The article describes the critical realist approach due to Sayer and develops a general application of a critical realist approach to case research. Epistemology: what the paradigm understands about how we construct and evaluate knowledge about that reality. Critical realism (CR) is a useful philosophical framework for social science; however, little guidance is available on which precise methods – including methods of data collection, coding, and analysis – are best suited to applied CR research. He has a PhD in Indian IT industry development, directs the MSc programme in ICTs for Development, and runs the ICT for Development blog: http://ict4dblog.wordpress.com. Identifying Generative Mechanisms in a Mobile Health (mHealth) Project in Sierra Leone: A Critical Realist Framework for Retroduction. His book publications include India's Software Industry (1996), Reinventing Government in the Information Age (1999), Implementing and Managing eGovernment (2006), ICTs, Climate Change and Development (2012); and Information and Communication Technology for Development (2018). Critical realism adopts a three‐level “stratified ontology,” as summarised in Figure 1 (Mingers, 2004a). Hence, the impingements of structure on individual health and well‐being are of as much interest as the tactics devised by individuals to deal with these very impingements. The underlying, intransitive structures and mechanisms of the real domain cannot therefore be directly experienced; hence, they cannot be directly measured by research (Danermark, Ekstrom, Jakobsen, & Karlsson, 2002). It therefore functions at a level similar to that occupied by such philosophies as Positivism and Interpretivism. Essentially for Hume all we can say is that A is taken to be a cause of B because we have always, so far, seen A followed by B. They assume that key factors in the study such as level and nature of ICT use, gender, social influence, and contextual enablers have an objective and quantifiable reality. Critical realism research paradigm – key features and relevance to human rights and social determinants of health. The reason for this is simple. Conversely, lack of engagement with context is a criticism of some ICT4D research and practice (Dodson, Sterling, & Bennett, 2013; Turpin & Alexander, 2013). We should also mention here retrodiction (note the difference in spelling to retroduction), which is “the application of previously identified mechanisms to the explanation of an outcome in a new setting” (Wynn & Williams, 2012, p. 2012). Example ICT4D‐related events might be appointment of an ICT4D champion, formation of an ICT4D strategy group, or design of an ICT4D app. It has particularly begun making its way into one of ICT4D's main cognate disciplines—information systems—since the turn of the century (eg, Mingers, 2004a; Mingers, 2004b). This means recognising the way in which the social structures and mechanisms of the real domain can sometimes serve to generate events and processes that are oppressive and outcomes that are unequal. One reason is that this work comes from a positivist tradition where there is no inherent need or basis for examining causality beyond the sense “of causality as a constant conjunction of events” (Smith, 2005, p. 31). But impossible to full apprehend this reality 6.1. And it supports the “ethical turn” in ICT4D: seeking the outcome of a more just and equitable society and necessitating investigation of the social structures that underpin rights, ethics, and justice. realism definition: 1. a way of thinking and acting based on facts and what is possible, rather than on hopes for…. HERD: Health Environments Research & Design Journal. Illustration of direct realism and critical realism Critical realists, on … Realist ontologies (assumptions about the nature … Steve Vincent Joe O'Mahoney. The issue of the generalisability of case research is then discussed, managerial … But this creates a negative cycle: the lack of ICT4D academic culture and capabilities around critical realism means a lack of both drivers and enablers to greater use of critical realism. : theories used in ICT4D research, Into the future: Themes insights and agendas for ICT4D research and practice, Context‐specific theorizing in ICT4D research, Special issue on the politics of ICT for development, Unveiling the modernity bias: A critical examination of the politics of ICT4D, Realist social theory: The morphogenetic approach, Using stakeholder theory to analyze telecenter projects, Scientific realism and human emancipation, Reclaiming reality: A critical introduction to contemporary philosophy, Digital technologies for democratic governance in Latin America, ICTD interventions: Trends over the last decade, Proceedings of the fifth international conference on information and communication technologies and development, Multi‐stakeholder perspectives influencing policy‐research‐practice, Perspectives on ICTD research and practice, Explaining society: Critical realism in the social sciences, See no evil? Both positivism and critical realism address this, but critical realism has an arguable additional value because its iterative retroduction forces ongoing contemplation and critique of the relation between causes and effects. Working off-campus? His main research interests are B2B markets and marketing, organisational and managerial behaviour, strategic practices, critical realism and case teaching methods. “A central idea of Critical Realism is that natural (physical and biological) and social (sociological) reality should be understood as an open stratified [layered] system of objects with causal powers [making things happen]” (Morton, 2006). The Sage handbook of organizational research, Critical intent & practice in ICT4D: a typology of ICT4D initiatives, Method in social science: A realist approach, Critical realism and the limits to critical social science, Reconsidering ICT for development research: Critical realism, empowerment, and the limitations of current research, Enhancing human resource development through ICT, Testable theory development for small‐n studies: Critical realism and middle‐range theory, Agency and social networks: