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Research - Università degli Studi di Verona
IS Research Development
an International Perspective
Università degli Studi di Verona
Facoltà di Economia
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
SDA Bocconi
Information Systems Division
Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi
[email protected]
Spears School of Business
Management Science and Information Systems
Oklahoma State University – Tulsa
[email protected]
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Talk Outline
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
Personal Introduction
Business and IS Research
Research Defined and Ways of Knowing
Scientific Method and Theory
Research Process
Research Paradigms
Theory Construction
IS Research Methods
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
1. Personal Introduction
• Nicholas C. Romano, Jr., Ph.D.
– Associate Professor, MSIS Spears School OSU
– Ph.D. from University of Arizona in MIS (1998)
– Family Man, Husband and Father
• Wife Rosalina, 2 Daughters Isabella (8) Gabriela (6) 1 Son Nico (3)
• Dog Osa
– AIS Council Member (Americas Representative – 2007-2009)
• Very Active in AIS and the AMCIS and HICSS Conferences
– 20 years’ work experience, much of it in group support for
teamwork and projects
– Former IBMer (Dad, Brother, Sister, Brother in law, Great Uncle,
Second cousin, others I am sure)
– Occasional, but Terrible Golfer ( FORE!!!) – want to do it more..
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
3
What is Business Research?
• the “systematic and objective process of gathering,
recording and analyzing data for aid in making business
decisions” (Zikmund, Business Research Methods, 2002, p. 6)
• Systematic and Objective Distinguish Business Research
• Important tool for managers and decision-makers in
corporate and non-corporate organizations
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
When is Business Research Used?
Business research methods
used in situations of uncertainty, when decisionmakers face two or more courses of action and
seek to select the best possible alternative under
the circumstances
Aims to improve the quality of decision-making
which, in turn, benefits the organization and helps
ensure its continuity and efficiency
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Typical Users of Business Research Methods
• Businesses and Corporations
• Public-Sector Agencies
• Consulting Firms
• Research Institutes
• Non-Governmental Organizations
• Non-Profit Organizations
• Independent Researchers and Consultants
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Fields Where Business Research is Often Used – (1)
General Business Conditions and
Corporate Research
•
•
•
•
•
•
Short- & Long-Range Forecasting,
Business and Industry Trends
Global Environments
Inflation and Pricing
Plant and Warehouse Location
Acquisitions
Management and Organizational
Behaviour Research
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Total Quality Management
Morale and Job Satisfaction
Leadership Style
Employee Productivity
Organizational Effectiveness
Structural ssues
Absenteeism and turnover
Organizational Climate
Financial and Accounting Research
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Forecasts of financial interest rate trends,
Stock,bond and commodity value
predictions
capital formation alternatives
mergers and acquisitions
risk-return trade-offs
portfolio analysis
impact of taxes
research on financial institutions
expected rate of return
capital asset pricing models
credit risk
cost analysis
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Fields Where Business Research is Often Used – (2)
Information Systems Research
Sales and Marketing Research
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Market Potentials
Market Share
Market segmentation
Market characteristics
Sales Analysis
Establishment of sales quotas
Distribution channels
New product concepts
Test markets
Advertising research
Buyer behaviour
Customer satisfaction
Website visitation rates
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Knowledge and information needs assessment
Computer information system use and
evaluation
Technical suppot satisfaction
Database analysis
Data mining
Enterprise resource planning systems
Customer relationship management systems
Corporate Responsibility Research
•
•
•
•
Ecological Impact
Legal Constraints on advertising and
promotion
Sex, age and racial discrimination / worker
equity
Social values and ethics
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
The Value of Business Research for Managers – (1)
Uncertainty Reduction and improved decision-making
quality with several consequent advantages (e.g. strategic,
operational) and benefits for Firms
Business Research Methods can be employed in 4 stages:
(1)Identification of problems and/or opportunities
Useful for strategy planning, analysis of internal and external
organizational environment
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
The Value of Business Research for Managers – (2)
(2) Diagnosis and Assessment of problems and/or opportunities
Gain insight into underlying reasons and causes for the
situation. If there is a problem, it asks what happened and why?
If there is an opportunity, it seeks to explore, clarify and refine
the nature of the opportunity and, in the case of multiple
opportunities, seeks to set priorities
(3) Selection and Implementation of Courses of Action
After alternative courses of action have been determined,
selection of the best possible course.
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
The Value of Business Research for Managers – (3)
An important consideration is the quality of forecasting
which is an essential tool of research
(4) Evaluation of Courses of Action
Business Research Methods are used after a course of
action has been implemented in order to determine
whether activities have been properly implemented and
have accomplished what they intended to do
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
The Value of Business Research for Managers – (4)
Evaluation Research
Formal objective measurement and evaluation of the extent which
an activity, project or program has achieved its goal, and the factors
which influence performance (e.g. audits).
Formal objective measurement and evaluation of the extent to
which on-going activities, projects or programs are meeting their
goals (performance-monitoring research)
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
When Should Business Research be Undertaken?
Is sufficient time
available?
Yes
Is information
inadequate?
NO
Yes
Do not
undertake
Business Research
High importance
of decision?
Yes
Research benefits
greater than costs?
Yes
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Do Undertake
Business Research
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Value and Costs of Undertaking Business Research
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Research Building Blocks
WISDOM
Blend of Knowledge information, experience and in-sights that
provides a framework that can be thoughtfully evaluated
when assessing new information or evaluating
relevant situations
KNOWLEDGE
Blend of information, experience and in-sights that
provides a framework that can be thoughtfully evaluated
when assessing new information or evaluating
relevant situations
INFORMATION
Determination of relationship amongst data with a
view to facilitating understanding of the phenomena,
their relationships and decision-making
(e.g. past and predicted future sales trends)
DATA
Measurements of phenomena
(e.g. sales statistics of a department store)
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Research Introduction
Definition
Ways of Knowing
The Scientific Method
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Origin of the Word “Research”
From French word “recherche”
to travel through or survey.
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
What is Research?
“If research is to make the contribution to practice
that is now possible, we must start with an adequate
concept of the nature of research.”
“Research is an unusually stubborn and persisting
effort to think straight which involves the gathering
and the intelligent use of relevant data”
Hamlin, H. M. (1966) What is Research? American Vocational Journal, September 14-16.
See: http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/agexed/aee578/hamlin.html
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Pendulum of Scholarship in Business Management Schools
Social System
of Practice
Social System
of Science
-Practitioners
-Managers
-Businesses
-Trade Associations
-Management Societies
-Scientists
-Graduate Schools
-Research Institutes
-Scholarly Societies
Management
Consulting
Professional
Learning
Community
Disciplinary
Science
Adapted From Van de Ven, Engaged Scholarship
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Elements of Research
Not Frequently Discussed
• Research is not a linear process
• It is just written up like it is. One study leads to others
• Research is a social process
• Not because research is social but because results
must enter into a social “learned” society (be read and cited)
• Research value (impact) more a question of importance
than volume
• But volume is a wonderful, simple measure of productivity
• But, one good published idea is worth more than 100 articles
• How do you know value? CITES!!!Citation Tools [isi web of science;
Google Scholar, Citeseer, SSRN, Libra, Publish or Perish]
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Little Discussed Elements (II)
• Research is for posterity
– i.e., it has a different time scale than consulting
• Refereed archival journals versus the Internet
• Research builds upon the past
– …by tearing it down (theory building),
– or by supporting it (replication studies; theory extension)
• Research not published is virtually worthless
• The importance is more to be read than to read!
• Research demands special form of writing and language
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Some Myths About Research
• Purpose of research is to “Prove” or “Confirm” a theory
• Research findings are presented as “Complete” and
“Conclusive” answers
• Research Scientists come to “Consensus” or “Agreements”
on how things work (i.e. Global Warming; Pluto a planet)
• There is a hierarchy of research methodologies that places
true “experimental” research at the top.
• NONE OF THESE ARE TRUE!
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Key Terms
Philosophy
The Love of
Knowledge
Epistemology
Distinguishing
True (Real) Knowledge
from
False (Pseudo) Knowledge
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Different Ways of “Knowing”
• Authority
– Because someone you respected told you so
• Tenacity
– Because it has withstood the test of time
• Serendipity
– discovery by accident
• Logic / Reason
– Because you figured it out with your mind
• Science (Research)
– We’ll get to that shortly…
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Authority
• Because Claudius
• How do we know
Ptolemy said so.
that the Earth
is flat?
• Because The Pope
• Right, but how said so.
(Pope Paul V)
do I know?
• But how do
you know?
• Because I’m in
charge and I am
putting you
(Galileo)in prison!
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Galileo Galilei (15641642)
First to use telescope to study sky
Discovered Solar spots and Jupiter’s
satellites (Galilean moons)
Believed Earth moves around Sun
In 1632 he was convicted of heresy.
In 1992 it was officially stated by
the Pope that Galileo was right.
(360 years later)
Authority is SLOW to change
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Tenacity
• Grandpa, how do I
know that I should
drink 8 cups of
water per day?
• But how did
he know?
• But how did
he know?
• But how did
THEY KNOW?!
• Because that’s
what my father did.
• Because that’s
what his father did.
• Because that’s
what his father did!
•
Well you’re alive,
aren’t you?
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Serendipity
Columbus is the archetype of
surprising discoveries
In 1492 Columbus sailed the
ocean blue
In quest of a passage through
The Indies and the orient too
He discovered America,
Serendipitous through and
through.
