Communications of the Association for Information Systems


Management information systems (MIS) is both a young and unique field , constantly experiencing rapid change and turmoil. Consequently, MIS research faces dual changes of rigor and relevance. Many research methodologies exist that provide various combinations of rigor and relevance. The MIS researcher selects a methodology based on several factors including rigor, relevance, subject area, and personal preferences. In this article, we examine thirteen different methodologies as used by seven leading MIS journals during a recent five-year period. The results of this extensive analysis yielded some interesting results. Survey methodology consistently ranks at the top; while frameworks and conceptual models, lab experiments, and case studies also found significant use among the MIS community. Several trends were observed, one of them being a greater use of the case study method and other qualitative technologies over the years. Clear patterns also emerged based on the journal itself and the subject areas. At a macro level, this information should help authors in the choice of appropriate methodologies to use in specific subject areas and in targeting manuscripts to appropriate journals. It would also be helpful to journal editors in assessing the type of research and methods being used across journals and subjects, and whether they need to make any changes in the emphases of their own journals.