The effect of user participation on successful systems development has been the focus of much attention for information systems researchers for some time. Common understanding has been that extensive user participation is not only important, but absolutely essential to system success. However, earlier studies trying to link user participation to system success have shown mixed results. In this paper, we analyze fourteen more recently published, empirical research studies that investigate the significance of user participation. From our results we conclude that user participation in the systems development process is indeed critical to system success. Common themes are identified.