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Serendipity
Isaac Newton's famed apple falling from a tree,
led to his musings about the nature of gravitation.
“In the year 1666 he retired again from Cambridge
to his mother in Lincolnshire. Whilst he was
pensively meandering in a garden it came into his
thought that the power of gravity (which brought an
apple from a tree to the ground) was not limited to a
certain distance from earth, but that this power
must extend much further than was usually
thought. Why not as high as the Moon said he to
himself & if so, that must influence her motion &
perhaps retain her in her orbit, whereupon he fell a
calculating what would be the effect of that
supposition.“
John Conduitt, Newton's assistant at the royal mint
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Serendipity
The Post-it note was invented in 1968 by Dr Spencer Silver, a 3M scientist who stumbled upon a
glue (Acrylate-copolymer microspheres [adhesive formula] ) that was not sticky enough.
• In 1968, Silver developed a high-quality but "low-tack" adhesive, made of tiny,
indestructible acrylic spheres that would stick only where they were tangent to a given
surface, rather than flat up against it. As a result, the adhesive's grip was strong enough to
hold papers together, but weak enough to allow the papers to be pulled apart again without
being torn. More importantly, the adhesive could be used again and again.
• Silver wanted to market the adhesive as a spray, or as a surface for bulletin boards on which
temporary notices could be easily posted and then removed. Over the next five years, Silver
tried to interest his colleagues at 3M, informally and in presentations. A marketable form of
the product proved elusive however, until Arthur Fry attended one of Silver's seminars.
• Fry sang in his church choir. He was frustrated the paper bookmarks he used to mark the
songs in his hymnal would not stay put. In a moment of insight, Fry realized that Silver's
reusable adhesive would provide precisely what he needed.
• Fry wrote up his idea for a reusable bookmark and presented it to his supervisors. Initially,
management was skeptical, but the staff could not get enough of the samples Fry was
passing around. Soon, 3M gave the invention its full support. It took another five years to
perfect and design machines to manufacture the product, but in 1980, Post-it® Notes were
introduced nationwide. Within two years, the product became a necessity in the office,
schools, labs, libraries, and even in homes.
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Logic and Reasoning
• Understanding phenomena by analyzing with
our minds what we observe with our senses.
• Syllogism
– A logical argument consisting of two premises and a
conclusion.
– Example: Persons who smoke cigarettes have a high
rate of lung cancer. Persons who do not smoke
cigarettes have a low rate of lung cancer.
Therefore, smoking cigarettes causes lung cancer.
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Syllogism
– Persons who smoke cigarettes have a high rate of lung
cancer and yellow teeth.
– Persons who do not smoke cigarettes have a low rate of
lung cancer and yellow teeth.
– Therefore, smoking Nicholas
cigarettes
lung cancer and
C. Romano,causes
Jr.
Università degli
International Perspective
yellow teeth. IS Research 21an Maggio
Studi di Verona
2010
Well that sounds pretty good, I’ll just use
logic and reasoning for my research!
• Problems with limiting our knowledge
to what we can discover with logic and reason:
– Subjectivity (Bias)
• We do not observe “the whole picture”
• We have no external “check” on our logical thought
processes
– Example: I observe that all stars follow a regular pattern
of motion in the sky in relation to the Earth. Therefore
the Earth is stationary and at the center of the universe.
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Why not just rely on pure observation?
What one observes:
• May not be Quantifiable
• May Change over time
• May not be Reality
• Can be based on Misinformation or Bias
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Why not just rely on pure observation?
Count the Black Dots….How many do you see?
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Why not just rely on pure observation?
Are the Horizontal lines parallel or do they slope?
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Actual building in Melbourne, Australia
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Why not just rely on pure observation?
How many legs does this elephant have?
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Why not just rely on pure observation?
Are the two boys the same or different?
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Why not just rely on pure observation?
Count
thethe
men
one
last time
Count
men
Again
Count
the
men
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Is the wine glass on or off the tray?
Is the water glass standing or laying down
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Are the three purple Shapes Squares?
Are their sides parallel?
Are they moving or still?
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
The Ames Room
People seem to change size as they move around
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
How the Ames Room works
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
How the Ames Room works
Actual
Position of
Person A
Apparent
Position of
Person A
Apparent
Room shape
Actual and
Apparent
Position of
Person A
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
ISNicholas
ResearchC.an
International
Perspective
Romano,
Jr.
Doctoral
21 Maggio 2010
Oklahoma State University
Viewing Hole
Università degli
Studi di
Seminar
– Verona
MSIS 6333
Why not just rely on pure observation?
• Subjectivity (Bias)
– “group A is nicer than group B”
• Recall (forgetfulness – selective memory)
– What did you say to me last week about topic X?
• Interpretations or conclusions that
lack convincing support
– “most kids don’t care what their parents say”
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Even reason, when applied with bias,
leads to irrationality and incorrect conclusions.
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Logical Fallacies
• Fallacies occur when we reach wrong conclusions
based on real observations or facts.
• Examples:
– Cum hoc ergo propter hoc (with this, therefore because of this) –
Attributing causality based on correlation
– Converse accident – Generalizing to a group based on an
individual (or a small set of individuals)
– Accident – Specifying to an individual based on a group
– Post hoc ergo propter hoc (after this, therefore because of this) –
Attributing causality based on temporality
– See a list of 40 Fallacies at:
http://abyss.uoregon.edu/~js/glossary/fallacies.html
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Penguins are Blank and White.
Old all
We
TVknow
shows
that
arePenguins
Blank and
cannot
White.
fly.
Therefore some Penguins are Old TV Shows.
Logic, one more thing that
Penguins are not good at.
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
So I should just accept that ignorance is bliss
and that I don’t know anything?
• Maybe if you want to sit on your porch all day doing nothing, but
…….
– Authority isn’t Always Inaccurate
• We need to rely on knowledge our parents, teachers, government tells us
– Tradition is Important
• We all need a starting point and roots
– Logic and Reason are Powerful Tools
• Our brains are like supercomputers
• We couldn’t survive without Thinking
• Each way of knowing can only lead us so far
• We need a method to correct for weaknesses of other approaches
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Scientific Method
(or methods)
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Science and other kinds of knowledge
Religious Knowledge
Outrageous
stereotype of user
Bible-thumping
fundamentalist
or robe-draped monk; fond
of Sunday-morning radio.
How one discovers
Knowledge
From ancient texts or
revelations of inspired
individuals.
Extent to which
knowledge changes
through time
Extent to which
Future changes in
Knowledge are
expected by user
How knowledge
changes through
time
Little.
None.
Unchangeable except by
reinterpretation by
authorities, or by new
inspired revelations, or by
divergence of mavericks.
Artistic/Mystic Knowledge
Crystal-hugging wearer
Of tie-dyed T-shirts;
listens to new-age
music.
From personal insight,
Or insight of others
May be considerable.
Scientific Knowledge
Geek with pocket protector
And calculator; watches
Discovery Channel often.
From evidence generated by
observation of nature or by
experimentation.
Considerable.
Can be expected, to the
degree that the user
Expects personal
Development
Considerable.
As user changes or as
User encounters ideas
of others
By new observations or
experiments, and/or by
reinterpretation of existing data.
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Science and other kinds of knowledge (continued)
Religious Knowledge
Artistic/Mystic
Knowledge
Certainty
of the user
High, given sufficient faith;
Can be complete.
High
Assumptions
Ancient texts or Inspired
revelation have
meaning to modern or
future conditions.
personal feelings
And insights reflect
nature.
Where users put
Their Faith
In the supernatural beings
That they worship or in the
authorities who interpret
Texts and events.
In their own
perceptions.
Sources of
Contradiction
Between different religions;
between different texts
and/or authorities within
one religion; within
individual texts (as in the
two accounts of human
origin in the Judeo
Christian Genesis).
Between users, who
Each draw on their own
Personal Insights
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Scientific Knowledge
Dependent on quality and
Extent of evidence; should
never be complete.
Nature has discernible,
predictable, and
explainable
patterns of behavior.
In the honesty of people
reporting scientific data (the
incomes of whom depend
on generation of that data),
and in the human ability to
Understand nature.
Across time, as
understanding changes;
between fields, which
use different approaches
and materials; and between
individuals, who use
different approaches and
materials.
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Religion and Science
Science is based on skepticism and experiment
Religion is based on faith
However
Many scientists are religious
Also many leaders of religion have been great scientists
(Mendel – father of experimental Genetics - Monk)
Science and Religion are simply different parts of our lives
Science cannot disprove the idea of God
Religion cannot prove that Science is wrong
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Scientific Inquiry as a way of Knowing
• Science is a disciplined, systematic way to
understand the nature of the universe.
• Science uses empirical data to test
falsifiable theories via a deductive method.
• WHAT THE HECK DOES THAT MEAN???
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Science = order, explanation, rational methods, logic
• The main purpose of science is to trace, within the chaos
and flux of phenomena, a consistent structure with order
and meaning.
• This is called the philosophy of rationalism,
rational as in conforming with reason.
• And the purpose of scientific understanding is to coordinate
our experiences and bring them into a logical system.
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Science is also a Dialogue
between Humankind and Nature.
• Science is far from a perfect instrument of
knowledge, but it provides something that
other philosophies fail to, concrete results.
