Historical Research in Information System Field: From Data Collection to Theory Creation

Historical Research in Information System Field: From Data Collection to Theory Creation

Erja Mustonen-Ollila (Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT), Finland) and Jukka Heikkonen (Helsinki University of Technology, Finland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-040-0.ch008
OnDemand PDF Download:
$37.50

Abstract

This chapter gives important methodological, theoretical, and practical guidelines to the information system (IS) researchers to carry out a historical study. This study shows how a new theory can be discovered inductively from historical studies using a methodological guideline from Mason, McKenney, and Copeland (1997b), using multiple data collection methods, such as semistructured interviews, archival files, and published news, and using novel data analysis methods from learning and intelligent systems, such as the Self-Organizing Maps (SOMs), SOMs combined with U-matrices, and the Bayesian network modeling. It also outlines the benefits, the main problems, the characteristics, and the implications of historical research in the information system field. Finally this chapter gives future some research directions of historical research.
Chapter Preview
Top

Introduction And Background

The goal of this chapter is to outline how a new theory can be discovered inductively using historical research approach. Historical research is difficult to carry out because its nature is interpretive, the research of which has been largely ignored so far (Bannister, 2002). There are studies outlining the importance of historical research in the area of information systems (IS) (Ein-Dor & Segev, 1993; Locker, Miller, Richardson, Tebeaux, & Yates, 1996; Mustonen-Ollila, 2005; Sandberg, 2005), studies involving single or multiple time periods and being longitudinal in its nature (Barley, 1990; Heiskanen, 1994; Pettigrew, 1989, 1990), and a study of the historical evolution of information system and time generation categories’ development (Friedman & Cornford, 1989). Historical research can be characterised as longitudinal research from the past, because both longitudinal research and historical research are characterised by the measurement of differences or change in a variable from one time period to another, and longitudinal data analysis permits insights into the processes of change (Davies, 1994; Menard, 2002). In the historical studies, the research begins far away in the past when the distant causes for the events did not mean anything to each other, but later on effected to the current effects.

The fundamental assumptions of the historical research are as follows. First, in historical research, several simultaneously used data collection methods are needed. If the bulk of the gathered data is qualitative, consisting of interviews and archival material, historical research methods should be adopted (Copeland & McKenney, 1988; Mason, McKenney, & Copeland, 1997a, 1997b; McKenney, Mason, & Copeland, 1997) such that the suggestions of Pettigrew (1985) should be followed mostly when gathering and organising the data.

Pettigrew (1985) studies the management of organisational change, which is the phenomena in its real context. Pettigrew (1985) points out the aspects of continuity and change, and his study illustrates how change as a continuous incremental process can be interspersed with radical periods of change. These major decisions are associated with major changes in business market conditions (Dawson, 2003).

