Despite the diverse calls for transferability in IS research, most IS qualitative research studies still pay little attention to the potential applicability of their results in other social contexts (settings). We argue that one way to support the assessment of transferability is to characterize the deep features of the research setting. The two main premises of this paper are that although in IS qualitative research knowledge about results is context-bound, (1) the settings in which IS phenomena occur may have common features and characteristics, and therefore, the settings may be commensurable, and (2) the transferability of research results from one setting to another depends on the fittingness between the features and characteristics of the settings. In this article, we draw on the constituents of structure proposed by Giddens to suggest these common features and develop a framework of four pure ‘structural configurations’. We demonstrate proof of concept concerning the feasibility of this framework by classifying the research settings of a sample of papers. We consider this framework may be a first approximation to typifying the setting in which IS phenomena occur, and therefore, a way to support the transferability of IS qualitative research by delineating the applicability of its results.
Modol, Juan Rodon and Muniategui, Feliciano Sese, "Tackling the Problem of Transferability in IS Qualitative Research" (2008). ICIS 2008 Proceedings. 203.