Communications of the Association for Information Systems


In the face of a more rapid pace of scientific development, academic societies and competitive organizations alike are seeking new methods for content analysis. This paper describes a theoretically driven action research study that delivers a technology-mediated solution for specifying, organizing, representing and using elements of meaning in a body of knowledge. The theoretical basis, 'ontological specification' is of particular interest to IS professionals, particularly those involved in analysis and design, because it guides the efficient transformation of tacit knowledge into an explicit form. The technology-mediated solution influenced by ontological specification was validated through an iterative prototyping form of action research. Users reported that the system was useful in their work, easy to use, and compatible with collaborative work when using it for content analysis in academic research.