WHAT ABOUT? CASE STUDY METHOD IN INFORMATION SYSTEMS
Polytechnic Institute of Viseu - Higher School of education (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2014 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:The use of case study in information systems (IS) has evolved over time. Although other areas of knowledge already make use of this method for some time, in IS there are some authors who have described differently their validity and use. While on one hand they began to describe it as a non correct method to validate theories, more recent observations have been made to promote their use in IS, since it allows, among other things, to obtain richer information about the cases that are being investigated. One of the objectives of this paper is to present in synthesis some of the comments made about its use in IS and also describe in summary form what one of the reference authors mention about their use.
There is not a better strategy than other in research, each one is appropriate for a particular purpose of research (Benbasat, Goldstein, & Mead, 1987).
There are several authors and researchers in information systems that through by the specific purpose of their cases present some observations on the use of case study method. From a small literature review, which fit in the space and keeping the formatting required for the preparation of this document, we intended to address the issue on the use of case studies and found that on the area of information systems there are several notes / comments that should be taken into consideration by researchers and witch I want to present with this paper in the form of highlights.
The method of case study allows researchers to retain a holistic view of the main features of actual and contemporary events, in where it has little or no control. For Yin, it is preferable to use this method when you want to look at actual events, recent or current and when the behaviors considered relevant cannot be manipulated. This method allows to construct an empirical investigation especially when the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clear and / or allows to investigate phenomena where there may be many variables of interest and not just a single result. The case study can be based on the same techniques that the report of a historical fact, but includes at least two elements that are not usually included in these reports, which are: direct observation of events and interviews with people who are involved in these events.
The case study also shows the distinction and advantage over other methods the assumptions that the researcher intends to provide answers to questions that have the "how" or "why." It must be demonstrated in the work presented the deepening and reporting of all data in a clear, impartial and honest way. The data are not only quantitative or qualitative because it can be used a mix of data both quantitative and qualitative, and they can come from multiple sources, in which case they must be verified by triangulation.
The researcher may also choose to do several case studies which leads to several cases that are covered and thus obtains a set of conclusions from a cross-case.
What makes a case study an exemplary study is its significance. Before selecting the case study, the investigator should describe in detail the contribution that will be made, assuming that the planned case study will be a success. The case study should be complete, must show convincingly that the researcher has exhausted its efforts to the relevance of the facts presented. A study is not complete just because the investigator failed to afford to continue, lacked the time or had other constraints.
Keywords: Case study, method, information systems, literature review.