Qualitative Research in Information Systems: General References on Qualitative Research

Section Editor: Michael D. Myers

This is a list of general references on qualitative research (and not related to any specific method). 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. Please note that this list contains a few suggestions only and is not intended to be comprehensive. I encourage you to search Google Scholar, the AIS e-library and/or some other bibliographic database for a more complete and up-to-date list. 


[Introduction] [Citations in Information Systems] [Citations in Other Disciplines]
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Introduction

There are two books which are essential reading for anyone wanting to do qualitative research; both these books are required or recommended texts in many doctoral-level courses in Information Systems. The two books are Miles and Huberman (1994) and Denzin and Lincoln (2005). My own book "Myers (2009) discusses the use of qualitative research in all of the business disciplines including information systems.

In Information Systems, an important article is the one by Orlikowski and Baroudi (1991), which provides an excellent summary of the differences between positivist, interpretive, and critical research, and surveys some of the research done in IS. One of the most cited empirical examples of qualitative research in Information Systems is the article by Markus (1983). This article is a classic in the study of information technology in organizations. At ICIS 2000, Markus' article was discusses in a panel session chaired by Allen S. Lee.  The various presentations are available.

For a more in-depth look at the different methods being used by Information Systems researchers, the books edited by Galliers (1992), Mumford et al. (1985), Nissen et al. (1991)Lee et al. (1997) and Trauth (2001) are excellent. Myers and Avison (2002) includes many of the recommended readings from this web site.

Citations in Information Systems

Alavi, M. and Carlson, P. "A review of MIS research and disciplinary development," Journal of Management Information Systems (8:4), 1992, pp. 45-62.

Cash, J.I. and Lawrence, P. (eds.). The Information Systems Research Challenge: Qualitative Research Methods, Harvard Business School Research Colloqium, Boston, 1989.

Gable, G., "Integrating Case Study and Survey Research Methods: An Example in Information Systems," European Journal of Information Systems, (3:2), 1994, pp. 112-126.

Galliers, R. (ed.). Information systems research : Issues, methods, and practical guidelines, Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford, 1992.

Galliers, R.D. and Land, F.F. "Choosing Appropriate Information Systems Research Methodologies," Communications of the ACM, (30:11), 1987, pp. 900-902.

Galliers, R.D., Markus, M.L., and Newell, S. (eds.) Exploring Information Systems Research Approaches: Readings and Reflections, London, 2006.

Kaplan, B. and Duchon, D. "Combining Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Information Systems Research: A Case Study,"ell, J.A.">Kaplan, B. and Maxwell, J.A. "Qualitative Research Methods for Evaluating Computer Information Systems," in Evaluating Health Care Information Systems: Methods and Applications, J.G. Anderson, C.E. Aydin and S.J. Jay (eds.), Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA, 1994, pp. 45-68.

Kaplan, B., Truex, D.P., Wastell, D., Wood-Harper, A.T., and DeGross, J.I. (eds.) Information Systems Research: Relevant Theory and Informed Practice. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Norwell, MA, 2004.

Lacity, M.C. and Janson, M.A. "Understanding Qualitative Data: A Framework of Text Analysis Methods," Journal of Management Information Systems (11:2), Fall 1994, pp. 137-155.

Landry, Maurice and Banville, Claude. "A Disciplined Methodological Pluralism for MIS Research." Accounting, Management and Information Technologies, (2:2), 1992, pp. 77-97.

Lee, A. S. "Integrating Positivist and Interpretive Approaches to Organizational Research," Organization Science, (2), 1991, pp. 342-365.

Lee, A.S., Liebenau, J. and DeGross, J.I. (eds.). Information Systems and Qualitative Research, Chapman and Hall, London, 1997.

This book was published under the auspices of IFIP Working Group 8.2.

Markus, M.L. "The Qualitative Difference in Information Systems Research and Practice," In Information Systems and Qualitative Research, A. S. Lee, J. Liebenau and J. I. DeGross (eds.), Chapman and Hall, London, 1997, pp. 11-27.

