Research Perspectives : Through Whose Eyes? The Critical Concept of Researcher Perspective

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-501
Journal / PublicationJournal of the Association for Information Systems
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020



In this article, we explore the notion of “researcher perspective,” by which we mean the viewpoint from which the researcher observes phenomena in any specific research context. Inevitably, the adoption of a particular viewpoint means that the researcher privileges the interests of one or more stakeholders while downplaying the interests of other stakeholders. Preliminary empirical analysis of a corpus of 659 articles published in three separate years in the AIS Basket of Eight journals, undertaken in preparation for the present paper, revealed that around 90% of articles (1) adopted a single-perspective approach, (2) were committed solely to the interests of the entity central to the research design, and (3) considered only economic aspects of the phenomena investigated in the research. Taken together, we argue that these three characteristics are unhealthy for the discipline and are likely to lead to the neglect of important research opportunities. We suggest that the principle of triangulation be applied not only to data sources and research methods, but also to researcher perspectives and that a consequent broadening of the IS discipline’s scope is essential. We conclude the article with prescriptive recommendations for the practice of research that is relevant to multiple stakeholders.

Research Area(s)

  • Information systems, Researcher perspective, Stakeholders, System sponsor, Usees

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