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Department of Business and Economics

Research Methods in Information Systems


Frederik Ahlemann
Chair of Information Systems and Strategic IT Management
University of Duisburg-Essen

Jens Pöppelbuß
Chair of Industrial Sales and Service Engineering
Ruhr-University Bochum  

Stefan Stieglitz
Professional Communication in Electronic Media / Social Media
University of Duisburg-Essen

Manuel Wiesche
Chair of Digital Transformation
TU Dortmund University

(details will be shared approx. four weeks ahead of class)

08.02.2022   KickOff   (M. Wiesche + Alle)

24.02.2022   Qualitative Research   (M. Wiesche)

03.03.2022   Data- und Network Analysis   (S. Stieglitz)

14.04.2022   Structural Equation Modeling   (F. Ahlemann)

06.05.2022   Design Science Research   (J. Pöppelbuß)

27.06.2022   TBA   (R. Schütte)

Location: Online or at University of Duisburg-Essen/Ruhr-University Bochum/TU Dortmund University
Audience: UA Ruhr PhD students in the first year of their PhD who are interested in conducting research in the Information Systems (Wirtschaftsinformatik) discipline.
Registration: Please apply with a one-page summary of your profile (work history, experience with research methods, research focus, specific interests)  via email to the secretariat of the Chair of Digital Transformation

Contact Secretariat 

Course content

1. Introduction (Frederik Ahlemann, Manuel Wiesche)

  • fundamentals of science
  • overview of research and research methods in IS
  • initial understanding of science and how a research discipline creates scientific process
  • overview of the information systems field and which forms of scientific knowledge exist in the discipline
  • overview of the publication process and a short introduction into reviewing

2. Qualitative Research (Manuel Wiesche)

  • development of an understanding of qualitative exploratory research methods (incl. case studies & grounded theory methodology)
  • understand when such methods should be applied
  • understand which critical decisions and which challenges arise
  • learn how the methods can be applied to research projects in the Information Systems (IS) field
  • understand the espoused goal of theory development for novel phenomena but also other contexts in which qualitative-exploratory approaches can be helpful
  • key methodological procedures and their applications

3. Data- and Network Analysis (Stefan Stieglitz)

  • insights about different types of data (e.g. structured and unstructured data)
  • learn how to collect, process and analyse data
  • introduction of different methods (e.g. social network analysis, sentiment analysis & topic clustering)
  • use real-world data sets to apply these methods to answer research questions
  • examples will be provided about how to link theories and data analytics in a meaningful way
  • critical reflection of data analytics (ethical implications, data protection & data management)

4. Structural Equation Modeling (Frederik Ahlemann)

  • general approach of structural equation modeling and how it links to theory testing
  • basic elements of a structural equation model & alternative approaches to measurement (reflective versus formative)
  • insights into the basic steps of model development, testing & interpretation of results
  • exploration of fundamental quality criteria for structural & measurement models
  • different approaches to model validation (component based versus covariance-based)
  • application of the learned knowledge via SmartPLS and a small demo dataset

5. Design Science Research (Jens Pöppelbuß)

  • understanding of design science research as a main research paradigm in Information Systems
  • differences to and reasonable integration with/complementation by behavioral research
  • learn about different types of artifacts – including constructs, models, methods, and instantiations (e.g., software and hardware) – and discuss under what circumstances these can be considered valuable knowledge contributions to academia
  • recognized process models & guidelines for conducting design science research
  • importance of & approaches to artifact evaluation
  • concepts of design theory & design principles
  • abstract from specific artifact design projects towards generalizable design knowledge
  • publication schema for design science studies & the anatomy for design theories