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IS6000 – Seminar 1 Introduction

IS6000 – Seminar 1 Introduction. Research Methods for the IS Manager. Introductions – Me!. In HK since 1991; Travels in 97 countries. Teaching non-technical IS courses to MSc and PhD students IS6000, IS6600, IS6602, FB5003, IS8014, etc. Supervising PhD students

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IS6000 – Seminar 1 Introduction

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  1. IS6000 – Seminar 1Introduction Research Methods for the IS Manager

  2. Introductions – Me! • In HK since 1991; Travels in 97 countries. • Teaching non-technical IS courses to MSc and PhD students • IS6000, IS6600, IS6602, FB5003, IS8014, etc. • Supervising PhD students • E-Commerce, Mobile Technostress, KM, SCM • Editing Journals • Information Systems Journal • Electronic Journal of IS in Developing Countries • Webhttp://www.is.cityu.edu.hk/staff/isrobert • Email isrobert@cityu.edu.hk

  3. Your Expectations for this course … I want (to) … • Learn how to analyse data with SPSS/PLS • Robert to ask questions that will help me to think logically • Learn how to do research independently • Learn how to apply different research methods in companies • Learn how to analyse problems so as to select an optimal decision • Learn fundamental and influential rules/logics that are practical • Use a diversity of research tools to solve problems • Challenge myself • Develop a deep understanding of the general research methods, such as survey design, data analysis and case study • Learn how to identify a research topic. • …

  4. My Research • Topics • Knowledge sharing • Virtual and distributed work • IT-enabled organisational change • Methods • Action Research • Case Studies • Qualitative Data & an Interpretivist Philosophy

  5. Course Intended Learning Outcomes • Explain the nature of current IS research in the organizational context • Describe how current IS research is applied in organizational contexts • Apply appropriate research methodologies to solve organizational IS research problems • Undertake a small-scale and organizationally relevant IS research project

  6. Why IS6000? • Knowing how to do research well is a useful ability to develop • Most MSc courses include mini-research components • Employers appreciate research skills • IS6000 complements • IS5313, IS5743, IS6600, IS6602, IS6911, IS6912, IS6921

  7. Topic Coverage 1. Introduction 2. Research ethics 3. Identifying research problems and Undertaking a literature review 4. Theory in IS Research 5. The process of conducting research 6. Initial Presentation & Discussion of Ideas 7. Research Methods I – Qualitative – Interviews 8. Research Methods II – Case Studies + Action Research 9. Research Methods III – Quantitative – Survey Instrument Design 10. Research Methods IV – Quantitative – Data Analysis 11. Writing Up and Presenting Research Articles 12&13. Presentations

  8. Resources • Books on research methods • Journal articles • Course Website • http://www.is.cityu.edu.hk/staff/isrobert/IS6000.htm • These notes are not comprehensive, i.e. if you come to class, you will hear, see and do many things that are not visible in the notes. • So please do come to class. On time if possible, but late is better than never.

  9. Learning Styles • I expect that you will engage with the learning process • Participation and interaction • Listen, reflect, challenge and criticise (constructively) • Each class will have • Opportunities for interaction, discussion, debate, as well as your own examples • I will assess your individual participation in each class

  10. Some Ground Rules • Actively participate • Be prepared • Ask three before me • Your classmate(s), Google, the library • Be punctual & don’t walk out during class time • Turn off your mobile phones and put them away • No chatting or being on social media during class time • No recording or live streaming of the class! • Be professional! • Emails must include “IS6000” in the subject line • Include salutation and closing

  11. Assessment Patterns & Grading • Coursework – 60% • Team Project (5-6 person teams) • In Class Discussion – 40% • Minimum 70% attendance (9 classes) is required. • If you cannot come to a class, please let me know in advance. • Note 1: Passing is optional! • Note 2: Please, please, please [!!!] Do not plagiarise!– If you do, you will fail!

  12. Academic (dis)honesty • As a general principle, all work submitted must be your own work • Focus: • your understanding of the concepts learned • your ability to apply them • Copying and pasting does not demonstrate understanding or ability to apply • Cheating, plagiarism, and collusion are serious offenses resulting in an F grade and disciplinary action • Code of Student Conduct: http://www6.cityu.edu.hk/ah

  13. Academic (dis)honesty • Detecting plagiarism is easy…

  14. A note on assignments • Reports: .doc or .docx format • Presentations: .ppt or .pptx format • Professionalism • Writing, grammar, spelling • Layout & formatting

  15. Grading Definitions • A: Excellent • Strong evidence of original thinking, analysis & synthesis; extensive knowledge base • B: Good • Good awareness of the importance of the subject; some analytic ability; reasonable understanding of issues & literature • C: Adequate • Understanding is reasonable, but much room for improvement • D: Marginal, minimal familiarity with the subject • F: Very weak

