What Have We Learned from Almost 30 Years of Research on Causal Mapping? Methodological Lessons and Choices for the Information Systems and Information Technology Communities

What Have We Learned from Almost 30 Years of Research on Causal Mapping? Methodological Lessons and Choices for the Information Systems and Information Technology Communities

Gerard P. Hodgkinson (The University of Leeds, UK) and Gail P. Clarkson (The University of Leeds, UK)
Copyright: © 2005 |Pages: 35
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-396-8.ch003
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Abstract

In this chapter we review major developments that have occurred over the past 30 years or so in the philosophical underpinnings, elicitation, analysis, aggregation and comparison of causal maps (also known as cause maps) across a wide range of domains of application in the fields of management and organization studies, in order to distill vital lessons concerning the strengths and weaknesses of various approaches for the information systems (IS) and information technology (IT) research communities. We offer some general guidelines to aid the would-be user in making methodological choices appropriate to particular contexts of application. The importance of attending to measurement issues in respect to reliability and validity at all stages of the research process, from initial data collection to final analysis and comparison, is highlighted and an accompanying appendix presents an overview of selected computer software systems supporting the full range of activities associated with causal mapping.

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