In “Interpretive Case Studies in IS Research,” Walsham (1995) provides an overview of the interpretive approach to conducting case studies in Information Systems (IS) research. The author argues that the interpretive approach is particularly suited to studying complex and dynamic phenomena in IS contexts and provides a more nuanced understanding of these phenomena.
The paper begins by providing a brief history of case study research in the IS field and discusses the limitations of the traditional positivist approach. The author argues that the positivist approach tends to oversimplify complex phenomena and neglects the subjective experiences of individuals.
The interpretive approach, on the other hand, emphasizes the subjective experiences and meanings of individuals and recognizes the importance of context in shaping these experiences. The author provides a detailed description of the interpretive approach to case study research, including its theoretical foundations, research methods, and data analysis techniques.
The author emphasizes the importance of reflexivity in the interpretive approach, which involves critically examining the researcher’s assumptions and biases and acknowledging the potential impact of these factors on the research process and findings.
The paper provides several examples of how the interpretive approach has been applied in IS research, including the study of user participation in system development, the use of IT in healthcare, and the development of expert systems.
Overall, Walsham’s article provides a comprehensive overview of the interpretive approach to case study research in the IS field. The author argues that the interpretive approach provides a more nuanced understanding of complex phenomena and acknowledges the importance of context and subjective experiences in shaping these phenomena.