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Applying Habermas’ validity claims as a standard for critical discourse analysis

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journal contribution
posted on 21.05.2021, 12:16 by Wendy Cukier, Robert Bauer, Catherine A. Middleton
It has been proposed that the theory and practice of information systems development could benefit from a more explicit consideration of concepts of rationality. Habermas’ communicative rationality has been proposed as an approach to improve the conditions for rational discourse in systems development, thereby improving outcomes (Klein and Hirschheim 1991), and applied at the project level (Ulrich 2001) and to specific episodes of managerial communications (Ngwenyama and Lee 1997). At the same time, it is understood that societal discourses and ideologies shape the external environments of organizational decision making. A variety of approaches has been proposed to analyze these discourses including qualitative techniques for reading or interpreting texts, artifacts, and social practices (Philips and Hardy 2002). This paper examines the way in which Habermasian validity claims can provide an explicit and ethical standard for critical discourse analysis in order to reveal the distortions that shape the institutional environments of technology decision making. It offers an approach to operationalizing Habermas’ validity claims for an analysis of media texts related to a case study involving learning technology.

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