Critical realism is a philosophy of science which has been developed as an alternative to positivism and interpretivism. It has been argued that critical realism should be applied to research concerned with information and communication technologies (ICTs). In particular, it has been argued that critical realism can increase understanding of causal mechanisms and contexts that are needed in order to achieve outcomes from actions. However, there is a lack of examples of how critical realism might be applied in practice. The aim of the research was to investigate the potential for practical application of critical realism to research concerned with ICTs. Four interrelated examples are presented from practical application of critical realism during ICT research. These are examples of causal mechanism, technological context, social context and business context. Findings suggest that practical application of critical realism to ICT research in AECO may be possible without any particular training or extensive prior knowledge.
- Information and communication technology
- Technology management