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Department of Informatics Information Management Research Group

Research Problematisation by Robert Davison


In this seminar, I explore how researchers motivate their research and in particular focus on the concept of problematisation. I argue that a carefully problematisation will lead to a better motivated research design that has more significant contributions to both research and practice. I contrast problematisation with the often-practiced “gap spotting” approach, and outline some of the deficiencies of the latter. I provide examples of problematisation and ideas about how the technique can be applied in practice. The seminar should provoke debate about how and why we do research.


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 and knowledge management, in Chinese organisations. He is particularly known for his scholarship in the domain of action research. Within the AIS, Robert chaired the research ethics committee for many years, and is currently convenor of the College of Senior Scholars. Robert currentlychairs the IFIP WG 9.4 (The Implications of Information and Digital Technologies for Development) and is the Editor-in-Chief of the Information Systems Journal and the Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries. As a researcher and as an editor, he seeks to promote both an inclusive and an indigenous perspective to research.
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If you are interested in the event, please contact Mateusz Dolata, The event will happen at the University of Zurich at the Department of Informatics, Binzmühlestrasse 14, 8050 Zürich. If interested, we also offer participation via zoom.

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