Strategies of action in a social structure of position, opposition, and opportunity, A brief critique of the standard view of ICT4D, Between knowledge and politics: Three faces of policy analysis, Desperately seeking systems thinking in ICT4D, Foreword: Special issue on information systems in developing countries, Research on information systems in developing countries: current landscape and future prospects, Taking critical ontology seriously: Implications for political science methodology, Handbook of research methods and applications in political science, Causal explanation in the coordinating process: A critical realist case study of federated IT governance structures, Principles for conducting critical realist case study research in information systems, Methodological implications of critical realism for mixed‐methods research. (eds) Information and Communication Technologies for Development, Springer, Cham, 159‐170. Such a combination enables the utilisation of various theoretical frames within ICT4D; frames that themselves integrate common mechanisms with contextual difference. But it struggles to deal with the other biases. Abstract: Different methodological tendencies within the field of disability research are described, and the reductionism implicit in the historically dominant models is critiqued. Calls for a more political approach to ICT4D field research (Krauss & Turpin. Quantitative 6. Learn more. Emancipatory Social Practice. If they Critical realists also engage constructively with social theory, but they are more than just theorists. This is a familiar problem, found in social science generally (Layder, 1985) as well as arising within ICT4D and related fields (Heeks & Renken, 2018). However, the tenets of critical realism are mainly concerned with the ontological and epistemological basis of scientific inquiry. Quantitative 6. ** Within the domain of the actual sit events: “specific happenings resulting from causal mechanisms being enacted in some social and physical structure within a particular … context” (Williams & Karahanna, 2013, p. 939). 2008) and can form the basis for critical examination of past research (Angus et al. The congruence of critical realism can therefore be argued, given its fit with at least these main goals of development. Critical realism: A way forward for evaluation research in nursing? There are both general and domain‐specific challenges to further use of critical realism within ICT4D research, not least the orientation of many ICT4D researchers towards alternative paradigms. †† For example, ICT4D has been subject to criticism about its relationship with development: its failure to be explicit about its definition of development (Burrell & Toyama, 2009; Walsham & Sahay, 2006) and—very much related—its relative lack of engagement with development studies (Heeks, 2006). This is the position of philosophical realism: the view that whatever we perceive is real, truly out there. Such a `constant conjunction' of event… The open systems view taken by critical realism is one that does not provide for causal mechanisms that operate in the same way at all times and in all contexts, but it does develop an understanding of causality. they recognise that the world exists and that it influences our attempts to describe it - but some are unaware of the deep impact this should be having on their epistemology (Pawson and Tilley, 1997). Indeed, proponents of critical realism have long argued that the logical coherence of scientific inquiry is enhanced by clarification of its philosophical foundations (Danermark et al. Background: Healthcare research acknowledges a range of paradigms, including postpositivism and critical realist methodologies. We sincerely hope that this body of thoughtful scholarship will help future researchers use critical realism in new, appropriate, and creative ways to address the important factors, problems, and trends in health and nursing. The researcher’s task, then, is to heed these warnings in designing and conducting a study. In this section, we will look at the potential value that critical realism can bring to ICT4D research—largely following the structure of the previous section—and will also acknowledge some challenges. PJ Wall is with the ADAPT Centre (www.adaptcentre.ie) in the School of Computer Science, Trinity College Dublin. But this account was sufficient to provide the foundation from which to identify the potential value of critical realism to future ICT4D research. Chapter 1 What Is Realism, and Why Should Qualitative Researchers Care? Critical realism also claims that the mind-independent nature of reality applies not only to physical dimensions (such as the chair beneath you or car driving towards you) but also to social and cultural aspects (8). While much talk of the promise of critical realism as an applied ontology continues, too often the tenets of critical realism are not clearly transferred into methods. But the role of ICT4D goes beyond the unspecific notion of practice. Marginalization of indigenous voices in the information age: a case study of cell phones in the rural Congo, The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries. 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Fleetwood, Applying critical realism in qualitative research: Methodology meets method, A scientometric analysis of research appearing in post‐millennial IFIP 9.4 conferences, Research questions, paradigms and methods in ICT for development: content analysis of selected ICTD literature, 2000–2010, “What did Giddens and Latour ever do for us?”: Academic writings on information systems and development, Analyzing e‐government research: Perspectives, philosophies, theories, methods, and practice, Conceptualising the link between information systems and resilience: A developing country field study. Three strata ( or layers ), 181-194 to include all of these versions of.! A generic ability of critical realism to future ICT4D research the epistemological implications of ontological. Based around a number of times cited according to CrossRef: what would it mean epistemologically, provides! 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