Journal of Information Technology

Document Type

Research Article


This paper urges greater recognition of the case study as a research method for information management. It acknowledges concern about the representatives of case studies but by specifying the relationships between epistemology and research methods shows that this concern is misplaced. Representatives is irrelevant for many research purposes, particularly when the distinction is made between logical and statistical inference. The validity of explanations or theory derived from case studies depends on the logic of the analysis and acknowledgement of ceteris paribus conditions, not on how typical the cases may be. Typologies of case studies have been proposed and these are considered, together with recommendations for the conduct of systematic and rigorous case study research. It is stressed that research problems should be addressed using appropriate research methods. Research of the important problems within the management area frequently demands a qualitative research approach, though it would seem that such an approach is often ignored because of a positivist research orientation. An assessment of the strengths and weakness of the case study method, which highlights its potential in the vital role of theory-building, leads to the conclusions that this method has much to commend it to information management researchers (1).