Judging Interpretive, Critical and Realist Approaches in IS Case Research
Faculty of Business and Public Management
School of Management
This article presents a case vignette involving the renaming of an organizational change process from BPR to outsourcing. The paper discusses how different research approaches provide fundamentally different ways of looking at the name change. It demonstrates how theory can provide useful yet markedly different interpretations of such organizational events. Critical theory and interpretive theory operate from within what can be termed the transitive epistemological dimension, whereas critical realism tends to emphasize the importance of ontological issues. Each has important things to say about the situation and improves our understanding overall. The paper argues that, for the particular case under examination, critical realism provides the most useful tool from the employee point of view.