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Bentley Provost Seminar Series Examines Scientific Study of Information Systems February 2, 2007

January 17, 2007

Allen Lee, professor of information systems and associate dean for research and graduate studies at Virginia Commonwealth University's School of Business, will examine the use of research methods in the scientific study of information systems at the Provost Seminar Series on Friday, February 2, 2007, from10:30 a.m.- noon in LaCava Center, Room 325ABC. Lee will discuss how the same fundamental principles of logic -- modus ponens and modus tollens -- in general and scientific reasoning, enable both quantitative and qualitative scientific research.

In the seminar, Lee will frame different research approaches -- positivist research, interpretive research, action research, and design research. Based on this framework, he will spotlight three issues: common scientific basis, fallacy of affirming the consequent, and summative validity. Lee will also call into question how research is currently conducted in the field of information systems, and how studies can be more relevant if researchers pay attention to the three issues.

Lee is an advocate of qualitative and interpretive research, and the ways in which interpretive research and positivist research complement and reinforce each other. His work includes qualitative, interpretive, and case research on information technology and organizations; communications; research methodologies in information systems research and the social sciences; and action research.

In December 2004, he retired from the MIS Quarterly editorial board after 15 years, during which time he served as associate editor, senior editor, and editor-in-chief. He is a founding senior editor of MIS Quarterly Executive and a founding member of the Chinese American Professors of Information Systems. In 2005, he was named a Fellow of the Association for Information Systems.


BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit

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