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Epistemological Perspectives on Multi-Methodological Electronic Government Research

Epistemological Perspectives on Multi-Methodological Electronic Government Research
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Author(s): Bjoern Niehaves (University of Muenster, Germany), Lars Algermissen (University of Muenster, Germany) and Joerge Becker (University of Muenster, Germany)
Copyright: 2005
Pages: 4
Source title: Managing Modern Organizations Through Information Technology
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-822-2.ch063

Abstract

Conducting eGovernment research, multi-national and multi-disciplinary collaboration becomes more and more important. Researchers from different (national) research communities and/or academic disciplines often use different research methods for approaching a certain research question. The resulting paradigmatic and methodological pluralism can be seen as one of the core issues of eGovernment research management, because in this case, studying the same phenomenon of interest – electronic Government – does not necessarily mean that mutual understanding prevails. Especially within this multi-national and multidisciplinary context, the epistemological assumptions made by different researchers may vary fundamentally. But these assumptions have a great impact on the validity, the reliability and also the “quality” of research results. The extensive publication of epistemological assumptions is thus, in effect, almost mandatory. While eGovernment researchers from different (national) research communities and different academic disciplines often address distinct epistemological aspects appearing most relevant in their discourse context, the aim of this paper is to structurize and systematize the epistemological discussion by providing an epistemological framework. The framework comprises four epistemological questions and selected answers to these questions most relevant in the context of IS and eGovernment research. As a conclusion, the consequences of epistemological assumptions for future eGovernment research will be discussed.

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