanding Information Systems. Perhaps by legitimizing and exploring fictions in all their forms the IS field may finally mend the tear between the two warring paradigms and move forward in a bid to achieve the disciplines raison d’etre: making better sense of Information Systems.
Behrens, Sandy, "Fact or Fiction: The Philosophy of Fictions in IS Research" (2008). ICIS 2008 Proceedings. 204.