Research Method: Grounded Theory for Descriptive and Exploratory Case Studies

Part of the Integrated Series in Information Systems book series (ISIS, volume 23)


Both Case Study and Grounded Theory methods are still minority research methodologies in information systems. A search of research papers published in higher tier information systems journalsa between 1985 and 2005 showed that only 120 out of 7,372 articles were concerned with case study research. Case methods are, however, well established in organizational research and have become increasingly more accepted in information systems research too (for examples see Benbasat et al., 1987; Galliers et al., 1987; Yin, 1989; Lee, 1989a, b; Orlikowski et al., 1991; Zinatelli et al., 1994). In particular, Eisenhardt (1989) describes a process of building theory from cases, focusing especially on its inductive nature.


Ground Theory Case Study Research Theoretical Sampling Information System Research Core Category 


  1. Yin, R. K. 1989. Case Study Research: Design and Methods. Sage Publications, Newbury Park, CA, Chapters  2 9.Google Scholar
  2. Turner, B. A. 1983. The use of grounded theory for the qualitative analysis of organizational behavior. Journal of Management Studies, 20(3), 333–348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Denzin, N. K. 1994 The art and politics of interpretation. In: Denzin, N. K., Lincoln, Y. S. (eds.), Handbook of Qualitative Research. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA, 500–515.Google Scholar
  4. Glaser, B. G. 1978. Theoretical Sensitivity. Sociology Press, Mill Valley, CA, Chapters  3,  4 7.Google Scholar
  5. Yoong, S. P. 1996. A grounded theory of reflective facilitation: Making the transition from traditional to GSS facilitation. Unpublished Doctoral Thesis at the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, 10–295.Google Scholar
  6. Eisenhardt, K. M. 1989. Building theories from case study research. Academy of Management Review, 14(4), 532–550.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Lehmann, H. P., Gallupe, R. B. 2005. Information systems for multinational enterprises – Some factors at work in their design and implementation, Journal of International Management, 11(4), 28–49.Google Scholar
  8. Fernandez, W. D., Lehmann, H. P. 2005. Achieving Rigour And Relevance In Information Systems Studies – Using grounded theory to investigate organsational cases. Grounded Theory Review, 5(1), 23–40.Google Scholar
  9. Orlikowski, W. J. 1993. CASE tools as organizational change: Investigating incremental and radical changes in systems development. MIS Quarterly, September, 17(3), 309–337.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Stern, P. N. 1994. Grounded theory methodology: Its uses and processes. In: Glaser, B. G. (ed.), More Grounded Theory Methodology: A Reader. Sociology Press, Mill Valley, CA, 102–123.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Information ManagementVictoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations