Workshop Series: Shirley Gregor
The importance of including the study of both artifactual and naturally occurring phenomena in scientific endeavours is apparent. Prior work has shown the significance of the knowledge flows from pure to applied sciences and vice versa. Further, a summative notion of a composite reality, partly artificial and partly natural, means that in many circumstances today, artificial sciences, natural sciences and social sciences are incomplete without each other. Yet in Information Systems some perceive a gap between research activities of the social science type and of the design science type. This essay proposes a fusion model of linked social science and design science research activities that allows connections among research activities to be examined. The model depicts five linked phases of research activity: (1) artefact construction; (2) prescriptive theorizing; (3) study of artefacts in use; (4) tests of knowledge with artefacts in use; and (5) descriptive theorizing. Examples show how the research cycle can be entered at any point and how phases are linked. The model gives an improved understanding of the interdependency of social science and design science research and points to ways in which communications amongst researchers can be improved, thus providing an avenue for the advancement of the discipline of Information Systems.
Shirley Gregor is the foundation Professor of Information Systems at the Australian National University,Canberra, where she is a Director of the National Centre for Information Systems Research. Professor Gregor's current research interests include the adoption and strategic use of information and communications technologies, intelligent systems and human-computer interface issues, and the theoretical foundations of information systems. Dr Gregor has led several large applied research projects funded by the Meat Research Corporation, the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, the Australian Research Council and AusAID. Professor Gregor spent a number of years in the computing industry in Australia and the United Kingdom before beginning an academic career. She obtained her Ph.D. in Information Systems from the University of Queensland. Dr Gregor's publications include 4 edited books, 15 book chapters and over 100 papers in conferences and journals such as MIS Quarterly, Journal of the Association of Information Systems, International Journal of Electronic Commerce, International Journal of Human Computer Studies, European Journal of Information Systems and Information Technology & People. Professor Gregor was inaugural President of the Australasian Association of Information Systems 2002-2003 and was Region 3 (Asia/Pacific) Councillor for the Association of Information Systems 2007-2009. She was a Senior Editor for MIS Quarterly 2008-2010 and is now Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the Association for Information Systems. Professor Gregor was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in the Queen's Birthday Honour's list in June 2005 for services as an educator and researcher in the field of information systems and in the development of applications for electronic commerce in the agribusiness sector. In 2005 she was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Computer Society and in 2010 she became a Fellow of the Association for Information Systems.