This is a list of doctoral dissertations in Information Systems in which the author has used one or more qualitative research methods. Please note that this list contains a few suggestions only and is not intended to be comprehensive. I encourage you to search Google Scholar and/or some other bibliographic database for more dissertations.
Please send additional references and/or short abstracts
of items on this page (maximum 100 words) to the Section
Editor at: email@example.com
Davison, R.M. "An Action Research Perspective of Group
Support Systems: How to Improve Meetings in Hong Kong,"
Unpublished PhD thesis, City University of Hong Kong,
A web version of Davison's PhD thesis is
Dhillon, G. "Interpreting the management of information
system security," unpublished Phd thesis, University of
The overall aim of this research is to increase
understanding of the issues and concerns in the
management of information systems security. The study is
conducted by reviewing the analysis, design and
management of computer based information systems in two
large organizations - a British National Health Service
Hospital Trust and a Borough Council. The research
methodology adopts an interpretive mode of inquiry. The
management of information systems security is evaluated
in terms of the business environment, organizational
culture, expectations and obligations of different
roles, meanings of different actions and the related
patterns of behavior. Findings from the two case studies
show that an inappropriate analysis, design and
management of computer based information systems affects
the integrity and wholeness of an organization. As a
result, the probability of occurrence of adverse events
increases. In such an environment there is a strong
likelihood that security measures may either be ignored
or are inappropriate to the real needs of an
organization. Therefore what is needed is coherence
between the computer based information systems and the
business environment in which they are embedded.
Hill, G. "A Framework for Valuing the Quality of
Customer Information," Unpublished thesis, the University of Melbourne, 2009.
This thesis addresses a widespread, significant and persistent problem in
Information Systems practice: under-investment in the quality of customer
information. Many organisations require clear financial models in order to
undertake investments in their information systems and related processes.
However, there are no widely accepted approaches to rigorously articulating the
costs and benefits of potential quality improvements to customer information.
This can result in poor quality customer information which impacts on wider
To address this problem, I develop and evaluate
a framework for producing financial models of the costs and benefits of customer
information quality interventions. These models can be used to select and
prioritise from multiple candidate interventions across various customer
processes and information resources, and to build a business case for the
organisation to make the investment.
This thesis uses critical realism
as a philosophical lens for a design science research project that combines qualitative and quantitative
approaches. A web version of the thesis is
Kock, N.F. Jr. "The
Effects of Asynchronous Groupware on Business Process
Improvement." Unpublished PhD thesis, University of
Waikato, New Zealand, 1997.
This research investigates the effects of
asynchronous groupware on group-based business process
improvement efforts. Thirty-eight business process
improvement groups were facilitated in three
organisations over four iterations of the action
research cycle proposed by Susman and Evered. The
asynchronous groupware tool used to support these groups
was an e-mail conferencing system. A web version of
Nereu Kock's PhD thesis is
Kvasny, L. "Problematizing the Digital Divide: Cultural
and Social Reproduction in a Community Technology
Initiative," unpublished PhD thesis, Georgia State
The full PDF version of Lynette Kvasny's PhD thesis
Orlikowski, W.J. "Information technology in post-
industrial organizations: An exploration of the
computer-mediation of production work," unpublished PhD
thesis, Faculty of the Leonard N. Stern School of
Business, New York University, New York, 1988.
Per-Arne Persson. "Bringing Power and Knowledge
Together: Information Systems Design for Autonomy and
Control in Command Work." Unpublished PhD thesis,
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology, Dissertation
No. 639, Linköpings University, SE-581 83 Linköping,
The thesis is an ethnographic study
of military command work. It analyses data produced
during fieldwork in domestic command post exercises and
uses two cases for a closer analysis. Social value and
not only rational control thinking is what counts in
command work, a kind of design work, when control
artifacts such as information systems are designed.
Command work is knowledge-intensive, it designs and
produces symbols and becomes highly flexible, involving
interpretation and negotiation of its content and
products. Knowledge and power, expertise and authority,
represented by experts and formal leaders, have to be
brought together if the work is to be efficient.
