Context is King! Considering Particularism in Research Design and Reporting

Professor Robert Davison from the City University of Hong Kong will present the School of IT seminar with a talk entitled, "Context is King! Considering Particularism in Research Design and Reporting". 

Seminar Title: Context is King! Considering Particularism in Research Design and Reporting

I aim to raise awareness of context by examining its role in empirical research. I consider the dichotomy of universalism and particularism and discuss the interaction of theory and culture in order to consider the scope of validity for research findings and conclusions. I illustrate the arguments with reference to a number of cases, each illustrating contextual adequacy or inadequacy. I aim to discourage the conduct of research, and acceptance of papers, that falsely imply/claim universalism, rely on convenient samples or ignore indigenous constructs. I offer specific prescriptions for authors, editors and reviewers to help ensure that both the research context and scope of validity are adequately communicated and understood.

Brief Bio for Prof Robert Davison

Robert Davison is a Professor of Information Systems at the City University of Hong Kong. His research focuses on the use and misuse of information systems, especially with respect to problem solving, guanxi formation, workarounds and knowledge management, in Chinese organisations. He has published over 90 articles (H=43) in a variety of journals such as MIS Quarterly, the Information Systems Journal, IT&People, Journal of IT, Journal of the AIS, Journal of the American Society for Information Science & Technology, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, Decision Support Systems, Communications of the AIS, and Communications of the ACM. Robert chairs the IFIP WG 9.4 (Social Implications of Computing in Developing Countries) and is the Editor-in-Chief of the Information Systems Journal and the Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries. Robert travels extensively, seeking to understand how people in different contexts and cultures make sense of their lives with IS. As a researcher and as an editor, he seeks to promote both an inclusive and a local perspective to research. Home Page:

Tue, 07 May 2019 - 12:45

Information Systems Seminar Room, Upper Campus UCT