Integrating Process Inquiry and the Case Method in the Study of Information Systems Failure

Integrating Process Inquiry and the Case Method in the Study of Information Systems Failure

Brian Dempsey (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland) and Joe McDonagh (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6493-7.ch018


This chapter examines the integration of process inquiry and the case method in the study of Information Systems (IS) failure. Having acknowledged the prevalence of IS failure and the need for continued inquiry in this domain, the two predominant methods of inquiry, factor and process studies, are described along with the utility of both methods. The chapter then examines the nature of process inquiry and notes its utility and prevalence in the study of IS phenomena, and its potential applicability for inquiry into IS failure. The case study method is then briefly described along with its potential contribution when combined with process inquiry. The chapter then describes how the case method can provide an overall framework for the conduct of a process inquiry and presents an iterative six-stage research process model based on the case method to assist with the planning, design, preparation, data collection, data analysis, and reporting of findings.
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2. The Nature Of Is Failure

Despite over 50 years of research in the domain of IS failure it remains as persistent and costly as ever as evidenced in both academic and practitioner literature. One only has to examine reports of national government audit offices to get a picture of the extent of the problem. In fact Mahaney & Lederer (1999) propose that failure has become an accepted aspect of IS implementations, an ominous proposition given the ever increasing complexity of IS (Koh et al., 2011), and its growing importance in achieving and maintaining competitive superiority (Piccoli & Ives, 2005).

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