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Qualitative Research in Information Technology. Liaquat Hossain School of IT The University of Sydney. Outline. phases in research from research problem to practice? research approaches alternative research methods qualitative research. Phases in research. Research problem

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qualitative research in information technology

Qualitative Research in Information Technology

Liaquat Hossain

School of IT

The University of Sydney

outline
Outline
  • phases in research
  • from research problem to practice?
  • research approaches
  • alternative research methods
  • qualitative research
phases in research
Phases in research
  • Research problem
  • Earlier literature
  • More detailed research problem
  • Research design
  • Data collection and analyses
  • Conclusions
orthodox understanding 1

Orthodox Understanding #1

problems, thoughts, interests

exploratory research

confirmatory research

(Hirschheim, 2002)

orthodox understanding 2
Orthodox Understanding #2

problems

research

knowledge, understanding

practice

(Hirschheim, 2002)

the reality the vicious cycle
The Reality: The Vicious Cycle

problems

research

knowledge, understanding

practice

(Hirschheim, 2002)

four tiered research model
Four-Tiered Research Model

Paradigms

(Functionalism, Interpretivism, Radical Structuralism, Neohumanism)

Approaches

(Language Analysis, Phenomenology, Action-Oriented, Historical,

Conceptual, …)

Methods

(Ethnography, Case Study, Action research, Field Research, Lab. Experiment, Model building, simulation, ….)

Techniques

(Hirschheim, 2002)

research approaches
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)

combining approaches
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

(Galliers, 1992) see also (Mingers, 2001)

research approaches10
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)

alternative research methods
Alternative Research Methods
  • Constructivist Methods
    • 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)

plausible inference
Plausible inference
  • Logical inference can be used only when one has complete information about the phenomenon to be modeled
  • In research situation one has
    • theoretical background
    • results from previous studies
    • some data
  • For which of these there exist complete information?

Plausible inference is inference with uncertain

and incomplete information

(Tirri, 2002)

qualitative research
Qualitative Research
  • Methods:
    • action research
    • case study research
    • ethnography
    • grounded thoeory
  • Data sources:
    • observation and participant observation (gield work)
    • interviews and questionnaires
    • documents and texts
    • reseracher’s impressions and reactions
  • Modes of analysis:
    • hermeneutics
    • semiotics
    • narrative and metaphor
philosophical perspectives
Philosophical perspectives
  • positivist research
  • interpretive research
  • critical research
underlying assumptions
Underlying assumptions

(Myers, http://www.qual.auckland.ac.nz)