Abstract - The Information Society 23(4)

Going Critical: Perspective and Proportion in the Epistemology of Rob Kling   

John Leslie King, Suzanne Iacono, and Jonathan Grudin

One foundational element of Rob Kling's research and writing is his critical perspective on the nature, role and dynamics of computerization. His main argument was that one should view as dubious any statements that are not grounded in empirical evidence or theoretical analysis. Rob's work was replete with critical refutation, in which he challenged assumptions or statements about computerization and provided alternative interpretations. Much of his work delivered indictments against hyperbolic statements that claimed either utopian or dystopian outcomes from computerization. However, some of his own writings on emerging technologies tended to be dismissive and marginalizing, revealing in his own work some of the weaknesses he pointed out in others' rhetoric and writing. This paper identifies intellectual traps inherent in critical perspectives that can catch even the most acute practitioners. The objective is to help elucidate and stabilize the epistemological foundations for Rob’s critical perspective on the role of computerization.


View Full Text | Subscribe Online


Back | TIS Home