  16. Why Do Research? • So as to understand phenomena • Explain what is happening in the world • Make sense of our experiences as individuals and in society • Analyse issues before reaching a decision • Predict what may lead to success • So as to make an impact in practice • I.e. to discover repeatable lessons that can inform practice elsewhere

  17. For Example • If you want to buy a car, flat, phone, etc. • You probably do some research • Identify features of the product • Collect data (facts) • Talk to others • Analyse & Compare with budget • Reach a decision • Keep evaluating and comparing experience with expectation – research never stops! • You want to reach the right decision so as to spend your money wisely • You are following a process – a research process

  18. What is Research? Research in a colloquial sense Scholarly research

  19. Research as a Scholarly Activity • Search for fundamental concepts and new knowledge • Key principles of scientific research • Contribute to a body of knowledge • Conform to scientific principles • Be aware of bias

  20. Some Sample Problems / Questions • How do we humans interact with IS? • What role does IS play in global markets and local governments? • How does IS allow (or help or force) an organization to innovate its business processes? • How can IS contribute to the greening of the planet? • How can societal issues be resolved through IS? • How can healthcare be assisted through IS?

  21. Research Process • Find a problem or identify a research question • If there is no problem to tackle or interesting question to answer, don’t bother! • Literature Review • Design the Study • Including method and theory • Collect and then Analyse Data • Discuss your findings • Consider the implications for both researchers and practitioners

  22. Research Matters • Companies and consultants engage in research • For critical decisions, it is important that any investigation is undertaken carefully and thoroughly • Alternative explanations for phenomena should be considered • In this way we can be (reasonably) sure of the accuracy or appropriateness of the decision

  23. How To Do Research?! • That is what IS6000 is all about • You can’t just pick up or hear ‘facts’ • Instead, you must extract them from the mess of reality, and then • Observe, measure, compare with others, evaluate • That requires careful processes – which we call research methods

  24. Natural vs Social Sciences Naturally occurring phenomena People & behaviors

  25. Research and Prejudice • It is very easy to rely on what you already know (or think you know), and not to bother with research at all • Assumptions, beliefs, values, culture can influence our thinking • But good research should be value-free – unbiased, unprejudiced, neutral

  26. Assumptions, Beliefs, Values, Culture, … • What are yours and how do they relate to IS or Technology?

  27. For Example • A man and his son are involved in a car accident. The man is killed and the boy, seriously injured, is taken to hospital. The surgeon in the hospital looks at the boy and says “I am sorry, but I cannot treat this boy as he is my son”.(adapted from Selltiz et al., 1976). • Does this make sense to you? • Is there something in the story that violates your pre-conceived notions or assumptions?

  28. Subconscious Ideologies and Beliefs • We have subconscious ideologies and beliefs. Challenging these beliefs can be very uncomfortable. • For example, we have strong beliefs about the roles of different people in society, about the jobs that they can and cannot do. • Often these are a form of prejudice or bias. • Can you think of any biases or prejudices that we might encounter in the Information Systems context? • Assumptions about good interface design, about colours, about programmers or managers, about leadership style, about the best way to do anything?

  29. Be Careful! • With your assumptions and assertions • With your interpretations and the potential for misinterpretations. • We need to look for cause and effect relationships, not irrational beliefs. • Researchers should not have thin skins! • Or they will suffer – because it is very normal that people will disagree with your findings when they counter their pre-formed judgements.

  30. So, a Good Researcher Should Be • Focused on the research problem • Systematic • about research design and data collection • Knowledgeable • about different methods and theories • Ethical in conduct • Thoughtful and Reflective • Persuasive in arguments and presentation

  31. Characteristics of Good Research • Need a real & interesting research problem • Not something too obvious or of no value. • Carefully conducted • According to the principles of the method • All data is real (not fake/fabricated) • Unbiased (as far as possible) • Free of prejudice or assumptions • Relevant and Consumable • To the people ‘who care’ about the outcomes

  32. But Who Cares About the Quality of Research? • Who are the stakeholders? Who may be affected? • Organisations? • Government? • Employees? • Society in general? • Journals, magazines, newspapers, books • And their readers, editors, publishers • The planet?

  33. Key Lessons for Today • Research opportunities are everywhere • Good research processes will be more likely to produce good research outcomes • Good research requires time and care

  34. Coursework • Coursework document available on the website • Need to form a group of 5-6 people – now please! • A complete mini research project • Based on a real problem • Experienced by real people • Who care about the outcome • Written up and presented at the end of the semester

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