Title

Critical Realism as a Sociomaterial Stream of Research

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-1-2016

Publication Title

ACM SIGMIS Database: The DATABASE for Advances in Information Systems

DOI

10.1145/3025099.3025106

ISSN

1532-0936

Abstract

Niemimaa (2016) argues that agential realism (Barad 2003) represents a radical form of sociomateriality (Cecez-Kecmanovic et al. 2014a; Orlikowski and Scott 2008) and that critical realism (Bhaskar 1979; Bhaskar 1997) represents a conservative form of sociomateriality and attempts to bring to the foreground the differences in the approaches so as to avoid inappropriate “theoretical mélanges.” This response argues that critical realism is not properly part of the sociomaterial stream of research as it violates the five basic notions of sociomateriality (Jones 2014). It further suggests that given the criticisms of Mutch (2013) and Leonardi (2013) as confirmed by Scott and Orlikowski (2013) of Agential Realism represent significant issues that compromise the usefulness of agential realism for IS research. Nevertheless, it is important that whatever paradigm is chosen, it is important to use it faithfully to its meta-theoretical commitments.

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