Theory Testing and Case Studies Competencies, Capabilities, and Information Technology: Analyzing Resources for Competitive Advantage in Russia Kalle Kangas (Ch. 11, pp. 190 – 213) Out-Line What is Research? What is a Theory? Research Criteria A Case Study Discussion Questions What is Research? Executed according to a plan Directed Goal-oriented, with measurable objectives Purposive Collection of data For empirical research, data are used to see if theory is “true” To shed light on A theory A sort of stress test for theories; if theory doesn’t hold water, then it’s false. A set of statements about reality, somewhat simplified, perhaps saying that X causes Y Hypothetico-Deductive Method (Licker, 2006) Realm of Ideas and Thoughts Idea about Implies Reality Theory Hypotheses That are crafted into coherent Analyzed and Subjected to a compared to real-world Scientist Views or Data/ Test experiences Experience phenomena in the real world Focus on Reality and has Focus on the ideas From which are the test gathered… Kinds of Theories Pictorial: an image that stands for reality Descriptive: a set of dimensions that distinguish various elements or phenomena Associational: a set of statements that tell what phenomena appear or go together Causal: a set of statements that say that some phenomena cause other phenomena Implicational: a set of statements that say that some phenomena imply other phenomena Operational: a set of conditions that make things happen or cause parts of reality to reappear. Examples of Theories The Neoclassical Theory The Bain Type Competition Model New Industrial Economies The Behavioral Theories of the Firm Agency Theory The Industrial Organization Approach Transaction Cost Theory Resource-Based Theory Research Criteria Validity: are the results really about the research question? Are the data about phenomena what the research question is about? Reliability: are the results replicable? Are they generalizable to a larger set of situations? A Case Study Multiple meanings: a unit of analysis (e.g. a case study of a particular organization) a research method A case study is an empirical inquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context (Yin, 2002). Positivist vs. Interpretative Positivist Research: reality is objectively given and can be described by measurable properties Interpretative Research: access to reality (given or socially constructed) is only through social constructions such as language, consciousness and shared meanings Examples of Case Studies Markus (1983): A very well known example of case study research which clearly shows the importance of organizational context for the implementation of information systems. Theories tested: Resistance to MIS Unit of study: 2 locations in 1 organization Problems with a Single Case Study Lee (1989) Controlled observations Controlled deductions Replicability Generalizability Other References Orikowski & Baroudi (1991): An excellent overview of the underlying epistemological perspectives and assumptions in IS research. Benbasat, Goldstein, & Mead (1987): On case study method in IS Dubé & Peré (2003): On Positivist Case Research Walsham (1995): On Interpretive case studies in IS Discussion Questions According to Kangas, Transaction Cost Theory is old, static, and doesn’t hold water now. Do you agree? Try applying the theory to Outsourcing. If the Transaction Cost Theory holds, what do you expect as a situation for outsourcing?
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