Exploratory Analysis in Information Systems Area: Using Grounded Theory Methodology

Exploratory Analysis in Information Systems Area: Using Grounded Theory Methodology

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4252-1.ch003


Providing an overview of grounded theory (GT)'s approaches to information systems (IS) research to IS researchers who are now interested in applying GT is the goal of the chapter. Also, research contributions about the application of GT in IS, qualitative perspectives on IS research, the types of GT approaches used in IS research, and the GT study guidelines in IS are presented in this chapter. Examples of GT in IS research, which provide a description of the methodology and references to more detailed presentations, are also included, especially from the field of software engineering and system development. It should be noted that using the GT methodology is time consuming and requires high accuracy, and it starts with a phenomenon that the researcher finds is not well explained by existing theories. In such research, data sampling should provide a broad, in-depth, and pluralist view of the phenomenon under study, and a literature review on the phenomenon should be provided.
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Grounded Theory And Information Systems

Since qualitative research is often dependent on the use of qualitative data from interviews, documents, and observations from participants to understand and explain social phenomena, the focus of IS research also shifts from technical issues to managerial and organizational issues, and qualitative research methods have become increasingly important in this field (Myers, 1997). Because the methodology is extremely useful in developing context-based, process-oriented descriptions and explanations of the phenomenon, GT approaches are becoming increasingly common in the IS research literature.

For researchers who want to use qualitative research for the first time, GT is attractive because of its specific procedures and more importantly, in its analytical style, it is not dependent on particular disciplinary perspectives and can be viewed from the perspective of IS field research as a hybrid discipline. GT analysis, because of being based on theory at various levels for a deep understanding of social phenomena, seems appropriate for the purpose of examining the way of achieving agreement between system analysts and their clients (Urquhart, 1997).

The widespread use of GT in the social sciences, nursing and psychology since its introduction in the 1960s is due to its interpretative emphasis and ability to explain socio-cultural phenomena. Later, however, in order to clarify the intentions, actions, and ideas related to management, change, and professional interactions, GT also came to the business and IS field.

To be rational, qualitative research in IS must be grounded in theories that have emerged in interpretive and phenomenological places. According to Myers (1997), GT has been increasingly accepted in IS research because it is a very effective way of developing context-based and also process-oriented explanations of the phenomena studied.

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