• Science is a “candle in the dark'' to
illuminate irrational beliefs or superstitions
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Six General Goals of Science
1. Organize & categorize things
(typologies and ontologies)
2. Explain Past Events
3. Predict Future Events
4. Control Future Events
5. Provide a Sense of Understanding
6. Generalize Results
Adapted from: Reynolds, P. D. (1971). A primer in theory
construction. Indianapolis, The Bobbs-Merrill Company.
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
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More Specific Goals of Science
• Create Causal Models for
phenomena of interest (Theory)
• Test the usefulness of our models
(Experiments and other methods)
• Use those models to increase the likelihood
people will survive and thrive. (Applications)
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
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Science – a Definition
Science, ... organized systematic enterprise that gathers knowledge about the world and
condenses the knowledge into testable laws and principles.
Diagnostic features of science that distinguish it from pseudoscience are:
1. Repeatability: The same phenomenon is sought again, preferably by Independent
investigation, and the interpretation given to it is confirmed or discarded by means of novel
analysis and experimentation.
2. Economy: Scientists attempt to abstract the information into the form that is both simplest
and aesthetically most pleasing the combination Called Elegance while yielding the largest
amount of information with the least amount of effort.
3. Mensuration: If some thing can be properly measured, using Universally accepted scales,
generalizations about it are rendered unambiguous.
4. Heuristics: The best science stimulates further discovery, often in unpredictable New
directions; and the new knowledge provides an additional test of the original principles that led to
its discovery.
5. Consilience: The explanations of different phenomena most likely to survive are those that can
be connected and proved consistent with one another.
Edward O. Wilson (1998) American Scientist, 86(1) Jan/Feb P.6.
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IS Research an International Perspective
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Università degli
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The Research Process
1. Pick a research topic.
2. Formulate an appropriate research question related
to that topic.
How do you do this?
Pick an outcome you think is interesting and ask,
“What do think caused that outcome? and Why?”
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
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The Research Process
3. Refine the research question by hypothesizing
relationship(s) between the variables
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IS Research an International Perspective
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The Research Process
4. Operationalize the variables
The conversion of abstract concept into concrete terms.
Measurement -- how do we know anything happened?
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
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Università degli
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The Research Process
5. Select an appropriate research technique
Examples:
1. Experiments
2. Quasi-experiments
3. Surveys
4. Interviews
5. Unobtrusive Data Collection
6. Content Analysis
7. Case Studies
8. Action Research
9. Design Science
10. Simulation
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IS Research an International Perspective
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The Research Process
6. Collect data – Measure attributes of the real world.
Classifying things that actually happen in the world with
your operational scheme and then recording that data.
Things to consider:
1. Quantitative vs. Qualitative
2. Primary vs. Secondary
3. Sample vs. Population
4. Selection of Cases
5. Validity
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
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The Research Process
7. Analyze Data
Look for systematic differences
STATISTICAL ANALYSIS
CONTENT ANALYSIS
HERMENUETICS
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
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The Research Process
8. Interpretation of the results
What did you find?
How do your findings relate to other findings?
What are the theoretical implications,
how will this impact other IS research?
What are the Practical implications,
how will this impact IS practice?
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
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PHASE
Point of
Departure
R
E
S
E
A
R
C
H
Exploratory
Research
Initial
Literature
Review
“Value Creation”
Preunderstanding
Definition of the
Scope of Lit.
Rev.
 Scientific
Paradigm
Research
strategies
 Techniques
among others
Why study Value?
Weaknesses of
current solutions
Unsolved issues
Review of:

Review of
Selected
Literature
Identification of
initial findings“Gap”
OUT
Answer
COMES
Study of
Research
Methods
Controls
Criteria to
evaluate results
and the whole
research
Theory
Building
Taking the gap further ..
Development of:
Hard & Soft
Value
The Value
Matrix
The 3rd.
Dimension VM
Footprints
Gap Asses.
Tool
Gap Definition
Understanding of
research methods
Research
Questions
Initial Research
Objective
Definition of
Phenomenological
Value Matrix
Value cube
Footprints
Research Approach
Theory
Testing
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IS Research an International Perspective
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Development of:
Research
tools
8 Case
Studies
Counting M.
Workshop
Feedback :
consultants
&conferences
Application of R.
Methods
Evolution of
Frameworks
Evaluation
of the
research
Identification of:
Contributions
to Knowledge
and Theory
Contributions
to Practice
Limitations of
Framework/
Footprint
Validation of
Frameworks
Answer to RQ
Acceptability of
Frameworks
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“Thus, the task is not so
much to see what no one
has yet seen, but to think
what no one has yet
thought about that which
everybody sees.”
Arthur Schopenhauer
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Science tests all hypotheses,
but some scientists summarily
dismiss opposing views:
Science has proven itself to be
an infallible tool for unlocking
certain areas of knowledge, but
it's not logical to conclude from
this that all thinking by
scientists is infallible.
Science can be used to discover
many things, yet some
scientists wrongly presume that
all things can be discovered
through
it.
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
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Università degli
Studi di Verona
What is Science?
A set of facts and the theories
that explain the facts.
Science =
Whatever’s being done by
institutions carrying on
“scientific” activity.
A particular approach,
the scientific method
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
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Data
• Data are concrete facts, records or collections of
information we gather about phenomena of interest.
– Usually expressed in numerical terms
• Data may express facts of individuals
(blood pressure, disease status, response to survey
questions) or geopolitical areas (crime rate, death
rate, per capita income)
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
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Empiricism
• An empirical (observational) approach to research
is one that strives to be objective.
• It expresses concepts in concrete, tangible ways.
– Not fuzzy or abstract ways…
• Empiricism tests relationships between these concepts.
• Empiricism is closely tied to the type of data that you use.
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
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Limitations of Empirical Data
• Our research cannot attempt to make value judgments
– Cannot answer questions such as, “What is morally right?”
or “Which drug is better?”
– Can analyze people’s opinions about such things
• Some concepts are difficult to measure with numbers
– If we wanted to know if “happier people” lived longer,
how could we measure happiness?
• Sometimes we just can’t get the data
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
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Popular Fictions
• The goal of science is to accumulate facts
• Science distorts reality and can’t do justice to
the fullness of human experience.
• Scientific knowledge is truth.
• Science is concerned primarily with solving
practical and social problems.
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
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So then, what is Science?
“Science is neither a philosophy
nor a belief system.
It is a combination of mental operations that
has become increasingly the habit of educated
peoples, a culture of illuminations hit upon by
a fortunate turn of history that yielded the most
effective way of learning about the real world
ever conceived.”
Edward O. Wilson
Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge
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IS Research an International Perspective
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The Heart of the Matter
Why do we see what we do
and not see something else?
Paradigm, Ontology, Epistemology, Axiology
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IS Research an International Perspective
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Paradigm
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Some Fundamental Paradigms
• Positivist Research
• Interpretivist Research
• Criticalist Research
• Design Research
• Action Research
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IS Research an International Perspective
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Research Taxonomies
It is important to
understand where you fit
in regards to research
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
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Ontology
Epistemology
Methodology
Methods
Sources
What’s out
there to know?
What and how can
we know about it?
How can we go
about acquiring
that knowledge?
Which precise
procedures can
we use to acquire
it?
Which data can
we collect?
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
Università degli
The interrelationship between the
building
blocks of research
IS Research
an International
Perspective(Grix 2004: 66)
21 Maggio 2010
Studi di Verona
Philosophical Assumptions
Research Perspectives
Basic Belief
Ontology
Epistemology
Methodology
Axiology
Criteriology
Positivist
Interpretivist
Design
Single Reality;
Study
that describes the nature of reality: Multiple Contextually Situated
Realities;
alternative World States; SocioKnowable,
for
example, what Multiple
is
real
and
what
is
not,
technologically enabled
Socially Constructed
Probabilistic
what
is fundamental and what is derivative?
Objective;
Knowing through making:
Subjective, i.e. values
Study
that
explores
the
nature
of
knowledge:
for
Dispassionate.
and knowledge emerge Objectively constrained
withinhow
a context.
Detached
example, on what
knowledge construction
depend
and
can
fromdoes
the researcherIterative
circumscription
reveals
observer
truth of
participant
interaction
we beofcertain
what we
know? meaning
Strategy or planParticipative;
of action; ResearchDevelopmental;
Design – shapes
our
Observational;
Measure
Qualitative;
Quantitative;
artifactual
impacts
one the
choice of methods
and links that choice
to the
research
Hermeneutical;
Statistical
composite system
outcomes.
Dialectical.
Truth:
Universal
Control; Creation;
Progress
Study
of values: Understanding:
what values does
an individual
or group
hold(i.e.
Situated
and Beautiful;
improvement) Understanding
and Descriptive
and why?
Predictive.
Expected Functionality
Internal
validity;
Credibility:
Study
of
how
we
evaluate
our
investigations.
and performance
construct validity; triangulation
external validity Nicholas
multiple
data Jr.
sources Useful and easy to use
C. Romano,
and reliability.
