TJTJ7704 Information Systems Research (3 cr)

Study level:
Postgraduate studies
Grading scale:
Pass - fail
Responsible organisation:
Faculty of Information Technology
Curriculum periods:
2020-2021, 2021-2022, 2022-2023, 2023-2024

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Information Systems Research


Course Description

This course focuses on information systems (IS) research and the nature of the discipline. Students will start by looking at the nature of the field. This is then followed by a critical examination and evaluation of contemporary IS research on a variety of topics, including ontology and epistemology. The idea is to give you a broad understanding of how design and conduct your own PhD research in the IS field.

Goals of the Course

The academic goal of most graduate students in the medium term is to complete a unique research project, namely their PhD dissertation. Therefore, the doctoral programme in the IS is designed to prepare students for doing research. A basic grounding in the concepts underlying research in the discipline is essential if students are to succeed in completing the doctoral programme.

This course is designed to introduce doctoral students to IS research in general, but specifically to ontological and epistemological issues related to research design. In addition, students need to understand the nature of IS as a discipline and current research issues and themes.

Learning outcomes

1) The student will have a good knowledge and understanding of how research within the field of information systems is conducted

2) The student will gain competence in critiquing IS research articles published in some of the leading academic journals and conference proceedings

3) The student will have a good knowledge and understanding of ontological and epistemological issues related to information systems research and can apply these to their own PhD research proposal

4) The student will gain competence in critical thinking, and analysis and synthesis of academic sources

Additional information

No lectures will be given. The course is offered as an independent study and materials are available in the Moodle site for the course.

The course will use online only class workshop format, it is organized as an independent study course, and not as a series of lectures. Please also refer to the additional handouts about the University’s policy on plagiarism. In this course, we will use, a software application, to assess your written work. The outcome of this assessment will be taken into consideration for your final grade in the course.


Online Take Home Exam 100%

Assessment detail

The purpose of the take home exam is to familiarize the doctoral students to a wider range of knowledge in the area of information systems research, which has been covered in class. The extended reading list is provided in the appendix of this course outline. The exam will be ‘take home’ exam and it will assess how well the students have understood the given material and how they can apply the theories and concepts for a given research problem or objective. Instructions for the submission deadline etc. will be given separately during the course.

The take home exam is available in Moodle course site and it can be submitted throughout the academic year. There is no specific deadline for submission.

Description of prerequisites

It is advisable for students to have completed the research methods courses (TJTJ7701-3) and/or in the process of completing the course (ITKJ1000) before enrolling to this course. TJTJ7704 is a substantive overview of research in information systems, not a research methods course. Students should also be enrolled to TJTJ7700 Postgraduate Seminar (or have completed it) during the academic year when taking TJTJ7704.

Study materials

Learning Resources

There is no textbook as such for this course, since most of the readings are taken from IS journals and conference proceedings. The reading package is provided in the Moodle site for the students (cf. Appendix). However, students are expected to read more widely including additional articles from any recognized journal in IS. Many useful citations can also be obtained from the AIS Digital Library, the ACM Digital Library, and other bibliographic databases such as ABI/Inform, Science Direct or the Emerald Library. Many of these libraries and databases are available online from the University of Jyväskylä Library at (usually you are required to login from outside of the university network). Additional citations and resources can be found in the ISWorld Section on Research and Scholarship at

Note: You are being provided with copies of copyright materials made for educational purposes. These include extracts of copyright works copied under copyright licenses. You may not make these materials available to other persons, nor make a further copy for any other purpose. Failure to comply with the terms of this warning may expose you to legal action by a rights owner and/or disciplinary action by the University.

Reading Package

1) Baskerville RL and Myers MD (2002), Information Systems as a Reference Discipline, MIS Quarterly, 26 (1), 1-14

2) Cole R, Purao S, Rossi M, and Sein M (2005), Being Proactive: Where Action Research Meets Design Research, ICIS 2005 Proceedings (2005), Paper 27

3) Dyer WG and Wilkins AL, (1991), Better Stories, Not Better Constructs, to Generate Better Theory: A Rejoinder to Eisenhardt, The Academy of Management Review, 16 (3), 613-619

4) Easton G (2010), Critical realism in case study research, Industrial Marketing Management, 39 (1), January 2010, 118–128

5) Eisenhardt KM (1989), Building Theories from Case Study Research, The Academy of Management Review, 14 (4), 532-550

6) Eisenhardt KM (1991), Better Stories and Better Constructs: The Case for Rigor and Comparative Logic, The Academy of Management Review, 16 (3), 620-627

7) Freeze R and Raschke RL, An Assessment of Formative and Reflective Constructs in IS Research, (2007). ECIS 2007 Proceedings. Paper 171.