Second, the terminology and concepts between the historical research and the other forms of over time dependent research, such as longitudinal research and time series research are interchangeable, because they all study the phenomena of change and patterns over time but from different perspectives.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset
Table of Contents
Foreword
Richard Baskerville
Preface
Aileen Cater-Steel, Latif Al-Hakim
Acknowledgment
Chapter 1
Panagiotis Kanellis, Thanos Papadopoulos
This chapter offers a journey through the spectrum of epistemological and ontological perspectives in IS (IS), offering the necessary background to... Sample PDF
Conducting Research in Information Systems: An Epistemological Journey
$37.50
Chapter 2
Francis Chia Cua, Tony C. Garrett
This chapter introduces ontological and epistemological elements in information systems research. It argues that ontology, epistemology, and... Sample PDF
Understanding Ontology and Epistemology in Information Systems Research
$37.50
Chapter 3
John Loonam, Joe McDonagh
Enterprise systems (ES) promise to integrate all information flowing across the organisation. They claim to lay redundant many of the integration... Sample PDF
A Grounded Theory Study of Enterprise Systems Implementation: Lessons Learned from the Irish Health Services
$37.50
Chapter 4
Khalid Al-Mabrouk
This chapter reviews some of the existing Information Technology Transfer (ITT) literature and suggests that it has fallen victim to the well-known... Sample PDF
A Critical Theory Approach to Information Technology Transfer to the Developing World and a Critique of Maintained Assumptions in the Literature
$37.50
Chapter 5
João Porto de Albuquerque, Edouard J. Simon, Jan-Hendrik Wahoff, Arno Rolf
Research in the Information Systems (IS) field has been characterised by the use of a variety of methods and theoretical underpinnings. This fact... Sample PDF
The Challenge of Transdisciplinarity in Information Systems Research: Towards an Integrative Platform
$37.50
Chapter 6
Paul D. Witman
This chapter provides a set of guidelines to assist information systems researchers in creating, negotiating, and reviewing nondisclosure... Sample PDF
A Guide to Non-Disclosure Agreements for Researchers Using Public and Private Sector Sources
$37.50
Chapter 7
Slinger Jansen
Even though information systems is a maturing research area, information systems case study reports generally lack extensive method descriptions... Sample PDF
Applied Multi-Case Research in a Mixed-Method Research Project: Customer Configuration Updating Improvement
$37.50
Chapter 8
Erja Mustonen-Ollila, Jukka Heikkonen
This chapter gives important methodological, theoretical, and practical guidelines to the information system (IS) researchers to carry out a... Sample PDF
Historical Research in Information System Field: From Data Collection to Theory Creation
$37.50
Chapter 9
Paivi Ovaska
Large-scale systems development is a complex activity involving number of dependencies that people working together face. Only a few studies... Sample PDF
A Multi-Methodological Approach to Study Systems Development in a Software Organization
$37.50
Chapter 10
Judith Symonds
Usability Evaluation Methods (UEM) are plentiful in the literature. However, there appears to be a new interest in usability testing from the... Sample PDF
Usability Evaluation Meets Design: The Case of bisco Office™
$37.50
Chapter 11
Ivan Ka-Wai Lai, Joseph M. Mula
Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) has been employed to increase the effectiveness of organizational requirement analysis in Information Systems (IS)... Sample PDF
An Analysis-Form of Soft Systems Methodology for Information Systems Maintenance
$37.50
Chapter 12
Raul Valverde, Mark Toleman, Aileen Cater-Steel
Recently, many organisations have become aware of the limitations of their legacy systems to adapt to new technical requirements. Trends towards... Sample PDF
Design Science: A Case Study in Information Systems Re-Engineering
$37.50
Chapter 13
Shaligram Pokharel
Information and communication technology (ICT) refer to a family of technologies that facilitate information capturing, storing, processing... Sample PDF
Analyzing the Use of Information Systems in Logistics Industry
$37.50
Chapter 14
William Yeoh
Engineering asset management organisations (EAMOs) are increasingly motivated to implement business intelligence (BI) systems in response to... Sample PDF
Empirical Investigation of Critical Success Factors for Implementing Business Intelligence Systems in Multiple Engineering Asset Management Organisations
$37.50
Chapter 15
Ping Li, Joseph M. Mula
A review of the literature showed that there appears to be very little research undertaken on Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) adoption by small to... Sample PDF
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Adoption: A Study of SMEs in Singapore
$37.50
Chapter 16
Hatem F. Halaoui
Using geographical information systems (GIS) has been of great interest lately. A lot of GIS applications are being introduced to regular and... Sample PDF
Towards Google Earth: A History of Earth Geography
$37.50
Chapter 17
Sergio Di Martino, Filomena Ferrucci, Carmine Gravino
Web technologies are being even more adopted for the development of public and private applications, due to the many intrinsic advantages. Due to... Sample PDF
Empirical Studies for Web Effort Estimation
$37.50
Chapter 18
Mobile Marketing  (pages 328-341)
Kazuhiro Takeyasu
Recently, cellular phones capable of accessing the Internet are prevailing rapidly in Japan. First, their functions and features are examined... Sample PDF
Mobile Marketing
$37.50
Chapter 19
Ross A. Malaga
Online auctions are an increasingly popular avenue for completing electronic transactions. Many online auction sites use some type of reputation... Sample PDF
The Retaliatory Feedback Problem: Evidence from eBay and a Proposed Solution
$37.50
About the Contributors