Autonomy and power become core issues, key concepts
being social value, function and visibility. Actors must
be visible and make their work visible. Information
systems shall support work in various modes and across
the organization, contributing to visibility and
autonomy. It is likely that such criteria are applicable
not only in military contexts but also in other kinds of
Rose, J. "Information systems development as action
research - soft systems methodology and structuration
theory," Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom,
A PDF version of this thesis is
Rouse, A. C. "Information Technology Outsourcing
Revisited: Success Factors and Risks," Unpublished PhD
Thesis, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, 2002.
This thesis investigates success factors, risks and
trade offs in IT outsourcing arrangements, and the
impact of certain recommended practices on outsourcing
success. The post-positivist research had four
components: 1) a critical review of 10 years' literature
on IT outsourcing, paying particular attention to the
evidence for success and the impact of practices on
success; 2) a longitudinal hermeneutic study of the
Australian Federal Government's "Whole of Government" IT
outsourcing initiative; 3) qualitative analysis of 16
vendor/purchaser focus groups and 4) statistical
analysis of a survey of government and non-government
organisations taken from the largest 1000 organisations
Sayer, K. "A Critical Discourse on the Rhetoric of
Business Process Reengineering," unpublished doctoral
dissertation, Griffith University, Brisbane, 1997.
This is an ethnographic study of the implementation
of BPR in a government department in Queensland.
Sonnenwald, D.H. "Communication in Design." Unpublished
Ph.D. thesis, Rutgers University, NJ, 1993.
Many design situations include users,
designers, and developers who, with their own unique
group and individual perspectives, need to interact so
that they can come to a working understanding of how the
artifact being developed will coexist with and ideally
support patterns of work activities, social groups, and
personal beliefs. In these situations, design is
fundamentally an interactive process that requires
communication among users, designers, and developers.
However, communication among these groups is often
difficult although of paramount importance to design
outcomes. Through a qualitative analysis of a house,
expert system, and telecommunications network
architecture and management system design situation, a
descriptive model of design that characterizes
communication among users, designers, and developers as
they create an artifact was developed. The model
describes design phases, roles, themes, and intragroup
and intergroup communication networks as they evolved
throughout the design process, and characterizes design
as a process of "contested collaboration." It is a first
step towards a predictive design model that suggests
strategies which may help participants interact more
effectively and ultimately improve the quality of design
outcomes and the design process.
Wynn, E. "Office conversation as an Information
Medium." Unpublished PhD thesis, University of California,
Yoong, P. "A Grounded Theory of Reflective
Facilitation: Making The Transition From Traditional To
GSS Facilitation," Unpublished PhD thesis, Victoria
University of Wellington, New Zealand, 1996.
Zaugg, Alexandra Daniela. "Why do Consumers Use the Internet for
Complaining to the Company? Determinants Explaining the Propensity to Complain
Online," doctoral thesis, Institute of Information System Science, University of
Online complaining is said to be an efficient and convenient way of handling
complaints for both customers and companies. This research project explains a
customer’s propensity to complain online. In the expert interviews, the
perspective of customer care managers in the Swiss telecommunications industry
and scholars in the field of consumer complaining behaviour has been examined.
As a second data source, 126 complaints by letter and 135 online complaints have
been analysed. Moreover, a company provided a complaint statistics encompassing
5’616 complaints. Finally, seven interviews with online complainants have
provided insights into the customer perspective.
"There have actually been a few 'semiotics and IS' PhD
theses completed at the London School of Economics." (Gurpreet
Dhillon). Some of these are, in alphabetical order:
Albadvi, Amir (1997). Supporting Design Understanding
in Evolutionary Prototyping: An Application of Change
Theory and Semiotics.
Backhouse, Jim (1991). The Use of Semantic Analysis in the
Development of Information Systems.
Dhillon, Gurpreet S. (1995). Interpreting the Management
of Information Systems Security.
Ilharco, Fernando M. (2002). Information Technology as
Ontology: a Phenomenological Investigation into
Information Technology and Strategy In-the-World.
Kitiyadisai, Krisana (1991). Relevance and Information
Lowe [Cookson], Stefanie (1993). Modelling the Development
of the Use of Subject Pronouns.
Marche, M.M. (Sunny) (1991). Measuring Data Model
Straub, Bernhard (1991). Ideology and Information Systems.
Abstracts of these theses are available at