Università at
degli
Solves Problem
hand
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Confirmability
21 Maggio 2010
Studi di Verona
Behavioral vs. Design Science (Hevner, et al. 2004)
Behavioural Science Research (BSR)
Origin
Natural Science
Design Science Research (DSR)
Engineering, Sciences of the Artificial
Paradigm Problem understanding paradigm
Problem solving paradigm
Objective
Object
develop and justify theories which explain
or predict organizational human
phenomena surrounding the analysis,
design, implementation, management, and
use of information
Systems
create innovations that define ideas,
practices, technical capabilities, and
product through the analysis, design,
implementation, management, and use
of information
systems
human-computer-interaction
IT artefact design
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IS Research an International Perspective
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IS Research Cycle
Behavioral
Science
Research
Understanding,
Truth
Justify
Build
Design,
IS Artifacts
Theory Building,
Hypotheses
Evaluate/
Apply
Theorize
Utility,
Usage in Practice
Design
Science
Research
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
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Reassembling the Dimensions
• A given research project is a point in multidimensional space.
• Some regions of this space are popular:
Biophysical
Before
Sample
Quantitative
Observational
Objective
Neutral
topic
Theory
scope
method
mode
ideology
politics
These often go together as
Quantitative research.
Psychosocial
After
Case(s)
Qualitative
Interventionist
Subjective
Partisan
These often go together as
Qualitative research.
• This pigeonholing doesn’t
Nicholasapply
C. Romano,to
Jr. the novelty,
Università degli
IS Research an International Perspective
technology and utility dimensions.
Studi di Verona
21 Maggio 2010
Diagnosing your research paradigm
H&H p.73 (A if you agree/D if you disagree)
1. Quantitative data is more scientific than qualitative data
2. It is important to state the hypotheses before data
collection
3. Surveys are probably the best way to investigate business
issues
4. Unless a phenomenon can be measured reliably, it cannot
be investigated
5. A good knowledge of statistics is essential for all
approaches to business research
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IS Research an International Perspective
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Diagnosing your Research Paradigm
H&H p.73
6. Case studies should only be used as a pilot project before the
main research is conducted
7. Using participant observation to collect data is of little value
in business research
8. Laboratory experiments should be used more widely in
business research
9. It is impossible to generate theories during the course of
research into business issues
10. Researchers must remain objective and independent from
the phenomena they are studying
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IS Research an International Perspective
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Diagnosing your Research Paradigm
H&H p.73
•
•
•
To score, count the number of As and Ds:
More As than Ds – Positivist
More Ds than As –
phenomenological/Interpretivist/Subjectivist
Equal – flexible (Post-Positivist)
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Science and Scientific Method
Science “the methodological and systematic approach
to acquisition of new knowledge”
(Geoffrey Marcyzk, David DeMatteo, David Festinger, Essentials of Research
Design and Methodology, John Wiley & Sons, 2005, p. 4)
Scientific method, evolved since 13th century, concerns set of tools,
techniques and procedures used by researchers to analyze and
understand phenomena and support or discard prior conceptions
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Essence of the Scientific Method
Characteristics of the Scientific Method
Basic
Research
Applied
Research
Scientific
Method
Objectivity
Systematic Analysis
Logical Interpretation of Results
General Laws
Elements of the
Scientific Method
Empirical Approach
Observations
Questions
Hypotheses
Experiments
Analysis
Conclusion
Replication
Information or
Ideas for alternative
Courses of action
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
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4 Scientific Argument Types
1. Deduction: Conclusion is drawn from a set of
propositions (pure logic)
2. Induction: One draws general conclusions from
particular facts that appear to serve as evidence
3. Probability: Passes from frequencies within a
known domain to conclusions of stated likelihood,
4. Statistical: On the average, a certain percentage of
a set of entities will satisfy the stated conditions.
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IS Research an International Perspective
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4 Scientific Arguments types
Deductive
Inductive
Probabilistic
Statistical
Mathematics
Computer
Simulations
Temporal Data
Spectral Data
Images
Temporal Data
Sets of Data
Logical/Rational
Thought
Correlations/Patterns
Likelihood
Trends
Laws of Nature
Rules of Nature
Generalities of
Nature
Predictions of
Nature
The fact that scientific reasoning is so often successful is a
remarkable property of the Universe, the dependability of Nature.
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Inductivisim vs. Deductivism
• Exploratory
• Starts by observing,
ends with a theory
• May be necessary to
uncover relationships when
little is known about a
phenomena
(i.e., AIDS in 1980’s)
• Confirmatory
• Starts with a theory, ends
with test results
• Is considered the gold
standard for conducting
scientific research
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Qualitative vs. Quantitative
Theories
(X) f1 (X)
(X) f2 (X)
…………
(X) fn (X)
Quantitative
Confirmation
“Deductive”
Qualitative
Exploration
“Inductive”
Manipulation
Logic and Math
Results
Observations
Theory
Experiment
1.414
1.418
1.732
1.725
2.236
2.237
Reasonable Agreement
Adapted from, Kuhn, Thomas (1961) "The Function of Measurement in Modern Physical Science."
in The Essential Tension. (1977) Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, pp. 178-224.
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Deductive Reasoning
Deductive reasoning starts
with a Given Theory
Theory
Hypotheses
as the basis for which
we develop Hypotheses
Observation
and then acquire Specific Data
through Observation or Experimentation
Confirmation
and finally check to see if
the data confirms (supports)
our hypotheses and theory or not
(Is our theory valid or not?)
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
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Inductive Reasoning
Observation
Inductive reasoning starts
with a Specific Observation
Pattern
as the basis for which
we develop a General Pattern
Tentative Hypothesis
and Tentative Hypothesis
Theory
As foundation
for a Theory
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Flow of Research:
Top to Bottom Approach
Source: http://trochim.human.cornell.edu/kb/strucres.htm
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• To support these methods, a scientist also uses a large
amount of skepticism to search for any fallacies in
hypothesis or scientific arguments.
• Note that there is an emphasis on falsification, not
verification.
• If a theory passes any test then our confidence in the theory
is reinforced, but it is never proven correct in a
mathematical sense.
• Thus, a powerful hypothesis is one that is highly vulnerable
to falsification and that can be tested in many ways.
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
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Falsification
• For a theory to be scientific, its hypotheses must be
falsifiable
– The possibility must exist for the data to prove you wrong
• When collecting data one must not collect data simply to
support one’s hypothesis
– This is essentially what an inductive approach does, as the
hypothesis is based on the data
• Difference between science and philosophy / religion
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Pluto…a planet or not?
In a move that's already generating controversy and will force textbooks to be rewritten,
Pluto will now be dubbed a dwarf planet.
But it's no longer part of an exclusive club, since there are more than 40 of these dwarfs
A clear majority of researchers voted for the new definition at a meeting of the International Astronomical
Union (IAU) in Prague, in the Czech Republic. The IAU decides the official names of all celestial bodies.
The tough decision comes after a multiyear search for a scientific definition of the word "planet."
The term never had an official meaning before.
What Is a Planet Today? According to the new definition, a full-fledged planet is an object that orbits the sun
and is large enough to have become round due to the force of its own gravity. In addition, a planet has to
dominate the neighborhood around its orbit. Pluto has been demoted because it does not dominate its
neighborhood. Charon, its large "moon," is only about half the size of Pluto, while all the true planets are far
larger than their moons.
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
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Tying it all Together
• Use theory to develop research questions
• Formulate specific, empirical hypotheses
that are falsifiable
• Select variables based on theory that are
empirically measurable
• Try to prove your hypothesis wrong
– Test the falsification (null) hypothesis
• State the limitations of your research
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
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Theory and Research
 What is Theory?
 “…the language that allows us to move from
observation to observation and to make sense of
similarities and differences.”
Rudestam & Newton, 2001, p. 10.
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Theory and Research
Relationship between theory and research
 Consider the Research Process Wheel as proposed by
Rudestam & Newton in Surviving Your Dissertation (2001).
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Generalized Wheel of Science
General/Abstract
Theoretical
Deduction
Nomothetic
Empirical
Generalization
Verify
Confirm
Evaluate
Falsify
Hypothesis
Testing
Idiographic
Induction
Specific/Concrete
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Empirical
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Information Systems Research & Practice
Leads to
Theory:
ideas
Practice:
use of ideas
Leads to
after Checkland & Holwell (1998)
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REALLY What is a Theory? (1)
Zikmund (p. 41) has defined a theory as “a coherent set of general
propositions, used as principles of explanation of the amount of the
apparent relationships of certain observed phenomona”
Concepts (or constructs) are the basic building blocks of theory
development. A concept (or construct) is a generalized idea about a
class of objects, attributes, occurrences, or processes that have been
given a name. A concept (or construct) may vary in terms of the
level of abstraction THEY ARE PART OF THEORY
Examples: Productivity, Leadership, Morale, Assets, Inflation
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What is a Theory? (2)
A Proposition is a statement concerned with the relationship
between concepts. It asserts a universal connection and logical
linkage between concepts. Propositions are at a higher level of
abstraction than concepts. THEY ARE PART OF THEORY
Example: Smoking is injurious to health
Hypotheses are propositions which are empirically testable.
They are usually concerned with the relationships between
variables. THEY ARE NOT PART OF A THEORY.
