Track 10: Research Methods and Philosophy

Due to its strong interrelations with disciplines as diverse as management, computer science, psychology, and others, Information Systems research today is characterized by manifold paradigmatic views and methodological approaches. The IS field has a long history of discussing its research methods and different schools of thought compete for attention and legitimacy. Prominent examples include the positivist and the constructivist paradigm, each based on their own epistemological assumptions and accompanied by sets of criteria for conducting methodologically sound research. In recent years, it was particularly the design research paradigm which has attracted the interest of IS researchers worldwide. Whether it is acknowledged or not, the philosophical premises underlying any form of scientific investigation come with fundamental consequences for the practice of IS research and its results. Not least, the interplay between philosophy of science, the choice and employment of different methods, and the very nature of our research results is reflected by the perpetual debate on the trade-off between rigor and relevance in IS. A discussion of research methodologies and their philosophical foundations is hence crucial for the future of the field as whole.

Against this backdrop, the purpose of the present track is to consider the role of philosophy and methodology in the IS discipline in a broader context. Our objective is to provide a platform for researchers who seek to investigate and critically evaluate the boundaries of current paradigms and the associated methods used in IS research. We do not only welcome contributions which explore the functional adequacy and internal consistency of specific methods, but also the equally critical aspects of practical impact, ethical limitations, and societal implications. We also appreciate papers that are aimed at investigating the organization of scientific collaboration and the dissemination of research results.


  • Quantitative research methods

  • Qualitative research methods

  • Design science / Design research

  • Pluralistic research methods

  • Methods & techniques for the choice of research methods

  • Philosophical positions and assumptions

  • Epistemological aspects of IS research

  • Theory development in IS research

  • Managerial relevance vs. generalizability

  • Paradigms and methodologies for emerging issues (e.g. social networks, Green IS, cloud computing)

  • Ethical implications

  • Interaction with other disciplines / IS as a reference discipline

  • Software tools for research

  • Evaluation of research

  • Innovative patterns of scientific collaboration

  • Innovative patterns of exchange / collaboration with practitioners

  • Approaches to teaching research methods

  • Future challenges of IS research

Track Chairs

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Frank, University Duisburg-Essen, Germany
Prof. Dr. Frédéric Thiesse, University Würzburg, Germany

Program Committee

Prof. Dr. Roman Beck, University Frankfurt, Germany
PD Dr. Peter Fettke
, University Saarbrücken, Germany
Prof. Dr. Stefan Klein
, University Münster, Germany
Prof. Dr. Franz Lehner
, University Passau, Germany
PD Dr. Dr. Björn Niehaves
, University Münster, Germany
Prof. Mag. Dr. René Riedl
, University Linz, Austria
Dr. Kai Riemer
, University Sydney, Australia

Prof. Dr. Bernd Carsten Stahl
, De Montfort University, Great Britain
Prof. Dr. Stefan Strecker
, FernUniversität Hagen, Germany
Prof. Dr. Volker Wulf
, University Siegen, Germany