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Topic ID Case Study Research in Information Systems
Last Update 23.11.2021
Thesis Type Master Thesis
Methods Literature Work (e.g., Bibliographic Analysis, Systematic Literature Review)
Instructor Dr. Janek Richter (UzK)


Topic Description

Extant studies investigating how case study research (CSR) is applied in information systems (IS) revealed a crucial gap between the recommendations given in the methodological literature and the actual research practice. This gap increasingly represents an issue for our discipline, especially since CSR in IS is continuously gaining importance and its focus is shifting from descriptive to exploratory and explanatory studies, confirming that the value of CSR as a means for developing and testing new theory is increasingly being recognized by researchers and practitioners alike. In light of this progressive aggravation and in response to a recent call for more detailed investigations, in this work, we seek to investigate how researchers applied CSR in their work. 

Keywords: Information systems, research methodology, case study research, positivism, methodological rigor

Current Issues of Interest

Our goal is to establish whether rigor has improved over the years, or evidence exists that those employing CSR consciously choose not to follow all the methodological recommendations. Additionally, we aim to use the insights gained to highlight best practices and related examples and thus derive ‘hands-on’ recommendations for conducting and reporting case studies. Preliminary findings reveal that CSR in IS has achieved a considerable improvement over the last decade, although a number of shortcomings persist. We seek to critically reflect some of the established methodological recommendations in light of the actual practice and thereby provide ideas and stimuli for further advancement of CSR in our discipline.

References for Background

  • Dubé, L., & Paré, G. (2003). Rigor in information systems positivist case research: current practices, trends, and recommendations. MIS quarterly, 597-636.

  • Liu, F., & Myers, M. D. (2011). An Analysis of the AIS Basket of Top Journals. Journal of Systems and Information Technology, 13(1), 5–24.

  • Yin, R. K. (2014). Case study research: Design and methods (5th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications..

  • Keutel, M., Michalik, B., & Richter, J. (2014). Towards mindful case study research in IS: A critical analysis of the past ten years. European Journal of Information Systems23(3), 256-272.