This is a list of references on case study research. After a brief
introduction which suggests those works which are essential
reading for newcomers to the field, the list is organized
into two parts: the first part lists citations related to the approach in Information Systems, the second
lists citations related to the approach in other disciplines.
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command to look for a specific citation.
Please send additional references and/or short abstracts
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Baskerville, R., Pentland, B.T. and Walsham, G. "A
Workshop on Two Techniques for Qualitative Analysis:
Interviewing and Evaluation," Proceedings of the
Fifteenth International Conference on Information Systems,
1994, p. 503-4.
Benbasat, I., Goldstein, D.K. and Mead, M. "The Case
Research Strategy in Studies of Information Systems,"
MIS Quarterly (11:3) 1987, pp. 369-386.
Beynon-Davies, P. "Information Management in the
British National Health Service: The Pragmatics of
Strategic Data Planning," International Journal of
Information Management, 14 , 1994, pp. 84-94.
Abstract: The UK National Health Service (NHS)
has been conducting an open exercise in global data
modelling for the past 12 years and therefore
constitutes a unique resource for the student of
information management. This article aims to document
some of the history of this exercise as well as placing
this corporate data modelling within the social,
political and economic context of the NHS, thereby
explaining some of its current shape. Finally, using the
case of the NHS we make some comments about the success,
or otherwise, of conducting data modelling on the
Comment: This paper illustrates how data can
be collected from a variety of sources in order to
understand the history and context of the unit of
analysis in the case study. It leads to a number of
important lessons for both researchers and practitioners
(Provided by M. Broadbent and G. Shanks).
Boland, R. "The process and product of system design,"
Management Science (28:9), 1978, pp. 887-898.
Boland, R. "Control, causality and information system
requirements," Accounting, Organizations and Society
(4:4), 1979, pp. 259272.
Broadbent, M. and Weill, P. "Improving business and
information strategy alignment: Learning from the banking
industry," IBM Systems Journal, (32:1), 1993, pp.
Abstract: Four large Australian banks provided
the setting for an empirical study exploring business
and information strategy alignment in an
information-intense and competitive environment. The aim
of the study which firms had information and IT-based
advantages and to identify organizational practices that
contributed to and enhanced alignment. Using a multiple
case approach, multiple sources of evidence were
collected from each firm, including written and
interview-based information from executive business and
IT managers and strategic planning and other internal
documentation. The firm-wide strategy formation
processes of the banks, rather than their IS methodology
was central to the nature and level of alignment. The
interdependence of firm-wide processes and IS factors
are emphasized in a strategic alignment model that
summarizes the findings of the study. The papaer
concludes with a discussion of the management
implications and requirements for action in both
firm-wide strategy and IS areas.
Comment: This is an example of an early
empirical study of the nature of business and IS
alignment. It draws heavily on senior business and IT
managers as "key informants" and the use of confidential
firm documentation. This paper illustrates how a case
paper can be written and results communicated while
maintaining the confidentiality of participant firms and
managers (Provided by M. Broadbent and G. Shanks).
Burgess, G., Clark, T.D., Hauser Jr., R.D. and Zmud,
R.W., The Application of Causal Maps to Develop a
Collective Understanding of Complex Organisational
Contexts in Requirements Analysis, Accounting,
Management and Information Technology, (2:3), 1992,
Abstract: This article examines causal mapping
as a tool to facilitate the requirements analysis
process. Although a number of methodologies are
available to facilitate the causal mapping process, a
major difficulty is that little is empirically known
about the appropriate behaviours to be followed when
applying causal mapping techniques. The benefits of
applying causal mapping to overcome certain human
information processing limitations that impede the
requirements analysis process are discussed. The
effective application of causal mapping as a RA tool is
presented and a case study is described in which the
causal mapping technique was applied to develop a rich
understanding of an ill-structured organisational
phenomenon. Finally, insights gained from the case study
are used to assess the validity of several propositions
intended to guide the process.
Comment: This paper is particularly rigorous
in its design and presentation of evidence leading to
the discussion and implications. The results of the case
study method are clearly related to outcomes of the
literature review (Provided by M. Broadbent and G.
Bussen, Wendy, and Michael D. Myers. 1997. "Executive
Information Systems Failure: A New Zealand Case Study."
Journal of Information Technology Vol. 12, No.2, June
1997, pp. 145-153.
Cavaye, A.L.M. "Case study research: a multi-faceted
research approach for IS," Information Systems
(6:3) 1996, pp. 227-242.
