Qualitative Research Workshop


In this online workshop Professor Myers will discuss the design, conduct and evaluation of qualitative research. He will review various qualitative research methods and ways of analyzing qualitative data. He will also spend some time discussing the challenges of writing up qualitative research work for academic conferences and journals.

 The general goals of this workshop are as follows: 

  1.  Philosophy and Research Design: Participants will know the underlying research philosophies and possible qualitative research designs in business and management. 
  2. Research Methods: Participants will understand how a variety of qualitative research methods can be used in business and management
  3. Data Analysis: Participants will be introduced to various approaches to qualitative data analysis including the analysis of large social media data sets
  4.  Critical Thinking Skills: Participants will analyze and critically evaluate a few published examples of qualitative research in information systems



Registration is open until May 17th.


Professor Michael D. Myers, University of Auckland Business School, New Zealand


The course will be held entirely online. There are ten lectures, and each lecture has two parts.

First, for each lecture there will be a set of slides made available via voice over PowerPoint. Students should finish all the assigned readings before they listen to this pre-recorded

Second, for each lecture there will be an interactive session held via zoom. During this second part there will be some practical exercises and an opportunity for discussion.
Students should have read the assigned readings and listened to the pre-recorded lecture before attending this interactive session. The interactive zoom sessions will be start at 10:00 am Helsinki time on the days as per the schedule below. The meeting ID will be sent to all students beforehand. Please note that there will be no zoom sessions at the same time as the European Conference on Information Systems is being held.


Required text

Myers, M.D. 2020. Qualitative Research in Business & Management. 3rd edition. London, Sage Publications.

Recommended reading

  1. 1. Lee, A.S., Liebenau, J. and DeGross, J.I. (eds.). Information Systems and Qualitative Research, Chapman and Hall, London, 1997.
  2.  Myers, Michael D. "Qualitative Research in Information Systems”, AISWorld Section on Qualitative Research, www.qual.auckland.ac.nz
  3. Myers, Michael D., and David Avison (eds.). Qualitative Research in Information Systems: A Reader. Sage Publications, 2002.
  4. Urquhart, C. 2012. Grounded Theory for Qualitative Research: A Practical Guide. London: Sage Publications.
  5. Walsham, G. Interpreting Information Systems in Organizations. John Wiley and Sons, Chichester, 1993.
  6. Wolcott, H. Writing up Qualitative Research. Third edition. Sage Publications, Thousands Oaks, CA, 2009.
  7. Yin, Robert K. Case Study Research: Design and methods. Sixth edition. Sage Publications, 2017.

As well as the textbook, students are also required to read a few journal articles as listed below. Additionally, students are expected to read more widely including articles from any
recognised journal in information systems. Many useful citations can be obtained from the AIS E-Library, the ACM Digital Library, Google Scholar, and other bibliographic databases
such as ABI/Inform, Science Direct or the Emerald Library.


Note: The chapter numbers listed below are from the required textbook.



1 June


1. Chapters 1 and 2
2. Myers, Michael .D. "Qualitative Research in Information Systems," AISWorld Section on Qualitative Research,
3. Markus, M. L. 1983. "Power, Politics and MIS Implementation," Communications of the ACM (26:6), pp. 430-444.

2 June

Fundamental Concepts of Research

1. Chapters 3-5
2. Orlikowski, W. J., and Baroudi, J. J. 1991. "Studying Information Technology in Organizations: Research Approaches and Assumptions," Information Systems Research (2:1), pp. 1-28.
3. Dubé, L., and Paré, G. 2003. "Rigor in Information Systems Positivist Case Research: Current Practices, Trends, and Recommendations," MIS Quarterly (27:4), pp. 597-636.
4. Klein, H. K., and Myers, M. D. 1999. "A Set of Principles for Conducting and Evaluating Interpretive Field Studies in Information Systems," MIS Quarterly (23:1), pp. 67-93.
5. Myers, M. D., and Klein, H. K. 2011. "A Set of Principles for Conducting Critical Research in Information Systems," MIS Quarterly (35:1), pp. 17-36.

3 June

Qualitative Research Methods 1: Action Research

1. Chapter 6
2. Baskerville, R. 1999. "Investigating Information Systems with Action Research," Communications of the AIS (2:19), p. online.
3. Sein, M., Henfridsson, O., Purao, S., Rossi, M., and Lindgren, R. 2011. "Action Design Research," MIS Quarterly (35:2), pp. 37- 56.
4. Kohli, R., and Kettinger, W. J. 2004. "Informating the Clan: Controlling Physicians' Costs and Outcomes," MIS Quarterly (28:3), pp. 363-394.

4 June

Case Study Research

1. Chapter 7
2. Benbasat, I.., Goldstein, D. K., and Mead, M. “The Case Research Strategy in Studies of Information Systems,” MIS Quarterly (11:3), 1987, pp. 369-386.
3. Walsham, G. “Interpretive case studies in IS research: nature and method,”European Journal of Information Systems (4:2), 1995a, pp. 74-81.
4. Leong, C., Pan, S. L., Newell, S., & Cui, L. 2016. “The Emergence of Self-Organizing E-Commerce Ecosystems in Remote Villages of China: A Tale of Digital Empowerment for Rural Development,” MIS Quarterly, 40(2), 475–484.