Mingers, J. "Combining IS Research Methods: Towards a Pluralist Methodology," Information Systems Research (12:3), 2001, pp. 240-259.

Mumford E., Hirschheim, R.A., Fitzgerald, G. and Wood-Harper, A.T. (eds.). Research Methods in Information Systems, North-Holland Publishers, New York, 1985.

This book was published under the auspices of IFIP Working Group 8.2.

Myers, M.D. and Avison, D.E. (eds.). Qualitative Research in Information Systems: A Reader, Sage Publications, London, 2002.

The contents of the book are as follows:

PART ONE: OVERVIEW OF QUALITATIVE RESEARCH \ Michael D Myers and David E Avison An Introduction to Qualitative Research in Information Systems \ Bob Galliers and Frank Land Choosing Appropriate Information Systems Research Methodologies \ M Lynne Markus Power, Politics and MIS Implementation \ PART TWO: PHILOSOPHICAL PERSPECTIVES \ Wanda Orlikowski and J J Baroudi Studying Information Technology in Organizations: Research Approaches and Assumptions \ Izak Benbasat, D K Goldstein and M Mead The Case Research Strategy in Studies of Information Systems \ Geoff Walsham Interpretive Case Studies in IS Research: Nature and Method \ Ojelanki Ngwenyama The Critical Social Theory Approach to Information Systems: Problems and Challenges \ PART THREE: QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS \ Richard Baskerville and Trevor Wood-Harper A Critical Perspective on Action Research as a Method for Information Systems Research \ A S Lee A Scientific Methodology for MIS Case Studies \ Lynda Harvey and Michael D Myers Scholarship and Practice: The Contribution of Ethnographic Research Methods to Bridging the Gap \ Wanda Orlikowski CASE Tools Are Organizational Change: Investigating Incremental and Radical Changes in Systems Development \ PART FOUR: MODES OF ANALYZING AND INTERPRETING QUALITATIVE DATA \ Richard J Boland Jr Information System Use as an Hermeneutic Process \ Rudy Hirschheim and Mike Newman Symbolism and Information Systems Development: Myth, Metaphor and Magic

Myers, M.D., and Newman, M. "The qualitative interview in IS research: Examining the craft," Information and Organization (17:1) 2007, pp 2-26.

Nissen, H-E., Klein, H.K. and Hirschheim, R.A. (eds.). Information Systems Research: Contemporary Approaches and Emergent Traditions, North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1991.

This book was published under the auspices of IFIP Working Group 8.2.

Orlikowski, W.J. & Baroudi, J.J. "Studying Information Technology in Organizations: Research Approaches and Assumptions", Information Systems Research (2) 1991, pp. 1-28.

Silverman, D. "Qualitative research: meanings or practices?", Information Systems Journal (8:1) 1998, pp. 3-20.

Straub, D., Gefen, D., and Boudreau, M.-C. "The ISWorld Quantitative, Positivist Research Methods Website", 2004, http://dstraub.cis.gsu.edu:88/quant/

Trauth, E.M. (ed.). Qualitative Research in IS: Issues and Trends, Idea Group Publishing, Hershey, PA, 2001.

Citations in Other Disciplines

Berger, P. and Luckman, T. The social construction of reality: a treatise in the sociology of knowledge, Penguin Publishers, London, 1967.

Bogdan, R.C. and Taylor, S.J. Introduction to qualitative research methods: A phenomenological approach to the social sciences, Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1975.

Bryman, A. Research Methods and Organization Studies, Unwin Hyman, London, 1989.

Burrell, G. and Morgan, G. Sociological Paradigms and Organisational Analysis, Heinemann, London, 1979.

Denzin, N.K. and Lincoln, Y.S. (eds.). The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research, Third Edition, Sage, Thousand Oaks, 2005.

This book is a collection of readings with authors selected from many disciplines. The handbook examines the various paradigms for doing qualitative work, the strategies developed for studying people in their natural setting, and a variety of techniques for collecting, analyzing, interpreting, and reporting findings.

