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Hypermodernist Travellers in a Postmodern World

Publiceringsår: 2008
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 1-8
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Electronic Journal of Business Research Methods
Volym: 6
Nummer: 1
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: Academic Conferences


Postmodernist perspectives in research have tended to embrace ambiguity, complexity, interconnectedness and contradiction, and have sometimes been described as a rejection of the ‘Grand Theories’ of Modernism. They have been said to reflect a view that previously taken-for-granted assumptions about the organizing principles of social phenomena must be regarded sceptically, and often make use of irony, or even absurdity in attempting to avoid the complacencies of the past. However, there are many instances in which models and explanatory frameworks within which research has been positioned are performing a useful role as metaphor, and have not been adopted naively or prescriptively. As travellers, we are usually aware that a map is not the territory it represents. However, as researchers, inquiring into practice, are we always aware of the domain within which that practice is situated? Descriptions of practice may sometimes mislead the uncritical eye. For instance, we can ask ourselves whether we believe that a chef actually cooks by following a recipe. Or is that recipe merely a formal description of a much more complex process drawing upon the chef’s contextual understandings of his ingredients, tools and skills in producing ‘food’? Possibly, only someone who does not know how to cook would think otherwise. We believe that there is a need for a critically-informed approach to research, i.e. one which specifically attempts to shed light upon taken-for-granted assumptions and naîve rationalities, illuminating metaphor and stimulating reflection. This ‘Hypermodernism’ includes recognition that ‘Grand Theories’ may be useful as metaphors, i.e. a basis for practical philosophy.


  • Information Systems, Social aspects
  • critical systemic thinking
  • reflective practice
  • metaphor
  • postmodernism
  • contextual inquiry


  • ISSN: 1477-7029

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