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An Historically-Grounded Critical Analysis of Research Articles in MIS

François-Xavier De Vaujany (), Isabelle Walsh () and Nathalie Mitev
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François-Xavier De Vaujany: Management & Organisation - DRM - Dauphine Recherches en Management - Université Paris Dauphine-PSL - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Isabelle Walsh: Humanis - Hommes et management en société / Humans and management in society - EM Strasbourg - Ecole de Management de Strasbourg - UNISTRA - Université de Strasbourg
Nathalie Mitev: ISIG - Departement of information systems - LSE - London School of Economics and Political Science

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Abstract: In order to explore scientific writing in Information Systems (IS) journals, we adopt a combination of historical and rhetorical approaches. We first investigate the history of universities, business schools, learned societies and scientific articles. This perspective allows us to capture the legacy of scientific writing standards, which emerged in the 18th and 19th centuries. Then, we focus on two leading IS journals (EJIS and MISQ). An historical analysis of both outlets is carried out, based on data related to their creation, evolution of editorial statements, and key epistemological and methodological aspects. We also focus on argumentative strategies found in a sample of 436 abstracts from both journals. Three main logical anchorages (sometimes combined) are identified, and related to three argumentative strategies: 'deepening of knowledge', 'solving an enigma' and 'addressing a practical managerial issue'. We relate these writing norms to historical imprints of management and business studies, in particular: enigmafocused rhetorics, interest in institutionalized literature, neglect for managerially grounded rhetoric and lack of reflexivity in scientific writing. We explain this relation as a quest for academic legitimacy. Lastly, some suggestions are offered to address the discrepancies between these writing norms and more recent epistemological and theoretical stances adopted by IS researchers.

Keywords: argumentative strategies; history; academic writing; legitimacy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00644398
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Published in European Journal of Information Systems, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011, 20 (4), pp.1-23

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