Cavaye, A.L.M. & Cragg, P.B. "Factors contributing to
the success of customer oriented interorganizational
systems", Journal of Strategic Information Systems,
(4:1), 1995, pp. 13-30.
Abstract: Interorganizational systems (IOS)
can help firms to become more efficient and more
competitive by streamlining operations between
companies. To build successful IOS, the development
process needs to be well understood. This paper uses a
four-stage model of the IOS development process to
examine the experiences of nine systems that link firms
with customers. the data provides considerable support
for the model and its numerous factors. Technological
awareness by customers was found to have a strong
influence on the rate of adoption. Extent of adoption is
themajor determinant of ultimate success of the IOS.
Comment: Carefully completed case research on
an emerging area of IS practice. Good use of tables for
cross-case comparison (Provided by M. Broadbent and G.
Curtis, B., Krasner, H. and Iscoe, N. "A Field Study of
the Software Design Process for Large Systems,"
Communications of the ACM, (31:11), 1988, pp.
Abstract: The problems of describing large
software systems were studied through interviewing
personnel from 17 large projects. A layered behavioural
model is used to analyse how three of these problems -
the thin spread of application knowledge, fluctuating
and conflicting requirements, and communication
bottlenecks and breakdowns - affected software
productivity and quality through their impact on
cognitive, social, and organisational processes.
Comment: This paper presents a rigorous study
of the design of large software systems. The research
design and data collection are comprehensively
described, and the discussion includes comments from
case study participants as evidence. The topic of study
is important and outcomes from the study are relevant to
both the research community and practitioners (Provided
by M. Broadbent and G. Shanks).
Darke, P. and Shanks, G. "User Viewpoint Modelling:
Understanding and Representing User Viewpoints During
Requirements Definition," Information Systems Journal,
(7:3), 1997, (forthcoming)
Abstract: There has been increasing awareness
of the impact of the early stages of systems development
on the quality of information systems. A critical early
activity is requirements definition, when the
requirements for an information system are determined.
Traditional requirements capture techniques do not
support the collaborative nature of requirements
definition or the emergent nature of requirements
themselves. This paper focuses on viewpoint development
as a means of resolving some of the difficulties of
requirements definition. It proposes a user viewpoint
model for capturing and representing the viewpoints of
users during requirements acquisition. The model can
facilitate communication and interaction between
analysts and users and help build a shared understanding
of requirements. It can be used to structure the
requirements acquisition process. The model provides for
evaluation of requirements acquisition techniques to
guide the selection of appropriate techniques for
developing user viewpoint models. The paper reports a
multiple case study of requirements definition efforts
which examined user viewpoint development in practice
and used the cases to empirically validate the concepts
of the user viewpoint model. The implications of the
case study findings for requirements definition practice
are discussed, and some areas for future research are
Comment: This paper shows how case study
research can be used in theory testing. A model of user
viewpoint development is proposed and then concepts in
the model are validated using three case studies of
requirements definition (Provided by M. Broadbent and G.
Darke, P., Shanks, G. and Broadbent, M. "Successfully
completing case study research: combining rigour,
relevance and pragmatism," Information Systems Journal
(8:4), 1998, pp. 273-289.
Davies, L., Newman, M. and Kaplan, B. "A Workshop on
Two Techniques for Qualitative Analysis: Interviewing and
Evaluation," Proceedings of the Fourteenth
International Conference on Information Systems, 1993,
Dubé, L., and Paré,
G. "Rigor in Information Systems Positivist Case Research:
Current Practices, Trends, and Recommendations," MIS
Quarterly (27:4) 2003, pp 597-636.
Earl, M.J. "Experiences in Strategic Information
Systems Planning," MIS Quarterly (17:1), 1993,
Abstract: Strategic information systems
planning (SISP) remains a top concern among many
organisations. Accordingly, researchers have
investigated SISP practice and proposed both formal
methods and principles of good practice. SISP cannot be
understood by considering formal methods alone. The
processes of planning and the implementation of plans
are equally important. However, there have been very few
field investigations of these phenomena. This study
examines SISP experiences in 27 companies and,
unusually, relies on interviews not only with IS
managers but also with general managers and line
managers. By adopting this broader perspective, the
investigation reveals companies were using five
different SISP approaches: Business-Led, Method-Driven,
Administrative, Technological, and Organisational. Each
approach has different characteristics and, therefore, a
different likelihood of success. The results show that
the Organisational approach appears to be the most
effective. The taxonomy of the five approaches
potentially provides a diagnostic tool for analysing and
evaluating an organisation's experience with SISP.
