Using Grounded Theory Coding Mechanisms to Analyze Case Study and Focus Group Data in the Context of Software Process Research

Using Grounded Theory Coding Mechanisms to Analyze Case Study and Focus Group Data in the Context of Software Process Research

Rory O’Connor (Dublin City University, Ireland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0179-6.ch013
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The primary aim of this chapter is to outline a potentially powerful framework for the combination of research approaches utilizing the Grounded Theory coding mechanism for Case Study, and Focus Groups data analysis. A secondary aim of this chapter is to provide a roadmap for such a usage by way of an example research project. The context for this project is the need to study and evaluate the actual practice of software development processes in real world commercial settings of software companies, which utilized both case study and focus group techniques. This research found that grounded theory coding strategies are a suitable and powerful data analysis mechanism to explore case study and focus group data.
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Case Study

According to Yin (2003) case study is “an empirical inquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context, especially when the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clear” (p. 23). Case study is usually seen as a specific research strategy (Eisenhardt, 1989; Yin, 2003). The underlying idea for case research is said to be the many-sided view it can provide of a situation in its context. “The intense observation made in case studies gives opportunities to study different aspects and put these in relation to each other, to put objects in relation to the environment where they operate” (Halinen and Törnroos, 2005). Instead of statistical representativeness, case studies offer depth and comprehensiveness for understanding the specific phenomenon (Easton, 1995, p. 475). They give a possibility to be close to the studied objects (firms), enabling inductive and rich description. Case research is particularly welcome in new situations where only little is known about the phenomenon and in situations where current theories seem inadequate (Eisenhardt, 1989; Yin, 2003). It is also a strong method in the study of change processes as it allows the study of contextual factors and process elements in the same real-life situation.

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List of Reviewers
Table of Contents
Manuel Mora, Annette Lerine Steenkamp, Ovsei Gelman, Mahesh S. Raisinghani
Chapter 1
Eileen M. Trauth, Lee B. Erickson
The variety of lenses and openness that is brought to the research process shapes both academic research and the application of knowledge to... Sample PDF
Philosophical Framing and Its Impact on Research
Chapter 2
Damodar Konda
There is an ongoing debate and discussion around rigor and relevance of Information Systems (IS) research. The published work so far on this subject... Sample PDF
Rigor and Relevance in Information Systems Research: A Comprehensive IS Research Process Model
Chapter 3
Jan H. Kroeze
This chapter investigates the relationship between postmodernism, interpretivism, and formal ontologies, which are widely used in Information... Sample PDF
Postmodernism, Interpretivism, and Formal Ontologies
Chapter 4
Philip J. Dobson
Critical realism is seeing more application within the Information Systems field, but its application is still limited. Applying critical realism... Sample PDF
Critical Realism and IS Research: Some Methodological Implications
Chapter 5
Lucio Biggiero
Organizational knowledge is at the center of the debate focused on the nature of knowledge, where the perspective of knowledge as possession opposes... Sample PDF
Practice vs. Possession: Epistemological Implications on the Nature of Organizational Knowledge and Cognition
Chapter 6
Gonzalo Génova, Juan Llorens, Jorge Morato
The classical scientific method has been settled through the last centuries as a cyclic, iterative process of observation, hypothesis formulation... Sample PDF
Software Engineering Research: The Need to Strengthen and Broaden the Classical Scientific Method
Chapter 7
Martha García-Murillo, Ezgi Nur Gozen
Because the IS field is grounded in its applications to organizations, the challenge is to develop a coherent theoretical body of scholarly... Sample PDF
Process Theory: Components and Guidelines for Development
Chapter 8
Manuel Mora, Annette Lerine Steenkamp, Ovsei Gelman, Mahesh S. Raisinghani
In this chapter, the authors review the landscape of research methodologies and paradigms available for Information Technology (IT) and Software... Sample PDF
On IT and SwE Research Methodologies and Paradigms: A Systemic Landscape Review
Chapter 9
Theresa M. Edgington, Peter M. Bentler
Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) continues to grow in use as an important research analysis tool in Information Systems research. While evaluating... Sample PDF
Contemporary Reporting Practices Regarding Covariance-Based SEM with a Lens on EQS
Chapter 10
José L. Roldán, Manuel J. Sánchez-Franco
Partial Least Squares (PLS) is an efficient statistical technique that is highly suited for Information Systems research. In this chapter, the... Sample PDF
Variance-Based Structural Equation Modeling: Guidelines for Using Partial Least Squares in Information Systems Research
Chapter 11
M. R. (Ruth) De Villiers
Interpretive research designs are increasingly being applied in Information Systems (IS). This chapter is a meta-research study that briefly... Sample PDF
Models for Interpretive Information Systems Research, Part 1: IS Research, Action Research, Grounded Theory - A Meta-Study and Examples
Chapter 12
M. R. (Ruth) De Villiers
This chapter introduces interpretive research as a background to research that is time-and context-dependent. The study presents practical, yet... Sample PDF
Models for Interpretive Information Systems Research, Part 2: Design Research, Development Research, Design-Science Research, and Design-Based Research – A Meta-Study and Examples
Chapter 13
Rory O’Connor
The primary aim of this chapter is to outline a potentially powerful framework for the combination of research approaches utilizing the Grounded... Sample PDF
Using Grounded Theory Coding Mechanisms to Analyze Case Study and Focus Group Data in the Context of Software Process Research
Chapter 14
T. Schwartzel, M. M. Eloff
A large proportion of students who enroll for postgraduate degrees never finish their studies, with non-completion rates yielding 30% for a sample... Sample PDF
A Practical Approach to Theory Structuring and Analysis: A way to Structure Research and Perform Sub-Problem Solving in a Changing IS Landscape
Chapter 15
Annette Lerine Steenkamp, Theresa Kraft
This chapter addresses the systemic integration of conceptual and empirical methods in Software Engineering (SWE) research in terms of the systems... Sample PDF
Integrating Conceptual and Empirical Approaches for Software Engineering Research
Chapter 16
Esther Vlieger, Loet Leydesdorff
A step-by-step introduction is provided on how to generate a semantic map from a collection of messages (full texts, paragraphs, or statements)... Sample PDF
Visualization and Analysis of Frames in Collections of Messages: Content Analysis and the Measurement of Meaning
Chapter 17
Miroljub Kljajic, Mirjana Kljajic Borštnar, Andrej Škraba, Davorin Kofjac
In this chapter, the authors discuss system dynamics (SD) as a research methodology in Information Systems (IS). The goal is to demonstrate the... Sample PDF
System Approach to MIS and DSS and its Modeling within SD
Chapter 18
D. Petkov, S. Alter, J. Wing, A. Singh, O. Petkova, T. Andrew, K. Sewchurran
It is widely agreed that no single approach for software or systems development addresses all problems and contexts. This chapter summarizes three... Sample PDF
Project Contexts and the Possibilities for Mixing Software Development and Systems Approaches
Chapter 19
Moti Frank
This chapter presents a method of applying the principles of the descriptive research method to studies aimed at ascertaining the data needed for... Sample PDF
Selecting Strategies and Approaches in Systems Engineering: Applying the Descriptive Research Method
Chapter 20
Timothy L.J. Ferris
Research is defined as an activity that creates new knowledge. This is often misunderstood in the engineering community as necessarily requiring a... Sample PDF
Engineering Design as Research
Chapter 21
Rafael A. Gonzalez, Henk G. Sol
Validation within design science research in Information Systems (DSRIS) is much debated. The relationship of validation to artifact evaluation is... Sample PDF
Validation and Design Science Research in Information Systems
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