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Against method-ism : exploring the limits of method

Whitley, Edgar A. and Introna, Lucas D. (1997) Against method-ism : exploring the limits of method. Logistics Information Management, 10 (5). pp. 235-245. ISSN 1741-0398

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Identification Number: 10.1108/09576059710174757


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
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Additional Information: Published 1997 © Emerald Group Publishing Limited. LSE has developed LSE Research Online so that users may access research output of the School. Copyright © and Moral Rights for the papers on this site are retained by the individual authors and/or other copyright owners. Users may download and/or print one copy of any article(s) in LSE Research Online to facilitate their private study or for non-commercial research. You may not engage in further distribution of the material or use it for any profit-making activities or any commercial gain. You may freely distribute the URL ( of the LSE Research Online website. Also published in Information technology & people 10(1) pp. 31-45 (1997) © Emerald Group Publishing Ltd. Logistics information management now known as Journal of enterprise information management (since 2004)
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2006
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2019 00:07

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