Prior research has shown that the effect of information systems (IS) domain knowledge and application domain knowledge on problem solving is contingent on task type (Khatri et al. 2006). We build on this study by engaging in an in-depth analysis of how both these types of knowledge influence one type of task referred to as “schema-based problem solving” task. Our theoretical analysis is based on the fact that conceptual schema understanding is a well-structured problem area and that, in such a setting, participants engage in depth-first rather than the breadth-first search that is evident in the more-frequently studied ill-structured problem areas. We used protocol analysis to explore the search process in the context of varying levels of both IS and application domain knowledge. We found that knowledge of the IS and application domains result in similar effects on the search process: both high IS knowledge and familiarity with the application domain result in deeper (more focused) search.
Khatri, Vijay and Vessey, Iris, "Information Search Process for a Well-Structured IS Problem: The Role of IS and Application Domain Knowledge" (2008). ICIS 2008 Proceedings. 206.