Publication Type

Journal Article

Version

Publisher’s Version

Publication Date

9-2012

Abstract

In “Generalizing Generalizability in Information Systems Research,” Lee and Baskerville (2003) try to clarify generalization and classify it into four types. Unfortunately, their account is problematic. We propose repairs. Central among these is our balance-of-evidence argument that we should adopt the view that Hume’s problem of induction has a solution, even if we do not know what it is. We build upon this by proposing an alternative classification of induction. There are five types of generalization: (1) theoretical, (2) within-population, (3) cross-population, (4) contextual, and (5) temporal, with theoretical generalization being across the empirical and theoretical levels and the rest within the empirical level. Our classification also includes two kinds of inductive reasoning that do not belong to the domain of generalization. We then discuss the implications of our classification for information systems research.

Keywords

Research methodology, generalization, generalizability, induction, deduction, statistical generalization, statistical syllogism, inductive analogy, Hume’s problem of induction

Discipline

Philosophy

Research Areas

Humanities

Publication

MIS Quarterly

Volume

36

Issue

3

First Page

729

Last Page

748

ISSN

0276-7783

Publisher

University of Minnesota

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Additional URL

http://aisel.aisnet.org/misq/vol36/iss3/6/

Included in

Philosophy Commons

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