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Against method-ism: exploring the limits of method

Introna, Lucas D. and Whitley, Edgar A. ORCID: 0000-0003-1779-0814 (1997) Against method-ism: exploring the limits of method. Information Technology and People, 10 (1). 31 - 45. ISSN 0959-3845

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Identification Number: 10.1108/09593849710166147


Provides a critique of method-ism - the view that methodology is necessary and sufficient for information systems’ development success; method-ism presupposes also that systems developers understand the value of methodology and will prefer to work with it rather than without it. Argues, against method-ism, that method flows from understanding, and not the reverse. Hence method cannot be a substitute for understanding. Discusses the way in which humans tend to interact with the world by means of ready-to-hand tools, using the ideas of Heidegger and Ihde. Shows that tools are used only if available (ready-to-hand) in the world of doing. If a methodology is not ready-to-hand, it will break down and be ignored in the pragmatics of getting the job done. Presents a number of arguments why methodologies by design will tend to break down (not be ready-to-hand) and hence be discarded.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 1997 MCB University Press
Divisions: Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Sets: Research centres and groups > Information Systems and Innovation Group
Departments > Management
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2010 16:51
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 00:41

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