8 June

Qualitative Research Methods 2: Ethnographic Research

1. Chapter 8
2. Myers, M. D. 1999. "Investigating Information Systems with Ethnographic Research," Communications of the AIS (2:23), pp. 1-20.
3. Myers, M. D., and Young, L. W. 1997. "Hidden Agendas, Power, and Managerial Assumptions in Information Systems Development: An Ethnographic Study,"Information Technology & People (10:3), pp. 224-240.
4. Ravishankar, M.N., Pan, S.L., and Myers, M.D. 2013. "Information Technology Offshoring in India: A Postcolonial Perspective," European Journal of Information Systems (22:4), pp. 387-402.

9 June

Qualitative Research Methods 3: Grounded theory

1. Chapter 9
2. Urquhart, C., Lehmann, H., and Myers, M. D. 2010. "Putting the Theory Back into Grounded Theory: Guidelines for Grounded Theory Studies in Information Systems," Information Systems Journal (20:4), pp. 357-381.
3. Urquhart, C., and Fernández, W. 2013. "Using Grounded Theory Method in Information Systems: The Researcher as Blank Slate and Other Myths," Journal of Information Technology (28), pp. 224-236.
4. Vaast, E., & Levina, N. 2015. “Speaking as one, but not speaking up: Dealing with new moral taint in an occupational online community,” Information and Organization, 25(2), 73–98.

10 June

Qualitative data collection

1. Chapters 10-12
2. Myers, M. D., and Newman, M. 2007. "The Qualitative Interview in Is Research: Examining the Craft," Information and Organization (17:1), pp. 2-26.

11 June

Qualitative interpretation and data analysis 1: Overview and Hermeneutics

1. Chapters 13, 14
2. Lee, A. S. 1994. "Electronic Mail as a Medium for Rich Communication: An Empirical Investigation Using Hermeneutic Interpretation," MIS Quarterly (18:2), pp. 143-157.

17 June

Qualitative interpretation and data analysis 2: Semiotics, Narrative and Metaphor

1. Chapters 15, 16
2. Barley, S. R. 1983. "Semiotics and the Study of Occupational and Organizational Cultures," Administrative Science Quarterly (28), pp. 393–413.
3. McKenna, B., Myers, M. D., and Newman, M. 2017. "Social Media in Qualitative Research: Challenges and Recommendations," Information and Organization (27:2), pp. 87-99.

18 June

Writing up and publishing qualitative research

1. Chapters 17-19
2. Cachon, G. 2012. "What Is Interesting in Operations Management?," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management (14:2), pp. 166-169.


Pre-Workshop Assignment

Students should read Myers, M.D. "Qualitative Research in Information Systems," AISWorld Section on Qualitative Research, www.qual.auckland.ac.nz to become acquainted with the
basic concepts of qualitative research in Information Systems. They should also read the following two articles:

  • Markus, M.L. "Power, Politics, and MIS Implementation," Communications of the ACM (26) 1983, pp 430-444.
  • Ravishankar, M.N., Pan, S.L., and Myers, M.D. 'Information technology offshoring in India: a postcolonial perspective'. European Journal of Information Systems, 22, 4, 387-402, 2013.


  • Students will prepare a one-page summary of expectations and goals they hope to achieve by taking this course.
  • Each student will write a brief one paragraph summary of each article.
  • Each student should answer the following questions about each article:
    • Is the article positivist, interpretive or critical? How can you tell?
    • What research method was used?
    • What was the main research topic?
    • How were the data analyzed?
    • Was the article a contribution to knowledge? If so, how?
    • Given that the two articles were published 30 years apart, what do these articles tell us about progress in IS research over this time?
  • Send these deliverables to the teaching assistant via email at least one week before
    the start of the course.

Post-Workshop Assignment

The post course assignment involves writing a comprehensive review of a published piece of research that uses one or more qualitative research methods. The article should be what
you consider as an exemplar of the use of qualitative research in IS.

The focus of your review should be on the overall contribution of the article to the field of information systems. The purpose of this assignment is to give you practice in assessing the
quality of a qualitative research article and some understanding of the peer review process. Allen S. Lee has provided an excellent set of suggestions about how to review an academic
paper at http://www.people.vcu.edu/~aslee/referee.htm

 The details of assignment 1 are as follows:

  • You should review just one research article. You may select the article you wish to review from any recognised journal in information systems such as MIS Quarterly, Information Systems Research, Journal of Management Information Systems, European Journal of Information Systems etc.
  • The article should use one or more of the research methods discussed in class i.e. action research, case study research, ethnographic research or grounded theory.
  • Your review should not exceed 3,000 words (approximately 12 double-spaced A4 pages including references).
  • Your review should have the following structure:
    • A cover sheet with your name, title, and student ID
    • An abstract of about 150 words that summarises your review
    • An introduction section
    • One or more main sections
    • A conclusion
    • A list of references in an appropriate format
    • All pages must be numbered
  • Your review should address issues such as:
    • The philosophical perspective, the theoretical framework, the research method used etc.
    • The topic and the research question(s) being addressed
    • How the data were analyzed
    • The appropriateness of the research method
    • The quality of research method used
    • The validity or plausibility of the results obtained and their usefulness
  • Send the assignment to the teaching assistant before the deadline of 6th August 2021.


Credit points

Doctoral students participating in the seminar can obtain 3 credit points. This requires participating on all sessions and completing the assignments.

Registration fee

This seminar is free-of-charge for Inforte.fi member organization's staff and their PhD students. For others the participation fee is 400 €. The participation fee includes access to the event and the event materials.