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Journal Article

Developing Information Systems Design Knowledge: A Critical Realist Perspective  pp93-102

Sven A. Carlsson

© Nov 2005 Volume 3 Issue 2, Editor: Arthur Money, pp93 - 148

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Abstract

Academic Information Systems (IS) research has a serious utilization and relevance problem. To increase IS research utilization and relevance, scholars argue that the mainstream IS research, which is based on the behavioral science paradigm, should be complemented with research based on the design science paradigm. The current IS design science frameworks have a strong focus on the IT artefact, in most cases an exclusive focus on the IT artefact. The frameworks have very little discussion and clarifications regarding underpinning philosophies, but most seem to be based on positivism, traditional realism, or pragmatism. This paper presents an alternative framework for IS design science research. The framework builds on that the aim of IS design science research is to develop practical knowledge for the design and realization of different classes of IS initiatives, where IS are viewed as socio‑technical systems and not just IT artefacts. The underpinning philosophy of the framework is critical realism which has been developed as an alternative to positivism and traditional realism as well as to constructivism (relativism). The framework proposes that the output of IS design science research is practical IS design knowledge in the form of field‑tested and grounded technological rules. The IS design knowledge is developed through an IS design science research cycle. The paper presents how technological rules can be developed as well as the nature of such rules.

 

Keywords: Information systems, IS design, frameworks, rules

 

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Journal Article

Applying Grounded Theory to Study the Implementation of an Inter‑Organizational Information System  pp71-82

Joan Rodon, Joan A. Pastor

© Jul 2007 Volume 5 Issue 2, ECRM 2007, Editor: Ann Brown, pp37 - 124

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Abstract

This paper shows the application of Grounded Theory (GT) method, particularly the Straussian approach to GT, in a research project that studies the role of managers during and after the implementation of an inter‑organizational information system (IOIS). We present the steps followed —sampling, data collection, analysis, and literature comparison— paying special attention to the intricacies that arose during the research process, and we reflect on the lessons learned from using GT in an interpretive case study. The paper shows: first, the application of the coding paradigm proposed by Strauss and Corbin to analyse process data; second, how action diagrams can help structure and report on process data; and, third, the importance of flexibility, creativity, and keeping an open mind when using GT analytical tools, given that various avenues may be apparent before a plausible theory starts to emerge. We consider the paper illustrates some experiences that may inform others in their GT research process.

 

Keywords: grounded theory, Straussian approach, coding paradigm, action diagrams, inter-organizational IS implementation

 

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Journal Article

The Factors that Influence Adoption and Usage Decision in SMEs: Evaluating Interpretive Case Study Research in Information Systems  pp13-24

Japhet Lawrence

© Sep 2010 Volume 8 Issue 1, Editor: Ann Brown, pp1 - 62

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Abstract

The conventions for evaluating information systems case studies conducted according to the natural science model of social science are now widely accepted, as a valid research strategy within the Information System research community. While these criteria are useful in evaluating case study research conducted according to the natural science model of social science, however, they are inappropriate for interpretive research. The nature and purpose of interpretive research differs from positivist research. Although, there are no agreed criteria for evaluating research of this kind, nonetheless, there must be some criteria by which the quality of interpretive research can be evaluated. This paper evaluates a case study research conducted under the interpretive philosophy. The paper discusses the criteria proposed by Myers (1997) for evaluating interpretive research in information systems.

 

Keywords: Interpretive research, case study, IS evaluation, internet, SME

 

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Journal Article

Design Science Research: The Case of the IT Capability Maturity Framework (IT CMF)  pp109-118

Marian Carcary

© Sep 2011 Volume 9 Issue 2, ECRM 2011 Special issue, Editor: Ann Brown, pp87 - 197

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Abstract

Design science (DS) is a problem solving paradigm that involves building and evaluating innovative artifacts in a rigorous manner to solve complex, real world problems, make research contributions that extend the boundaries of what is already known, and communicate the results to appropriate audiences. The importance of this paradigm in the Information Systems (IS) field has been recognised since the early 1990’s with the publication of seminal articles by for example Nunamaker et al (1991), Walls et al (1992) and March and Smith (1995). However, over the past 15 years, DS research in IS has been sparse. In more recent times this has begun to change, with an increasing number of research contributions considering DS research. DS research in IS is important as the dominant behavioural science paradigm is not sufficient for addressing the types of problems that call for human creativity and innovative and novel solutions. One widely debated problem in the IS field that calls for such novel solutions centres on how organisations manage, deliver and optimise value from their IT investments. This paper presents a DS research project in the IS field that aims to improve organisational ability in managing and optimizing value realised from IT investments through increasing maturity in critical areas. This research involves development of an IT Capability Maturity Framework (IT CMF). The IT CMF project is centered at the Innovation Value Institute (IVI) at the National University of Ireland Maynooth (NUIM). The IVI is a joint venture between NUIM, Intel and the Boston Consulting Group and seeks to drive innovation in the management and use of IT in order to optimise business value. The IT CMF represents an emerging blueprint of key IT capability processes, and at a high level consists of four integrated IT management strategies or macro processes: managing IT like a business, managing the IT budget, managing the IT capability, and managing IT for business value. The IT CMF represents a blueprint for incrementally improving these four macro processes across five maturity levels: initial, basic, intermediate, advanced, and optimized. These four macro processes are further broken into 32 critical processes (CPs), which are the key activities that an IT organisation needs to manage in order to deliver IT solutions and measure the business value generated. The content development and review for the IT CMF is performed by the IVI development community, which comprises academic researchers, industry based practitioner‑researchers and consultants based in over 55 global companies. This paper discusses its development in terms of key DS principles and presents reflections on the challenges and value associated with adopting a DS approach. The paper adds to the growing body of DS literature in the IS field, and enables other researchers and practitioners to judge the rigor with which the IT CMF artifact was created and evaluated, and its utility in practical application.

 

Keywords: design science, IT CMF, IS, case study, maturity models

 

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Journal Article

The Dimension of Time: Historiography in Information Systems Research  pp1-10

Frank Bannister

© Jan 2002 Volume 1 Issue 1, Editor: Arthur Money, pp1 - 58

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Abstract

There is much to be learned from the study of history yet, as a form of research, historical studies have been largely overlooked by the IS community. It is argued that many current information systems can be best understood in terms of decisions taken in a particular temporal context and that by ignoring history, IS research is overlooking a powerful source of insights into the nature of such systems. Based on work in IS and from elsewhere, an outline for a historiographical research method in IS is presented and some issued related to this are discussed.

 

Keywords: Information Systems, History, Historiography, Interpretive Research

 

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Journal Article

Research Strategies — Beyond the Differences  pp46-49

Dan Remenyi

© Jan 2002 Volume 1 Issue 1, Editor: Arthur Money, pp1 - 58

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Abstract

The work of the scientist whether he or she is from the physical or natural scientific community or from the social science community is not materially different. The processes are much the same. The outcome required which is to add something of value to the body of theoretical knowledge is exactly the same. This paper uses the dialectic to highlight the core activities of the scientist.

 

Keywords: Research process, research question, Theoretical research, quantitative, positivism, qualitative

 

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Journal Article

Gender disparity in organisation and the resultant human resource mismanagement: A case analysis  pp21-36

Ronald B. Crawford

© Jul 2003 Volume 2 Issue 1, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp1 - 77

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Abstract

This paper addresses 'gender disparity' in organisation. Using a multinational organisation, as a basis for data elicitation, the empirical analysis explores its human resource utilisation, on basis of gender, to assess parity of treatment. The research employs a combination of qualitative and quantitative data elicitation techniques. All comparative tables are chisquared, with probability taken at 'p<0.05'. The empirical data suggests that management, through its discriminatory practices, fail to adequately utilise its human resource, negatively affecting gender relationships and worker commitment, jeopardising overall organisational effectiveness.

 

Keywords: Gender disparity, human resource utilisation, committee membership, marketing intelligence, worker commitment, resonation

 

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Journal Article

Discourse analysis and complex adaptive systems: Managing variables with attitudes  pp61-68

Charl Walters, Roy Williams

© Jul 2003 Volume 2 Issue 1, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp1 - 77

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Abstract

There have been long‑standing debates about the relative values of quantitative vs. qualitative research, and of positivism vs. critical theory in management studies. In this paper we discuss the value of discourse theory and the tools of discourse analysis in the context of complex adaptive systems theory, which can usefully be seen as a synthesis of the thesis of modernism and the antithesis of post‑modernism. Discourse' has been developed and used in several disciplines, to interesting effect. It is now time to systematise the notion of discourse, and the tools of discourse analysis, both theoretically and practically, so that they can better be applied to management research, and to management practice.

 

Keywords: Discourse, modernism, post-modernism, complex adaptive systems, communities of practice

 

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