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Open AccessArticle

Theory in Emancipative Action: Aligning Action Research in Information Systems Education with Critical Social Research in Information Systems

School for Computer Science and Information Systems, North-West University, Potcefstroom 2520, South Africa
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Systems 2019, 7(3), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems7030036
Received: 30 April 2019 / Revised: 12 July 2019 / Accepted: 16 July 2019 / Published: 22 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Systems Sciences 2018)
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Abstract

As educators, we want to guide our students so that they develop to the best of their ability and are emancipated. As researchers in education, we often use action research. We use proven theories to guide our intervention to emancipate our students. Or do we? Recently, prominent information systems journals have published few papers in the field of information systems education. We demonstrate that the guidelines for action research from a critical social research perspective in information systems are not evident in action research studies in information systems education. The emancipative goals of pure critical social research and reliance on critical social theory to guide our intervention are lacking in these educational studies. Our aim is to provide alignment between educational action research in information systems and information systems research conducted from a critical social theory perspective. Our methodology is to explicitly propose phases of action research from a critical social research perspective, grounded both in information systems and education literature. Then, we demonstrate the value of this approach in a study on the improvement of a data warehousing module. We conclude that by using proven theories and reflecting on the presuppositions in a problem environment, the researcher is able to guide the development of students and the community. View Full-Text
Keywords: action research; information systems research; critical social theory; critical systems heuristics; data warehousing education action research; information systems research; critical social theory; critical systems heuristics; data warehousing education
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Goede, R.; Taylor, E. Theory in Emancipative Action: Aligning Action Research in Information Systems Education with Critical Social Research in Information Systems. Systems 2019, 7, 36.

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