The quality and success of scholarly work depends in large measure on the quality of the literature review process. This paper advances conceptual understanding of the literature review process and extends earlier guidelines on literature reviews. It proposes a hermeneutic framework that integrates the analysis and interpretation of literature and the search for literature. This hermeneutic framework describes the literature review process as fundamentally a process of developing understanding that is iterative in nature. Using the hermeneutic circle it describes the literature review process as being constituted by literature searching, classifying and mapping, critical assessment, and argument development. The hermeneutic approach emphasizes continuous engagement with and gradual development of a body of literature during which increased understanding and insights are developed. The paper contributes to better understanding of the literature review process and provides guidelines to assist researchers in conducting high quality reviews. Approaches for efficient searching are included in an Appendix.
Boell, Sebastian K. and Cecez-Kecmanovic, Dubravka
"A Hermeneutic Approach for Conducting Literature Reviews and Literature Searches,"
Communications of the Association for Information Systems:
Vol. 34, Article 12.
Available at: http://aisel.aisnet.org/cais/vol34/iss1/12