Example: Increasing salary by 10% will double the production
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Theory Construction
• Baconian Inductivism (Interpretivist)
– Start with what we observe (data)
– Look for patterns among data
– Create theory based on observed patterns
– Empirically test predictions of the theory
• Problems
– Not all phenomena can be observed
– Depends on large number of observations
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Theory Construction, continued
• Hypothetico – Deductivism (Positivist)
– Propose theory
• Either a pre-existing theory or one that logically makes sense
– Generate testable hypothesis
– Collect empirical data
– Test hypothesis, interpret results
• Problems
– As theories become outdated, knowledge derived from this
method may become meaningless
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
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Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
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Abstraction Ladder
Theory
Abstract Level
Concepts / Constructs
Levels of Abstraction
Propositions
Observations of Objects,
Events and Occurrences (Reality)
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Empirical Level
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Theory and Research
Theory functions three ways in research:
1. Theories prevent our being taken in by flukes.
2. Theories make sense of observed patterns in ways
that can suggest other possibilities.
3. Theories can direct research efforts, pointing toward
likely discoveries through empirical observation.
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
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Theory as Explanation
• Research questions call for explanations
• Answers or Explanations come from theorie
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Vocabulary
Concept:
“a word or a symbol to represent an idea”
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Vocabulary
Theory:
“concepts and their interrelationships”
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Vocabulary
Model:
“imitation of an existing object”
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Logics
World
Theory
Model
Approximation
Denotation
{Good, Fair, Poor}
{True, False}
(supported or not)
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
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Vocabulary
Hypothesis:
“testable statement based on theory”
Prediction about what Patterns we will see
in the world if our theory is correct
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
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Vocabulary
Operational Definition: (variable)
“concept at a level that is testable”
(measurable)
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concept
concept
concept
concept
concept
concept
concept
concept
concept
THEORY
Hypotheses
Operational Definition
(variables)
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Theory
Based on well established facts, testable hypotheses are formed.
The process of testing "leads scientists to accord a special
dignity to those hypotheses that accumulate substantial
observational or experimental support."
This "special dignity" is denoted by the granting of the title
"theory," which, when it "explains a large and diverse body
of facts" is considered "robust" and if it "consistently
predicts new phenomena that are subsequently observed,"
it is "reliable."
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What Theory is NOT
1. References are not theory.
2. Data are not theory
3. Lists of Variables or Constructs are Not Theory
4. Diagrams are Not Theory
5. Hypothesis (or predictions) are not theory
6. Theory is not something one "adds" to data, or something that one
transforms from weaker to stronger by means of graphics or
references, or can be feigned by flashy conceptual performance.
Sutton, R. I. and Staw, B. M. (1995) What theory is not. ASQ 40:371-384.
Weick, Karl, E. What Theory is Not, Theorizing Is, ASQ, 1995, 40:385-390.
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TEN MYTHS OF SCIENCE: REEXAMINING WHAT WE THINK WE KNOW
Myth 1: Hypotheses Become Theories Which Become Laws
Myth 2: A Hypothesis is an Educated Guess
Myth 3: A General and Universal Scientific Method Exists
Myth 4: Evidence Accumulated Carefully Will Result in Sure Knowledge
Myth 5: Science and its Methods Provide Absolute Proof
Myth 6: Science Is Procedural More Than Creative
Myth 7: Science and its Methods Can Answer All Questions
Myth 8. Scientists are Particularly Objective
Myth 9: Experiments are the Principle Route to Scientific Knowledge
Myth 10: All Work in Science is Reviewed to Keep the Process Honest.
See: http://amasci.com/miscon/myths10.html
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“I grant you
evolution was a
theory to begin
with… but it
evolved into a fact
a long time ago!“
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Hypotheses;
Theories;
Laws
Observations
Develop Hypothesis
To Explain Observations
Pass
Fail
Test Hypothesis
Pass Many Tests
Hypothesis
Pass
Theory
Fail
Test Theory
Pass Many Tests
Theory
Law
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Fail
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Phenomenon
of Interest?
Inductive Reasoning applied
(Specific to General) to develop
General hypotheses
Hypotheses
Small dots
represent
observations
Large dots
represent
Experimental
Results
Collections of Data
Observations by other scientists
Experiments designed
Through deductive reasoning
(General to Specific)
Controlled experiments provide
new data that is tested statistically
for significance and falsification
Scientific
Law
Theory
Scientific
Law
Scientific
Law
Results of statistical tests on new data
Add evidence to support, modify or falsify
the theory (or more rarely the scientific law)
Nicholas
C. Romano,
Jr.
Scientific Theories are relatively large,
general
concepts.
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Scientific Laws are smaller, mathematically
precise
21 Maggio
2010 concepts.
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Scientific
Law
Theory C
Theory B
Scientific
Law
Theory A
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Theory
• A Causal Model of the phenomenon-of-interest
• Drives all subsequent Scientific Activity
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Hypotheses
Experimental/Research Design
Measures
Analysis
Conclusions
Interpretations
Limitations
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Anything Missing?
Truth
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Positivist Perspective
Science <> True
Science = Useful
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A
Useful Model
is often
Better Than Truth
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• No scientific inquiry is ever complete,
and no scientific theory is ever “final”
• Nor need it be to be useful
– A scientific theory in its current state can be very
useful in the present even though it may later be
or improved upon or even superceded
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Connecting outputs to outcomes is a challenge
“I think you
should be more
explicit here in
Step Two.”
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Useful
Is Better Than True
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Name the Phenomenon
Nickezite
Block
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Describe the Phenomenon
A
Nickezite
Block
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B
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Explore the Phenomenon
A
Bobezite
Block
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B
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Explore the Phenomenon
A
B
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Describe Phenomenon Dynamics
A
Nickezite
Block
B
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A Useful Theory
One Gear
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Truth
(Reality)
Many Gears
Belts and pulleys
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The model becomes useful
when you want to do something new
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Therefore
For matters of cause-and-effect
A useful model (Theory)
Is/Can Be better
than Truth (Reality)
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What is a Theory?
“A set of interrelated constructs (variables), definitions, and
propositions that presents a systematic view of phenomena
by specifying relations among constructs, with the purpose
of explaining natural phenomena.”
Kerlinger, F. N. (1979) Behavioral Research: A conceptual Approach.
New York, NY, USA: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
To this add “Theoretical Rationale”
“Specifying how and why the constructs and
relational statement are interrelated.”
Labovitz and Hagedorn (1971) Introduction to Social Research. New York, NY, USA.
McGraw-Hill.
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A Good Theory
•
•
•
•
•
Should explain existing data
Explain a range of related observations
Allow statements to be made about the world
Allow predictions about the future
Have meaningful implications
Taken from Davey et al. (2004)
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What is a Theory?
•
•
•
•
•
Causal Model
Internally Consistent
Explains and/or predicts
Proposes mechanisms of causation
Testable
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Structure of a Theory
• Axioms (Assumptions)
• Propositions (Causes and Effects)
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Substruction
• A strategy to help you understand the theory and
methods (operational system) in a research study
• Applies to empirical, quantitative research studies
• There is no word, Substruction, in the dictionary.
It has an inductive meaning, constructing and a
deductive meaning, deconstructing
• Heuristic
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Substruction
(Qualitative)
Theory
(Theoretical
system)
Construct
Deductive







Methods
(Operational
System)
Measures






Concept

Scaling/Data
analysis
(Quantitative)
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Inductive
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Substruction:
Building Blocks or Statements of Relationships
Construct
Pain

Concept
Intensity

Measure
10 cm scale
Axiom
Construct
Quality of Life

Concept
Functional status

Measure
mobility scale
Theoretical
Model
Proposition
Hypothesis
Measurement Model
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Statements of Relationships
Construct:
Postulate:
Statement of
relationship
between a
construct and
concepts
Pain consists of three
concepts
Concepts:
Intensity
Location
Duration
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Basic Concepts
• Hypothesis
– States a relationship between two, or more, concepts and
suggests that one has an impact on the other
(Grix 2004:42)
– An Hypothesis is a provisional idea whose merit is to
be evaluated.
A hypothesis requires more work by the researcher in
order to either confirm or disprove it. In the hypotheticodeductive method, a hypothesis should be falsifiable,
meaning that it is possible that it be shown false, usually
by observation.
Note that, if confirmed, the hypothesis is not necessarily
proven, but remains provisional.
(Wikipedia)
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Basic Concepts
Propositions
• Functional Statements of cause-and-effect
that must be logically true if the axioms are
true
• Examples
– P1: Effort toward group goal is a function of
goal congruence
– P2. Group Productivity is an inverse function
of distraction
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Propositions must be...
•
•
•
•
Causal
Composed of Constructs
Without empirical content
Logically derivable from axioms
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Propositions of Direct Causation
Goal
Congruence
+
2
+
Effort
3
1
Productivity
-
Distraction
Proposition 1: Productivity is a function of effort
Proposition 2: Effort is a function of goal congruence
Proposition 3: Effort is an inverse function of distraction
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Theory Explication
• Example: What determines musical Taste?
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Important Terms
• Theory
• Concept
• Variable
– Independent
– Dependent
– Antecedent
– Intervening
– Mediating
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The Simplest Diagram of a Theory
Independent Concept
(Construct)
Relationship
Dependent Concept
(Construct)
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A Simple Theory
Peer Group
Influences
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Musical Taste
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Adding an Antecedent Construct
Socioeconomic
status
Affects
Peer Group
Influences
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Musical Taste
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Adding a Mediating Construct
Socioeconomic
status
Gender
Affects
Impacts
Peer Group
Musical Taste
Influences
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Adding an Intervening Construct
Socioeconomic
status
Gender
Affects
Impacts
Self
image
Peer Group
Leads to
Musical Taste
Influences
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A Third Construct Explanation
Parental
influence
Peer group
X
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Musical taste
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Deriving Theory and Hypotheses
Hypotheses
Variables
Variables
Constructs
Propositions
Empirical test
of Theory
Constructs
Theory
Logical
Foundation for
Propositions
Axioms and Postulates
Derived in part from Bacharach (1989).
