Historical development of research methods in the information systems discipline

René Riedl, David Christoph Rückel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingsConference contributionpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, we report on an investigation that integrated the results from twenty meta-studies on research methods as identified by a thorough literature review. By conducting this investigation, we seek to reconstruct the historical development of research methods in the Information Systems (IS) discipline. Major results of the investigation are: Only the classical empirical methods (survey, case study, laboratory experiment, and field experiment) have been the subject of intensive discussion. Survey, case study, and laboratory experiment demonstrate an upward tendency in their historical development during the past forty years (1968-2006), whereas the field experiment does not. The investigation reveals an average adoption rate of 24 percent for the survey, 13 percent for the case study, 10 percent for the laboratory experiment, and 3 percent for the field experiment. Finally, we have not observed radical methodological changes in the IS discipline. Key findings and their implications for the future development of the IS discipline are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication17th Americas Conference on Information Systems 2011, AMCIS 2011
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems (AIS)
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9781618390981
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventAmericas Conference on Information Systems - Detroit, United States
Duration: 4 Aug 20117 Aug 2011

Publication series

Name17th Americas Conference on Information Systems 2011, AMCIS 2011


ConferenceAmericas Conference on Information Systems
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Case study
  • Empirical research
  • Field experiment
  • Laboratory experiment
  • NeuroIS
  • Research method
  • Survey


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