- To become familiar, understand and apply research methodologies in the field of Information Systems.
- To become familiar, understand and apply core/foundational theories in the field of Information Systems.
- To be able to recognize the structure of the empirical cycle in empirical research papers and reports and critically analyze IS research from A) the perspective of the soundness of the scientific method they follow in the case of both empirical and design research, and B) the perspective of its contribution to the body of knowledge in IS and in relation with other IS research and with research from reference disciplines.
- To able to apply the design cycle when solving design problems.
- To be able to validate (justify) treatments of design problems, including performance, requirements satisfaction, trade-off and sensitivity analysis.
This course provides students with knowledge concerning the methodological aspects of doing research in the Information Systems (IS) field. Two main methodologies used in IS research are extensively addressed, as described below:|
I. An important type of research in IS is concerned with empirical models, inspired by social science research and a direct consequence of the fact the core of IS consists of research that looks at the use of information systems in organizations. Therefore, a broad overview of several important theories widely used in IS research is included in this course. The selection of these theories was made based on the following criteria:
The goal is not only to present and discuss these theories but also to illustrate (means of example papers)- how these theories have been used and further developed. Among others, the following topics will be considered during the course:
- Theories that are widely accepted (paradigms or near-paradigms) by the scientific community ,i.e., that have been around for some time and have large bodies of research based on them;
- Have originated in the IS field and are empirically validated;
- Are likely to cover the majority of Master thesis topics.
- Theory development and empirical research methods;
- IS success;
- Technology Acceptance Model (TAM);
- Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT);
- Task Technology Fit;
The students will be directly involved in presentations and discussions.
II. Research and practice in information systems, software engineering and, computer science also has a strong design-orientation, because researchers as well as practitioners often investigate problems in the real world, propose treatments that should mitigate or even solve them, and validate the treatments in the real world. Practitioners deal with individual problems and call this consulting, architecting or engineering. Researchers typically look at classes of problems and do design science. We view design science as rational problem-solving. Researchers investigate a problem, design a treatment, and validate the treatment by mathematical analysis or by modeling and simulation. Practitioners do the same and follow this up with transfer to practice (implementation) and implementation evaluation. In the course we focus on implementation evaluation, problem investigation and treatment validation. Implementation evaluation, problem investigation and treatment validation are knowledge questions, and in the second half of the course we will treat the empirical cycle of research, as well as the role of theories in setting up a research design and in interpreting the answers to research questions. All concepts and techniques treated in the course are explained with examples and the students have to apply them to recent M.Sc. theses in weekly assignments.