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H1a (-)
H1b (-)
“Eight-item scale adapted
from Langfred” Score
Frequency of use
Duration of use
H1c (-)
H1d (-)
Percentage of system
features used regularly
Measurement Model
(Empirical test
of Theory)
Proportion of use
P1 (-)
Degree of
Freedom
P4 (-)
Usage
Intensity
P2 (-)
Independence
Theoretical
Model
P5 (-)
P3(-)
Usage Scope
Discretion
P6 (-)
Team
Autonomy
culture
Axiom 1 (-)
Individual
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Usage
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Implicit Coordination Theory (ICT) Causal Process Model
Theoretical Assumptions
Supported Constructs, Postulates and Axioms
Parallelism
A1(+)
Group
Awareness
Theoretical Proposals
Proposed Constructs and Propositions
P6(+)
P1 (+)
Response
Bias
P7(+)
A2(+)
Shared
Cognition
A3(+)
Task
Performance
P3(+/-)
Self-Scribing
Ability
A4(+)
Formalized
Group
Memory
P2 (+)
P4 (+)
Implicit
Coordination
P5 (+)
Heedful
Interrelating
H1(+); H5(+)
Response
Criterion
H3(+); H7(+)
H2(-); H6(-)
Hit Rate
(Detected Errors/
Total Errors)
(-)
H4(+); H8a(+)
Shared
Interface
SDT
Givens
Discriminability
(Sensitivity)
(-)
False Alarm Rate
(Non-Errors identified as errors/
Total Non-Errors)
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Measurement
Model
:
Independent
Experimental Control : Dependent Variable
Studi di Variables
Verona
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166
Qualities of a Good Theory
• Parsimony ( simple, small )
• Explanatory/Predictive
• Bounded
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“If you can't explain
it simply, you don't
understand it well
enough.”
Albert Einstein
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Pragmatic Theory
• Usually start with propositions and
work backward to axioms
• Usually start poorly and get better
• Use someone else’s theory whenever you can
• Technology has No Place in your theory
(if you tie technology to your theory,
what will happen when technology changes?)
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Pragmatic Theory
• A good theory will get you to the moon
and back safely on the first try
• Good theory will do more to save you from
drawing “bone-headed” conclusions than any
other discipline of positivism
• Good theory will make you look like a genius
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Explanation in Science
CAUSAL EXPLANATION
1. Common variation
The cause X and effect Y should vary together
2. Order X precedes Y
3. Third Factors The common variation of X and Y
should not be due to a third factor Z
4. Empirical Connection
The connection between X and Y is empirical
5. Theory The connection between X and Y
should be deduced from a general theory
6. Mechanism
The mechanism that connects X to Y should be known
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Scientific Method (Deductive)
Observe
Phenomenon
Record
Analysis
(Previous Theory)
Synthesize
(Cause -> Effect)
Peculiar?
Hypotheses
Construct Theory
Unify/Simplify
Understand Underlying Domain
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Interest
Idea
Theory
Choice of Research Method
Conceptualization
Specify the meaning
Of the concepts and
Variables to be studied
Operationalization
How will we actually
measure the variables
under study?
Experiments
Surveys
Field Study
Content Analysis
Secondary data analysis
Comparative
Evaluation
Design
Population and Sampling
Whom do we want to be able
to draw conclusions about?
Who will be observed for that
purpose
Observations
Collecting data for
Analysis and interpretation
Data Processing
Transforming the data
collected into a form
appropriate to manipulation
and analysis
Analysis
Analyzing data and
Drawing conclusions
Scientific
Method
(more detail)
Application
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and
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implications
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Cycle of Research and Theory-Building
People notice
phenomena.
They gather
information
about the
phenomena.
The theory is
strengthened.
Yes
They build a
theory which
explains and
predicts it.
They share their
theory with
other people.
People use
the theory
to write
hypotheses.
People
conduct
studies.
Are the
hypotheses
supported?
No
The researchers may
suggest modifications.
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The theory is
weakened.
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Cycle of Research
and Theory-Building Detailed
Worldview
Theoretical Framework
(Conceptual Scheme, Principles,
mode of representation, Template)
Empirical
Methods
Body
of
Data
Problem
Theoretical
Methods
Theoretical
Model
Comparison
Possible Actions:
• Revise Model
• Reassess data
• Redefine Problem
• Reconsider Empirical Methods
• Review Theoretical Methods
• Reconstruct Framework
• Rethink Worldview
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An Experiment without a
theory is meaningless
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Phenomena:
Large, Odd-Smelling Boxes
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Scientific Instrument:
Drill
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Collecting Data Without A Theory
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Collecting Data With a Theory
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A Physicist Uses
the ‘Elephant’ Theory
+
=
Fission!
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A Farmer Uses the ‘Elephant’ Theory
Fertilizer!
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There is nothing
more useful
than
A Good Theory
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So, what is “Science”?
• Theory must be founded on natural laws.
• Theory must be falsifiable.
• Theory must produce hypotheses that are
corroborated by evidence.
• Disconfirmation is “overblown.” Most research
progresses by solving puzzles using the ideas
within the hard core of a research program.
– Rewards go to those who solve particularly hard puzzles.
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Conditions of Science continued
• Predictions of new facts that are then
corroborated by evidence is the ideal.
• Scientific revolutions or paradigm shifts are rare.
Challenging or amending the hard core is not what
science is usually about.
• Changing “how we think about the universe”
occurs at several levels, from resolving
particularly difficult puzzles to developing a new
paradigm.
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Lessons for Your Research
• Since science is a social enterprise, your work counts
only by how it is received by the scientific
community. This reception is partly subjective.
You must argue your case in the face of sometimes
conflicting and ambiguous criteria.
• Even though we may agree on the conditions that
make a theory “better,” we can still disagree and,
therefore, argue over which particular theory best
fits those conditions.
• ( and still respect each other’s work and be friends.)
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Valid Scientific Arguments
• You are solving a genuine and significant puzzle
within the field.
• The evidence corroborates your theory and
hypotheses.
– This is a question of research design. The better your
research design, the stronger your argument will be.
• Your amendment to the hard core is
progressive. Resolving the puzzle uncovers
additional implications that are also
empirically corroborated.
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Scientific Arguments continued
• Since multiple theories may exist in the protective
belt or positive heuristic, your theory is more
elegant, broader in the range of phenomena its
predicts/explains, and supported better by the
evidence than its plausible rivals.
• In rare cases, you have sufficiently altered the
hard core that you have created a new research
program.
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Consequences for Information Growth
AYER - LOGICAL POSITIVISM
• Theories confirmed & areas sewn up
• New areas investigated
• Less to investigate in each generation
• End of Science!
theories confirmed
120
100
80
60
40
20
0
generations
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Consequences for Information Growth
POPPER - FALSIFICATION
theories confirmed
• Theories not disproved
• All results contingent
• Each generation re-investigates results
• Exponential growth of science
80
new
retested
60
40
20
0
generations
Philosophical underpinnings
of science drive it
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di Verona
forward and predispose
it 2010
to exponentialStudi
growth
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Merton’s Norms
• Merton’s social norms of scientific conduct
– Universalism: new work is assessed by universal impersonal
criteria
– Communality: scientific knowledge should be common property
– Disinterestedness: prime concern is the advancement of
knowledge
– Organized scepticism: knowledge should be continually subjected
to critical scrutiny
• Reflects stated values rather than actual behaviour: what
they do is not what they say.
See Watson’s The Double Helix, for example
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IS Research Methods
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Epistemological
Paradigms
Methodologies/
Research
Strategies
Positivism
Focus on
generalizeability and
Causal Explanation
Hypothesis Testing
(Aiming to
establish, explain,
Predict causal links
Between key variables
Survey
Methods
(data collection
And analysis)
Interpretativm
Focus on
relativism and
understanding
Addressing
Research
Questions
(explanation
or understanding)
Hermeneutic Inquiry
(‘Thick description’
And in-depth
Understanding)
Focus
Group
Case Study
Discourse
Experiment
analysis
Interviewing
Life History
Ethnography
Questionnaire Grounded
theory
phenomenology
Structured
Observation
Action
Participant
Quantitative Research Observation
Analysis
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
Nicholas
Romano,
Jr.