Comment: Earl's paper provides a good example
of how to present the results of case study research.
The introduction establishes the importance of the topic
and the research method section explains clearly how the
case study was undertaken. The implications discussed in
the paper are important for both researchers and
practitioners (Provided by M. Broadbent and G. Shanks).
Gable, G. "Integrating Case Study and Survey Research
Methods: An Example in Information Systems," European
Journal of Information Systems, Volume 3, Number 2,
1994, pp. 112-126.
Gerson, E.M. and Star, S.L. "Analyzing Due Process in
the Workplace," ACM Transactions on Office Information
Systems (4:3), July 1986, pp. 257-270.
Goodhue, D., Kirsch, L.J., Quillard, J.A. and Wybo,
M.D. "Strategic Data Planning: Lessons from the Field,"
MIS Quarterly, (16:1) ,1992, pp. 11-34.
Abstract: In spite of strong conceptual
arguments for the value of strategic data planning as a
means to increase data integration in large
organisations, empirical research has found more
evidence of problems than of success. In this paper,
four detailed case studies of SDP efforts, along with
summaries of five previously reported efforts, are
analysed. Fifteen specific propositions are offered,
with two overall conclusions. The first conclusion is
that SDP, though conceived of as a generally appropriate
method, may not be the best planning approach in all
situations. The second conclusion is that the SDP method
of analysing business functions and their data
requirements may not be the best way to develop a Òdata
architectureÓ, given the required level of commitment of
talented individuals, the cost, the potential errors,
and the high level of abstraction of the result. These
lessons can aid practitioners in deciding when t use SDP
and guide them as they begin the process of rethinking
and modifying the SDP to be more effective.
Comment: A very well framed paper, which
develops a number of propositions as the outcome of the
analysis of case study data. The literature review
provides the necessary motivation for the case study and
the research method is well described. The two main
conclusions are highly relevant to both researchers and
practitioners (Provided by M. Broadbent and G. Shanks).
Hewitt, C. "Offices are Open Systems," Transactions
on Office Information Systems (4:3), 1986, pp.
Journal of Information Technology Case and Application Research
Kaplan, B. and Duchon, D. "Combining Qualitative and
Quantitative Methods in Information Systems Research: A
Case Study," MIS Quarterly (12:4) 1988, pp.
Larsen, M. and Myers, M.D. 1999. "When success turns
into failure: a package-driven business process
re-engineering project in the financial services
industry," Journal of Strategic Information Systems,
Vol. 8, No. 4, December 1999, pp. 395-417.
Lee, A.S. "A
Scientific Methodology for MIS Case Studies," MIS
Quarterly (13:1), 1989, pp. 33-52.
Lee, A.S. "Case Studies as Natural Experiments,"
Human Relations, (42:2), 1989, pp. 117-137.
Lee, A. S. "Integrating Positivist and Interpretive
Approaches to Organizational Research," Organization
Science, (2), 1991, pp. 342-365.
Lee, A.S. "Electronic Mail as a Medium for Rich
Communication: An Empirical Investigation Using
Hermeneutic Interpretation," MIS Quarterly (18:2),
June 1994, pp. 143-157.
Lee, A.S., Baskerville, R.L. and Davies, L. "A Workshop
on Two Techniques for Qualitative Data Analysis: Action
Research and Ethnography," Proceedings of the
Thirteenth International Conference on Information Systems,
1992, p. 305-306.
Levine, H.G. and Rossmore, D. "Diagnosing the Human
Threats to Information Technology Implementation: A
Missing Factor in Systems Analysis Illustrated in a Case
Study," Journal of Management Information Systems,
(10:2), Fall 1993, pp. 55-73.
Madsen, K.H. "Breakthrough by Breakdown," in
Information Systems Development for Human Progress in
Organizations, H.K. Klein and K. Kumar (eds.), 1989,
Manning, P.K. "Information Technology in the Police
Context: The "Sailor" Phone," Information Systems
Research (7:1), 1996, pp. 52-62.
Markus, M.L. "Power, Politics and MIS Implementation,"
Communications of the ACM, 26, 1983, pp. 430-444.
