Qualitative Research in IS?

NSF released a report from the workshop on Interdisciplinary Standards for Systematic Qualitative Research, and it contains some ideas on promising areas of research in law, anthropology, political science, and sociology. We use qualitative research methods as well; what are our promising areas of research? I’m interested to hear your thoughts. I’m also interested in your take on the workshop report if you’ve read it.

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One Response

  1. As indicated in the report, qualitative methods seem to be especially insightful for uncovering patterns related to social structures. For this reason, it seems that any recently emerging area in IS involves promising research using qualitative methods because it is especially helpful to explore social trends during the initial phases of researching a new topic. Therefore, any area that has not been heavily researched, like virtual worlds, are possible areas where qualitative research can especially offer insights in the social processes that take place.

    Additionally, qualitative methods is valuable when examining trends that occur at the organizational level. Research at the organizational level often explores higher levels of social processes. By interviewing key stakeholders, the researcher is able to gain insights into the different perspectives relating to a particular area of study.

    Of course I may be missing other areas in IS where qualitative research methods are insightful, but these are the first few possibilities that came to mind.

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