Doctoral
21C.Maggio
2010
Methodological
field
Università degli
Studi di
Seminar
– Verona
MSIS 6333
The Research Process Onion
Positivism
Experiment
Sampling
Secondary data
Observation
Interviews
Questionnaires
Research
Philosophy
Research
Approaches
Case
study
Research
Strategies
Time
Horizons
Data Collection
Methods
interpretivism
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Alternative Motivations for Research
• ‘Pure Research'
‘because it’s there’
contribute to abstract, theoretical
understanding
• ‘Applied Research'
‘I have hammer, so find a nail’
• Instrumentalist Research
‘I see a problem, so find a solution’
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Research
Type
Basic (pure)
Applied
Purpose
• Expand Knowledge
• Understand Specific Problem
Context
• Academic Setting
• Single Researcher
• Less Time/Cost Pressure
• Real-World Setting
• Multiple Researchers
• More Time/Cost Pressure
Methods
• Internal Validity
• Cause
• Single Level of Analysis
• Single Method
• Experimental
• Direct Observations
• External Validity
• Effect
• Multiple Levels of Analysis
• Multiple Methods
• Quasi-Experimental
• Indirect Observations
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Nature of Research Outcomes
• Descriptive
Depiction of a behavior or a domain
• Explanatory
Systemic explanation of how behaviors arise
ascription of causes to occurrences in the domain
• Predictive
Statement of: what behavior will arise, and how;
what occurrences will arise within the domain;
what effect will particular interventions have
• Normative
Declaration of interventions to a desired outcome
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Three Types of Research
• Descriptive research –
finding out (What, Where, When)
• Explanatory research – explaining ; identifying
causality; theory/model; prediction (HOW/WHY)
• Evaluative research – evaluation of strategies,
policies, programs, practices (Value)
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Types of Research Spectrum
To become familiar with
phenomena; to gain new
insights; to formulate a more
specific research problem or
research hypothesis.
(Explore)
To portray accurately the
incidence, distribution, and
characteristics of a group or
situation. (Usually not begun
with specific hypothesis.)
(Describe)
To test hypotheses of
causal relationships
between variables.
(Begins with specific
hypotheses.)
To investigate
relationships between
variables. (Begins
with specific
hypotheses.)
(Explain - Predict)
(Control)
Descriptive Research
Correlational/Ex Post Facto
Survey Research
Exp./Quasi-Exp.
Independent Variables
Independent Var.
(X) controlled by
investigator
Independent variables (X) not controlled by investigator
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Research generates knowledge in order to:
Build
Broader
Understanding
Basic
Or Pure
Research
Pave The
Way For
Change
Applied /
Evaluative
Research
Action Change
Within A
System
Emancipate
Through
Action
Action Research
Technical/
Practical
Participatory/
Emancipatory
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Expose And
Change The
Dominate System
Critical /
Radical
Ethnography
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Research Approaches
– Two main classes of approaches:
• Theory ‘testing’ – apply theory to ‘read’ the
data
• Theory ‘emergent’ – look for ‘patterns’,
understanding emerges from the data
(Hirschheim, 2002)
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Combining Approaches
• Case study/action research
leads to
• Research question
leads to
• Theory building
leads to
• Theory testing with lab. experiments
and
• Theory testing with field experiments
leads to
• Theory extension and feedback loop to Theory testing
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Research Approaches
– Mathematical approaches
– Approaches studying reality
• Research stressing what is reality
– Conceptual-analytical approaches
– approaches for empirical studies
» theory-testing approaches
» theory-creating approaches
• Research stressing utility of artifacts
– artifact-building approaches
– artifacts-evaluating approaches
(Järvinen & Järvinen, 1999)
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Alternative Research Methods
– Constructivist Methods (“Design”)
• conceptual development and technical development
– Nomothetic Methods (“Confirmatory”)
• field research, surveys, lab experiments … using the
hypothetico-deductive method
– Idiographic Methods (“Exploratory”)
• case studies and action research
(Hirschheim, 2002)
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Research Methods
•
•
•
•
Non-Empirical Techniques
Scientific Research Techniques
Interpretivist Research Techniques
Research Techniques at the
Scientific/Interpretivist Boundary
• Engineering Research Techniques
(Design Fits here as well)
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Research Methods
Non-empirical Techniques
The following techniques are detached from real-world data. This is not to say that they are
necessarily totally remote or irrelevant, but rather that they are once-removed, depending on
synthetic data, or on conceptual thinking about abstractions. The primary techniques are:
•
Conceptual research. This is based on opinion and speculation, and comprises philosophical
or 'armchair' analysis, and argumentative/dialectic analysis;
•
theorem proof. This applies formal methods to mathematical abstractions, in order to
demonstrate that, within a tightly defined model, a specific relationship exists among
elements of that model;
•
simulation. This is the study of a simplified, formal model of a complex environment, in
order to perform experimentation not possible in a real-world setting;
•
futures research, scenario-building, and game- or role-playing. Individuals interact in
order to generate new ideas or gather new insights into relationships among variables. A
specific instance that is often applied in the information systems discipline is the delphi
technique (Delbecq et al., 1975);
•
review of existing literature, or 'meta-analysis'. The literature examined in such research
may include the opinions and speculations of theorists, the research methods adopted by
empirical researchers, the reports of the outcomes of empirical research, and materials
prepared for purposes other than research.
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Research Methods
Scientific Research Techniques
The following are common techniques that can be applied by information
systems researchers within the scientific tradition:
• Forecasting. This technique involves the application of regression
and time-series techniques, in order to extrapolate trends from past
data;
• Field experimentation and quasi-experimental designs.
Opportunities are sought in the real-world which enable many factors,
which would otherwise confound the results, to be isolated, or
controlled for (Cook & Campbell 1979);
• Laboratory experimentation. This involves the creation of an
artificial environment, in order to isolate and control for potentially
confounding variables (Hersen & Barlow 1976, Jarvenpaa et al. 1984,
1985, Jarvenpaa 1988, Benbasat 1990a, 1990b, DeSanctis 1990).
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Research Methods
Interpretivist Research Techniques
The following are techniques which are unequivocally interpretivist in their style:
• descriptive/interpretive research. In this techniques, empirical observation is
subjected to limited formal rigour. Controls over the researcher's intuition include
self-examination of the researcher's own pre-suppositions and biases, cycles of
additional data collection and analysis, and peer review;
• focus group research. This involves the gathering of a group of people, commonly
members of the public affected by a technology or application, to discuss a topic. Its
purpose is to surface aspects, impacts and implications that are of concern. See
Stewart & Shamdasani (1990) and Clarke (1999);
• action research. The researcher plays an active role in the object of study, e.g. by
acting as a change-agent in relation to the process being researched. See Clark
(1972), Susman & Evered (1978), Mansell (1991), Stringer (1996, 1999), Myers
(1997a) and Baskerville & Wood-Harper (1998);
• ethnographic research. This technique applies insights from social and cultural
anthropology to the direct observation of behaviour. See Harvey & Myers (1995)
and Myers (1997a);
• grounded theory. This is a specific technique that it is claimed enables the
disciplined extraction of a theory-based description of behaviour, based on empirical
observations. See Glaser & Strauss (1967), Strauss & Corbin (1990) and Myers
(1997a).
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Research Methods
Research Techniques at the Scientific/Interpretivist Boundary
Several techniques can be applied within either a scientific or an interpretivist context.
• field study. The object of study is subjected to direct observation by the researcher
(Klein & Myers 1999);
• questionnaire-based survey. This involves the collection of written data from
interviewees, or the collection of verbal responses to relatively structured questions.
See Straub (1989), Kraemer (1991), Kraemer & Dutton (1991), Pinsonneault &
Kraemer (1993), and Newsted et al. (1998);
• interview-based survey. This involves the recording of verbal data from
interviewees, which arises in relatively unstructured interviews or meetings;
• case study. This involves the collection of considerable detail, from multiple
sources, about a particular, contemporary phenomenon within its real-world setting.
For guidance on the use of case studies within the scientific tradition, see Yin (1984,
1994), Benbasat et al. (1987) and Lee (1989); and for guidance on their use in an
interpretivist manner, see Walsham (1995b) and Myers (1997b);
• secondary research. Rather than producing new data, this technique analyses the
contents of existing documents. Commonly, this is data gathered by one or more
prior researchers, and it is re-examined in the light of a different theoretical
framework from that previously used. The documents may also include materials
prepared for purposes other than scientific research.
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Research Methods
Engineering Research Techniques
Information systems research conducted within the computer science and engineering
context uses two categories of research technique:
• construction. This approach involves the conception, design and creation (or
'prototyping') of an information technology artefact and/or technique (most
commonly a computer program, but sometimes a physical device or a method). The
new technology is designed to intervene in some setting, or to enable some function
to be performed, or some aim to be realised. The design is usually based upon a
body of theory, and the technology is usually subjected to some form of testing, in
order to establish the extent to which it (and, by implication, the class of
technologies to which it belongs) achieves its aims;
• destruction. In this case, new information is generated concerning the
characteristics of an existing class of technologies. This is typically achieved
through testing the technology, or applying it in new ways.
The design is usually based upon a body of theory.
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Research Types and Methods
Type/ Method
Tests,
Interviews
Measurements
Observations
Surveys
Documents
Experimental
P
A
A
Quasi-experimental
P
A
A
Causal-comparative
P
A
A
Correlational
P
A
A
Descriptive
A
A
Evaluation
P
A
A
Ethnographic
A
P
Action
A
P
A
Case study
A
P
A
P
A
A
A
A
A
P = primary method used;Nicholas
A = additional
C. Romano, Jr.
method that may beUniversità
used. degli
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Studi di Verona
Taxonomy of Research Methods and Appropriate Objects/levels of Analysis
Modes for Newer Approaches (Interpretations)
Object/
Level
of
Analysis
Society
Modes for Traditional Empirical Approaches (Observations)
Survey
Possibly
Yes
Yes
Possibly
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Possibly
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Possibly
No
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Possibly
Possibly
No
Possibly
Possibly
Possibly
Possibly
No
Theorem
Proof
Laboratory
Experiment
Field
Experiment
No
No
Possibly
Possibly
(Small
Groups)
No
Organization/
No
Group
Individual
Technology
Methodology
Theory
Building
Theory
Testing
Theory
Extension
Simulation
and
Subjective/ Descriptive/
Game/Role Argumentative Interpretive
Playing
Forecasting
and Future
Research
Possibly
Case
Study
Possibly Possibly
Possibly
Yes
Yes
Action
Research
Possibly
Yes
Yes
Possibly
Possibly
Possibly
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Possibly
No
Possibly
No
No
Possibly
(Galliers 1990)
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Possibly
Possibly
International
IS Research Methods
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Design Science IS Research Framework
• Information Systems (IS) are complex,
artificial, and purposefully designed.
