Linking Reasoning to Theoretical Argument in Information Systems Research
Muganda, Nixon O
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This paper looks at the application of theory in research by linking theory use to reasoning and the influence of paradigms. The paper relies on how theory is conceptualized in the philosophy of science and an argument is advanced that theoretical reasoning is the basis of logic in the research process. Theoretical reasoning, which we consider as a social, interactive, goal-directed tool of persuasion for creating scientific knowledge, is considered as the precursor to argumentation typically visible in research products such as journal papers, theses, dissertations, working papers as well as public debates and arguments. Argumentation is then linked to the various reasoning modes: abduction, deduction, induction and retroduction. The function of theory in the various modes of reasoning is highlighted and examples provided.