8) Germonprez M, Hovorka D, and Gal U, (2011) Secondary Design: A Case of Behavioral Design Science Research, JAIS, 12 (10), 662-683.

9) Gregor S and Hevner AR, (2013), Positioning And Presenting Design Science Research For Maximum Impact, MIS Quarterly, 37 (2), 337-355

10) Gregor, S. and Jones D., “The Anatomy of a Design Theory”, Journal of the AIS (8:5), May 2007, pp. 312-335.

11) Hevner AR, March ST, Park J, and Ram S (2004) Design Science In Information Systems Research, MIS Quarterly, 28 (1), 75-105

12) Hughes J and Jones S (2003), Reflections on the Use of Grounded Theory in Interpretive Information Systems Research, (2003). ECIS 2003 Proceedings. Paper 62.

13) Klein HK and Myers MD (1999), A Set Of Principles For Conducting And Evaluating Interpretive Field Studies In Information Systems, MIS Quarterly, 23 (1), 67-93

14) Lee AS (1989) A Scientific Methodology for MIS Case Studies, MIS Quarterly. Mar89, Vol. 13 Issue 1, p33-50

15) MacKenzie SB, Podsakoff PM and Podsakoff NP, (2011), Construct Measurement And Validation Procedures In MIS And Behavioral Research: Integrating New And Existing Techniques, MIS Quarterly. Jun2011, Vol. 35 Issue 2, p293-A5

16) Maxwell JA (1992) Understanding and Validity in Qualitative Research. Harvard Educational Review; Fall 1992; 62, 3

17) Myers MD (1997) Qualitative Research in Information Systems, MIS Quarterly, 21 (2), 241-242

18) Myers MD and Newman M, 2007, The qualitative interview in IS research: Examining the craft, Information and Organization Volume 17, Issue 1, 2007, Pages 2–26

19) Peffers, K., Tuunanen T., Rothenberger M.A., and Chatterjee S., “A Design Science Research Methodology for Information Systems Research”, Journal of Management Information Systems (24:3), Winter 2007-8, pp. 45-77.

20) Petter S, Straub D, and Rai A (2007), Specifying Formative Constructs In Information Systems Research, MIS Quarterly, 31 (4), 623-656

21) Schultzea U and Avital M, 2011, Designing interviews to generate rich data for information systems research, Information and Organization Volume 21, Issue 1, January 2011, Pages 1–16

22) Sein MK, Henfridsson O, Purao S, Rossi M, and Lindgren R, (2011), Action Design Research, MIS Quarterly, 35 (1), 37-56

23) Siponen M and Vance A (2014) Guidelines for improving the contextual relevance of field surveys: the case of information security policy violations, EJIS, 2014, 1-17

24) Straub DW (1989), Validating Instruments in MIS Research, MIS Quarterly. Jun89, Vol. 13 Issue 2, p147-169

25) Truex D, Holmström J and Keil M (2006), Theorizing in information systems research: A reflexive analysis of the adaptation of theory in information systems research, Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 7 (12), Article 33

26) Urquhart C (2010), Putting The ‘Theory’ Back Into Grounded Theory: Guidelines For Grounded Theory Studies In Information Systems, Information Systems Journal. Jul2010, 20 (4), p357-381

27) 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 (3), 224-236

28) Walls JG, Widmeyer GR and El Sawy OA, (1992) Building an Information System Design Theory for Vigilant EIS, Information Systems Research, 3(1), 36-59

29) Walsham G, 1995, Interpretive case studies in IS research: nature and method, European Journal of Information Systems (1995) 4, 74–81

Completion methods

Method 1

Select all marked parts
Parts of the completion methods

Participation in teaching (3 cr)

Participation in teaching
Grading scale:
Pass - fail