• IS are composed of people, structures,
technologies, and work systems.
• Two Basic IS Research Paradigms
– Behavioral Research – Goal is Knowledge
– Design Research – Goal is Utility
Source Al Hevner
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
IS Research Cycle
Behavioral
Science
Research
Design
Science
Research
Adapted from Hevner
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Systems Development in Information Systems Research
Theory Building
Conceptual frameworks
Mathematical models
Methods
Systems
Development
Prototyping
Product development
Technology transfer
Observation
Experimentation
Case studies
Survey studies
Field studies
Computer simulations
Field experiments
Lab experiments
Adapted from Nunamaker, Chen and Purden
JMIS (1991) 7(3).
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Arizona SW Engineering Methodology
PROTOTYPE
THEORY
CONCEPT
MODEL
OBSERVATION
Experimentation
FIELD STUDY
Adapted from Nunamaker
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Arizona SW Engineering Research Cycle
Theory, Concept, Model
Prototypes
Field and Lab Research
Product
Adapted from Nunamaker
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Lab & Field Study Objectives
• Develop new Process and Tool Uses
• Develop Metrics for Process and Tool Use
• Evaluate usefulness of new Processes and Tools
• Identify Process and Tool Improvements
• Confirm Lab Results in the Field
• Gain best Practice from Lab and Field Use
Source Nunamaker
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Research Road Map Through
the Last Research Mile
Identify a Real Problem
1. Proof-of-Concept Prototype
2. Proof-of-Value Prototype
3. Proof of Self-Sustaining Use
(Production System)
Travel the Last Mile
Real
Problem
1.
POC
2.
POV
3.
POU
Adapted from Nunamaker
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Design Science
• Design is a Artifact (Noun)
–
–
–
–
Constructs
Models
Methods
Instantiations
• Design is a Process (Verb)
– Build
– Evaluate
• Design is a Wicked Problem
– Unstable Requirements and Constraints
– Complex Interactions among Subcomponents of Problem and resulting
Subcomponents of Solution
– Inherent Flexibility to Change Artifacts and Processes
– Dependence on Human Cognitive Abilities - Creativity
– Dependence on Human Social Abilities - Teamwork
Source Al Hevner
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Implementable,
synthesize an existing
Environment
body of research, [or]
People
stimulate
critical
• Roles
thinking.
among IS
• Capabilities
practitioners.
• Characteristics
Organizations
• Strategies
• Structure and
Culture
• Process
Relevance
Develop/Build
• Theories
• Artifacts
Business
Needs
Technology
• Infrastructure
• Applications
• Communications
Architecture
• Development
Capabilities
IS Research
Assess
Refine
Justify/Evaluate
• Analytical
• Case Study
• Experimental
• Field Study
• Simulation
Application in the
Appropriate Environment
Achieved
by appropriately
Vocabulary
and Symbols
applying
existing
foundations
Abstractions
and
that provide
the
Knowledge
Base
and
methodologies.
Algorithms
and
Practices
Representations
that
use
language
in which
IS Design theories
seek to
that
define
constructs
toprocesses
represent
a
problems
and solutions
Implemented
andand
•prescribe
Constructs
effective
development
Foundations
provide
guidance
on how
real
world
situation-the
are
defined
Prototype
systems
•practices
Models •(methods)
and
a and
type
Theories
to communicated.
solve
problems,
that is,
design
problem
and its
that
show that
•ofMethods
system•solution.
(instantiation)
Frameworks
howclass
to space
search
constructs,
models, or
•for
Instantiations
a particular
of userthe
• solution
Instruments
solution
space.
methods
can be
requirements.
(models)
• Constructs
implemented in a
Applicable
• Models
Knowledge
working system.
• Methods
They demonstrate
• Instantiations
feasibility, enabling
concrete assessment
Methodologies
an artifact’s
• Data of
Analysis
suitability to its
• Techniques
intended purpose
• Formalisms
• Measures
• Validation Criteria
Rigor
Additions to the
Knowledge base
Design Science IS Research Framework (Hevner et. al., MISQ, 2004) USA
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Three Cycles of DS Research
Design Science
Environment
Knowledge Base
Foundations
Application Domain
Build Design
Artifacts &
Processes
• People
• Organizational
Systems
• Technical
Systems
Relevance Cycle
• Requirements
Methods
• Experience &
Rigor Cycle
Design
Cycle
Expertise
• Grounding
• Additions to KB
• Field Testing
• Problems
& Opportunities
• Scientific Theories &
Evaluate
• Meta-Artifacts
(Design Products &
Design Processes)
Adapted from Hevner
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Consortial Research Method (St Gallen Switzerland)
Research
Outline: Need
Gap, Goal
Consortium
Agreement
Research
Plan
State of
Instantiations
State of
Models &
Methods
State of
Theories &
Constructs
Analysis
Domain
Scientific
Publication
Practitioner
Publication
Diffusion
Teaching
Materials
Practical Knowledge
• Business Models
• Processes & Structures
• Information Systems
• Information Technology
User
Interface
Design
Scientific Knowledge
• Instantiations
• Models
• Methods
• Theories
•Constructs
Design
Software
Engineering
Method
Engineering
Reference
Modeling
….
Roll-out
Plan
Evaluation
Review
Workshop
Function
Experiment
Simulation
Nicholas
C. Romano,
Jr.
Test
Pilot
Application
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Organisational Forms of Knowledge Creation
Knowledge Creation
Internal
With Exclusive
Exploitation Rights
1
External
Without Exclusive
Exploitation Rights
With Exclusive
Exploitation Rights
2
Without Exclusive
Exploitation Rights
3
Collaborative Research
Industrial
Research
2a
With
Customers
Or Suppliers
2b
With
Neutral
Partners
2c
With
Competitors
Contract
Research
(adapted from Brockhoff 1999)
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
226
Università degli
Studi di Verona
A Research Framework for the Organizational laboratory
The framework is represented by a triangle
Change
Dotted lines inside the triangle
Points
The Points
are Ideal
represent
Types; That is
represent research dynamics as
Weberian
Intended Research
abstractions
Outcomes:
Movement toward
the change point is
movements
That are not attainable in practice.
achieved through
a process
of intervention
towards
(and away
from) the
Research Praxis is represented Change
by
is the outcome
of
interventionist
as typified byideal
action
research.
types.
the constrained space of the modes of enquiry; successful interventions
intervention
triangle.
lead to improvements in the problem
One implication
for research praxis is that
situation.
all three
(reduction, interpretation,
Prediction is the outcome
of dynamics
positivist modes
Understanding
intervention)
are, regardless
of the is the outcome of Interpretivist
of enquiry; althoughand
a ‘good’
theory does
of enquiry;
research
method
adopted,modes
co-present,
albeit successful Interpretations
indeed have explanatory
power,
the more
bring out insider rationality
differingtheories
mixes and
emphasis.
significant outcome with
of positivist
is the
and promote understanding.
ability to control and predict.
Interpretation
Reduction
Prediction
Understanding
For example: interpretivist
research
methods
involve a point through a
Movement
toward
the understanding
As the researcher moves
towards
the
prediction
reducing of the infinite
range
factors that might
be
process
of of
interpretation
is associated
with greater
point through a process
of
formalized
reduction
considered relevantrichness
to a particular
inquiry,
although
of insight
into the
role of IS in organizational
there should be greater
explanatory
and
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achieved typically through
such a ‘reduction’ issettings.
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informedofbypositivism.
schools of sociological
the
systematic
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Nicholas
C.
Romano,
Jr.
explanation and prediction is experimental
degli and
such
as phenomenology,Università
hermeneutics
IS Research anthought
International
Perspective
Studi di Verona
21ethnography.
Maggio
2010 =1997)
method.
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Mapping Research MethodsanAnextension
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the movement
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randomization,
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antoobserver
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research
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From an interpretive
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otherand
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isona the
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and the
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becase
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statistical
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Action research comes
invariables,
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of
multiple
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interpretations
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and in drawing
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ranging from formal approaches through totreatment
less formalized,
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by different
and a control
stakeholders
Adaptedapproaches.
from Braa and Vidgen
=1997)and experimental control;
randomization,
reflective and personal
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Cycle Process of Action Research
DIAGNOSING
Identifying or
Defining a problem
ACTION PLANNING
SPECIFIC LEARNING
Identification of
General Findings
Considering alterative
Courses of Action
To Solve a Problem
Development
of a ClientSystem
Infrastructure
EVALUATING
Studying Consequences
Of an Action
ACTION TAKING
Selecting a
Course of Action
Adapted from Baskerville and Stage
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
Questions?
Nicholas C. Romano, Jr.
IS Research an International Perspective
21 Maggio 2010
Università degli
Studi di Verona
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