An Investigation into Methods and Concepts of Qualitative Research in Information System Research

Marzanah A Jabar, Fatimah Sidi, Mohd Hasan Selamat, Abd Azim Abd Ghani, Hamidah Ibrahim


This paper is an initial review of literature, investigating qualitative research, to show its relevance in information system disciplines.  Qualitative research involves the use of qualitative data, such as interviews, documents, and participant observation data, to understand and explain social phenomena. Qualitative research can be found in many disciplines and fields, using a variety of approaches, methods and techniques. In Information Systems (IS), there has been a general shift in information system research away from technological to managerial and organizational issues, hence an increasing interest in the application of qualitative research methods. Frequently used methods are the action research, case study, ethnography and grounded theory.  Review of each research approaches in qualitative methods, will be discussed. Important considerations in the methods are identified, and cases for each research method are described.  Then we will present some benefits and limitations of each method.  Based on the result, a framework of an action research was proposed and might be useful in starting a research project in information system using qualitative method.

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