Abstract: Theories of resistance to management
information systems (MIS) are important because they
guide the implementation strategies and tactics chosen
by implementors. Three basic theories of the causes of
resistance underlie many prescriptions and rules for MIS
implementation. Simply stated, people resist MIS because
of their own internal factors, because of poor system
design, and because the interaction of specific system
design features with aspects of the organisational
context of system use. These theories differ in their
basic assumptions about systems, organisations, and
resistance; they also differ in predictions that can be
derived from them and in their implications for the
implementation process. These differences are described
and the task of evaluating the theories on the bases of
the differences is begun. Data from a case study are
used to illustrate the theories and to demonstrate the
superiority, for implementors, of the interaction
Comment: A very well known example of case
study research which clearly shows the importance of
organisational context for the implementation of
information systems (Provided by M. Broadbent and G.
Note: This classic article was discussed in a panel
session chaired by Allen S. Lee at ICIS 2000. The
various presentations are
Markus, M.L. "Case Selection in a Disconfirmatory Case
Study" in The Information Systems Research Challenge,
Harvard Business School Research Colloquium, Boston:
Harvard Business School, 1989, pp. 20- 26.
Markus, M.L. "Finding a Happy Medium: Explaining the
Negative Effects of Electronic Communication on Social
Life at Work", ACM Transactions on Information Systems,
12,2, April 1994, pp. 119-149.
Markus, M.L., "Electronic Mail as the Medium of Managerial
Choice," Organization Science, Volume 5, Number 4,
1994, pp. 502-527.
"A disaster for everyone to see: an interpretive analysis
of a failed IS project," Accounting, Management and
Information Technologies (4:4), 1994, pp. 185-201.
Abstract: The New Zealand Education Department
attempted to implement a centralised payroll system in
1989. The difficulties that the department experienced
were broadcast on national radio and television and
publicised on the front page of The New Zealand
Herald. In the end, the centralised payroll system
was scrapped by the government. This paper examines this
case study using the critical hermeneutics of Gadamer
and Ricoeur. Critical hermeneutics, as an integrative
theoretical framework, combines both interpretive and
critical elements, and addresses those social and
organisational issues, which are key to the successful
implementation of information systems. This paper
suggests critical hermeneutics as a conceptual
foundation for information systems implementation
Comments: This paper shows how critical
hermeneutics can be used in the interpretation of case
study data. The case study is presented in a way which
clearly explains the changing perspectives of the
various stakeholders in the information system
implementation (Provided by M. Broadbent and G. Shanks).
Myers, M. D. "Quality in Qualitative Research in
Information Systems", Proceedings of the 5th
Australasian Conference on Information Systems, 1994,
Myers, M.D. "Dialectical hermeneutics: a theoretical
framework for the implementation of information systems,"
Information Systems Journal (5:1), 1995, pp. 51-70.
Orlikowski, W.J. "CASE Tools as Organizational Change:
Investigating Incremental and Radical Changes in Systems
Development," MIS Quarterly (17:3), September 1993,
Orlikowski, W.J. "Improvising Organizational
Transformation Over Time: A Situated Change Perspective,"
Information Systems Research (7:1), 1996, pp.
Orlikowski, W.J., Markus, M.L. and Lee, A.S. "A
Workshop on Two Techniques for Qualitative Data Analysis:
Analytic Induction and Hermeneutics," Proceedings of
the Twelfth International Conference on Information
Systems, 1991, p. 390-1.
Paré, G. "Investigating Information Systems with
Positivist Case Study Research," Communications of the
Association for Information Systems (13:1), 2004, pp.
Abstract: This paper offers a rigorous
step-by-step methodology for developing theories and
contains specific and detailed guidelines for IS
researchers to follow in carrying out positivist case
studies. The methodology is largely inspired by the
work of Yin , Eisenhardt , Miles and
Huberman  and several others who are strong
proponents of and have wide experience in this
research approach. It also relies on previous key
contributions to the positivist case research method
in IS [Benbasat et al., 1987; Lee, 1989; Dubé and Paré,
2003]. We illustrate how this methodology can be
applied in our field to help find new perspectives and
empirical insights. In addition, the desired qualities
associated with several of the proposed concepts and
the techniques and tools included in the methodology
are presented. We believe that the two detailed case
studies presented in this paper represent highly
rigorous, yet different applications of the positivist
case research method and, hence, we strongly encourage
IS researchers to follow their respective approaches.
Pare, G. and Elam, J.J. "Using Case Study Research to
Build Theories of IT Implementation," in Information
Systems and Qualitative Research, A.S. Lee, J.
Liebenau and J.I. DeGross (eds.), Chapman and Hall,
London, 1997, pp. 542-568.
