Communications of the Association for Information Systems


The literature review is an established research genre in many academic disciplines, including the IS discipline. Although many scholars agree that systematic literature reviews should be rigorous, few instructional texts for compiling a solid literature review, at least with regard to the IS discipline, exist. In response to this shortage, in this tutorial, I provide practical guidance for both students and researchers in the IS community who want to methodologically conduct qualitative literature reviews. The tutorial differs from other instructional texts in two regards. First, in contrast to most textbooks, I cover not only searching and synthesizing the literature but also the challenging tasks of framing the literature review, interpreting research findings, and proposing research paths. Second, I draw on other texts that provide guidelines for writing literature reviews in the IS discipline but use many examples of published literature reviews. I use an integrated example of a literature review, which guides the reader through the overall process of compiling a literature review.