Many of the research questions of interest to IS academics and practitioners concern the success or failure of change initiatives involving the introduction of new systems and practices, when the phenomenon interacts with the context, and the focus is on organisational rather than technical issues. These are exactly the types of research questions for which a case study method is well suited. This paper assesses the use of the case study method to test hypotheses and build theory while investigating the phenomenon of steel e‑marketplaces. The paper draws upon the lead author’s experience when working on her doctoral thesis ‘Factors Affecting the Viability of Electronic Marketplaces: an Empirical Investigation into International Steel Trading’. Although the case research strategy has mostly been utilised for exploration and hypothesis generation, the case method is appropriate to all phases of research. In this study the research objectives were identified as theory description and theory testing, and the case strategy was used to describe and test the hypotheses. The lead author undertakes a cross‑case analysis of multiple IT‑powered initiatives in order to develop theoretical propositions to be tested through subsequent research. This paper discusses how issues and concerns inherent in this method were dealt with, and assesses the quality of the findings.