Deslauriers, J.P., Recherche qualitative: Guide pratique, Montréal: McGraw Hill, 1991.

Dufour, S., Fortin, D., and Hamel, J., L’enquête de terrain en sciences sociales: L’approche monographique et les méthodes qualitatives, Montréal: Éditions St- Martin, 1991.

Fisher, M. Qualitative Computing: Using software for qualitative data analysis. Aldershot: Ashgate, 1997.

Guba, E.G. and Lincoln, Y.S. "Competing paradigms in qualitative research," in Handbook of Qualitative Research, N.K. Denzin and Y.S. Lincoln (eds.), Sage, Thousand Oaks, 1994, pp. 105-117.

Gummesson, E. Qualitative Methods in Management Research, 2nd edition, Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA, 2000.

Kirk, J. and Miller, M.L. Reliability and Validity in Qualitative Research, Sage Publications, Newbury Park, California, 1986.

Lee, T. W. Using Qualitative Methods in Organizational Research, Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA, 1999.

Lessard-Hebert, M., Goyette, G., and Boutin, G. Recherche qualitative: fondements et pratiques, Agence d'ARC, Montréal, 1990.

Lofland, L., Analysing social settings: A guide to qualitative observation and analysis, Belmont, CA, 1971.

Miles, M.B. and Huberman, A.M. Qualitative Data Analysis: An Expanded Sourcebook, 2nd ed., Sage Publications, Newbury Park, CA, 1994.

Morey, N.C. and Luthans, F. "An Emic Perspective and Ethnoscience Methods for Organizational Research," Academy of Management Review (9:1), January 1984, pp. 27-36.

Myers, M.D. Qualitative Research in Business & Management. Sage Publications, London, 2013. Second edition.

The contents of the book are as follows: 

PART I INTRODUCTION / 1. How to Use this Book / 2. Overview of Qualitative Research / PART II FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS OF RESEARCH / 3. Research Design / 4. Philosophical Perspectives / 5. Ethics / PART III QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS / 6. Action Research / 7. Case Study Research / 8. Ethnographic Research / 9. Grounded Theory PART IV DATA COLLECTION TECHNIQUES / 10. Interviews / 11. Participant Observation and Fieldwork / 12. Using Documents / PART V ANALYSING QUALITATIVE DATA / 13. Analysing Qualitative Data: An Overview / 14. Hermeneutics / 15. Semiotics / 16. Narrative Analysis PART VI WRITING UP AND PUBLISHING / 17. Writing Up / 18. Getting Published PART VII CONCLUSION / 19. Qualitative Research in Perspective / Glossary / References / Index

Prasad, P. Crafting Qualitative Research: Working in the Postpositivist Traditions. M.E. Sharpe, New York, 2005.

Ragin, C. C., The Comparative Method: Moving Beyond Qualitative and Quantitative Strategies, University of California Press, Berkeley and London, 1987.

Rubin, H. and Rubin, I. Qualitative interviewing : the art of hearing data, Sage Publications, San Diego, 1995.

Silverman, D. Interpreting Qualitative Data, Sage Publications, London, 1993.

Strauss, A. Qualitative Analysis for Social Scientists. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1987.

Strauss, A. and Corbin, J. Basics of Qualitative Research: Grounded Theory Procedures and Techniques. Sage Publications, Newbury Park, CA, 1990.

Taylor, S.J. and Bogdan, R. Introduction to qualitative research methods: The search for meanings, John Wiley, New York, 1984.

Trudel, R. and Antonius, R., Méthodes qualitatives appliquées aux sciences humaines, Centre éducatif et culturel inc, Montréal, 1991.

Van Maanen, J. (ed.). Qualitative Methodology, Sage Publications, Newbury Park, CA, 1983.

Weitzman, E.A. and Miles, M.B. Computer Programs for Qualitative Data Analysis, Sage, Thousand Oaks, 1995.

Wolcott, H.F. Writing Up Qualitative Research, Sage Publications, Newbury Park, California, 1990.

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