Robey, D. and Sahay, S. "Transforming Work through
Information Technology: A Comparative Case Study of
Geographic Information Systems in County Government,"
Information Systems Research (7:1), 1996, pp. 93-110.
Romm, C.T. and Pliskin, N. "Playing Politics with
E-mail: A Longitudinal Conflict-Based Analysis," in
Information Systems and Qualitative Research, A.S.
Lee, J. Liebenau and J.I. DeGross (eds.), Chapman and
Hall, London, 1997, pp. 362-388.
Sauer, C. Why Information Systems Fail: A Case
Study Approach, Alfred Waller Ltd, Henley-on-Thames,
Shanks, G. "The Challenges of Strategic Data Planning:
an Interpretive Case Study," Journal of Strategic
Information Systems, 6, 1997, pp. 69-90.
Abstract: Many organisations have had great
difficulty with strategic data planning despite strong
arguments about its value. A number of empirical studies
of strategic data planning have identified various
factors important to its success but few have presented
detailed contextual explanations. This paper reports an
in-depth, interpretive case study which examines the
strategic data planning process in a large Australian
bank. The paper explains why strategic data planning is
such a difficult undertaking and suggests three
important implications for practitioners. First, both
business managers and information systems staff find the
output data architecture difficult to understand, and
improved representations and explanations of the data
architecture should be used. Second, strategic data
planning is a complex social activity and an
understanding of the organisational context within which
it takes place is crucial to its success. Third,
strategic data planning may not be the best way to build
a data architecture, and other approaches which
facilitate participation should be considered.
Comments: This paper provides a useful example
of how to report a large case study within the limits of
a journal length paper. The research approach is
described in detail and the case study analysis is
clearly linked back to the literature review. The
results are expressed in the form of three implications
which are relevant to practitioners and also form the
basis of future research (Provided by M. Broadbent and
Sillince, J.A.A. and Mouakket, S. "Varieties of
Political Process During Systems Development,"
Information Systems Research (8:4), December 1997,
Walsham, G. Interpreting Information Systems in
Organizations, Wiley, Chichester, 1993.
Walsham, G. "Interpretive case studies in IS research:
nature and method," European Journal of Information
Systems (4), 1995, pp. 74-81.
Walsham, G. and
Waema, T. "Information Systems Strategy and
Implementation: A Case Study of a Building Society,"
ACM Transactions on Information Systems (12:2), April
1994, pp. 150-173.
Campbell, D. "'Degrees of Freedom' and the Case Study,"
Comparative Political Studies, Volume 8, Number 2,
1975, pp. 178-193.
Dukes, W. "N=1," Psychological Bulletin, Volume
64, 1965, pp. 74-79.
Dyer, W.G. Jr. and Wilkins, A.L. "Better Stories, Not
Better Constructs, to Generate Better Theory: A Rejoinder
to Eisenhardt," Academy of Management Review
(16:3), 1991, pp. 613-619.
Eisenhardt, K.M. "Building Theories from Case Study
Research," Academy of Management Review (14:4),
1989, pp. 532-550.
Eisenhardt, K.M. "Better Stories and Better Constructs:
The Case for Rigor and Comparative Logic," Academy of
Management Review (16:3), 1991, pp. 620-627.
Hamel, J. Case study method, Beverly Hills,
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Management Review (7:3), July 1982, pp. 380-391.
McCutcheon, D. and Meredith, J., "Conducting Case Study
Research in Operations Management," Journal of
Operations Management, Volume 11, 1993, pp. 239-256.
Nardulli, P.F. The Courtroom Elite: An
Organizational Perspective on Criminal Justice,
Ballinger Press, Cambridge, MA, 1978.
Ragin, Charles C. and Becker, Howard S., What Is a
Case?: Exploring the Foundations of Social Inquiry,
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1992.
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Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA, 1995.
Whyte, W.F. Street Corner Society: The social
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Yin, R. K. "The Case Study Crisis: Some Answers,"
Administrative Science Quarterly (26), 1981, pp.
Yin, R. K. "The Case Study as a Serious Research
Strategy," Knowledge (3), 1981, pp. 97-114.
Yin, R. K. Case Study
Research, Design and Methods, 3rd ed. Newbury Park,
Sage Publications, 2002.
Yin, R. K. "Enhancing the Quality of Case Studies in
Health Services Research," Health Services Research
(34:5-part 2), 1999, pp. 1209-1224.
Yin, R. K. and Heald, K. A. "Using The Case Survey
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Science Quarterly (20), 1975, pp. 371-381.