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Craig McDonald © UC 2005 Business Informatics Case Studies: Doing a Case Study.

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Presentation on theme: "Craig McDonald © UC 2005 Business Informatics Case Studies: Doing a Case Study."— Presentation transcript:

1 Craig McDonald © UC 2005 Business Informatics Case Studies: Doing a Case Study

2 Craig McDonald © UC 2005 Informatics is a broad field of study that considers the nature information (in its various forms including and data and articulated knowledge). Informatics examines the use of information by humans to achieve various ends; the technologies of its management (how it is created, stored, processed, communicated and mobilised), the issues it raises (validity, privacy, IP) and the repercussions of information for people, organisations and society. What is Informatics ?

3 Craig McDonald © UC 2005 As an area of study, Informatics has both applied and basic aspects. Applied Informatics examines the topics in relation to a particular knowledge domain. Health Informatics is the most advanced of the applied informatics disciplines. Health informatics examines topics from the GP looking after patient records to expert systems for diagnosis, remote medicine, to medical research. Business Informatics examines the use of ICT in organisations. What is Business Informatics ?

4 Craig McDonald © UC 2005 What is a Case Study ? A ‘Case’ is a single, specific situation to be examined: a legal case “the case of the Crown verses McDonald” an occurrence of something "but there is always the famous case of the Smiths" a special set of circumstances "it may rain in which case the picnic will be cancelled" a problem requiring investigation "Perry Mason solved the case of the missing heir" A ‘study’ is the disciplined gathering and assessment of evidence to produce reliable, usable pattern or theory.

5 Craig McDonald © UC 2005 What is a ‘Pattern or Theory’? A Theory is a structure of concepts and relationships that can be applied to a case. “theory that gravitation (agent concept) causes (relationship) objects (concept) to fall” It can be used to: Explain an event, Predict the outcome of a proposed action. It can be built, tested, discarded, …. based on evidence It can be tested in a case study, or built by it. Unlike experiments or surveys, case studies are situated

6 Craig McDonald © UC Case Study or Consultancy?

7 Craig McDonald © UC 2005 “Action research aims to contribute both to the practical concerns of people in an immediate problematic situation and to the goals of social science by joint collaboration within a mutually acceptable ethical framework (Rapoport, 1970, p. 499). “Rapoport, 1970 (http://www.qual.auckland.ac.nz/) Investigators try to: 1. fulfill the needs of their study subjects and, 2. generate new knowledge. As such, IS action researchers have to serve two masters: their immediate research clients, who directly benefit from the research while it is being conducted, and the IS academic community in general. Case Study as Research

8 Craig McDonald © UC “Generalize Accordingly… General statements cannot be made on the basis of the number of observations (a statistical notion), but rather on a representative sample of one. Generalities must be tempered with an interpretation of the extent of similar settings to which the theory can be expected to apply.” Generalisation

9 Craig McDonald © UC 2005 If the researcher does not have close ties with at least one organization, it is often hard to gain access to a site where the researcher can act as an agent of change. The amount of time that has to be committed by the researcher is very large compared with other research approaches. And how do you manage open-ended methods ? If the research is funded by an organization, conflicts of interest may detract from the credibility of reported findings. The high involvement of the researcher with the study subjects can influence their perceptions and actions and therefore bias research findings. Research projects may take too long to be completed, which may hinder the adoption of the research approach by doctoral students, particularly in programs that follow the American model. Danger of Cancellation In spite of their likely relevance to practitioners, it is hard to publish research results in top IS journals. Case Study : Cons & Pros

10 Craig McDonald © UC 2005 The high involvement of the researcher with the research subjects allows for access to rich and in-depth research data. Since the topic of the research is partly selected by the client (e.g. a company in a specific industry), its findings are likely to be of high relevance to at least a section of the practitioner community (e.g. the immediate research client and other companies in the same industry). The real world orientation of the approach offers a singular opportunity to recruit part-time doctoral students who hold positions in organizations facing a problem whose solution can lead to relevant research findings. The problem-solving orientation of the research increases chances of obtaining research funding. Case Study : Cons & Pros

11 Craig McDonald © UC 2005 How do I conduct a Case Study? Approach 1. “Grounded” Go with little idea of what will result – let the ideas arise from the experience. Approach 2. “theory-driven” Go with a theory to test. Approach 3. “Thematic” (blend of 1 & 2) Go with a theme in mind, and some concepts, but not a theory.

12 Craig McDonald © UC 2005 Preparation for a Case Study Strategy : why do you want to engage? is a case study appropriate ? is the organisation suitable ? what will you do with the results ? Planning: negotiate with the boss (what are her interests?) confidentiality & access culture

13 Craig McDonald © UC 2005 Evidence Collection Review of documents records artefacts Interviews structured, unstructured qualitative, quantitative focus groups Observation Participation Iterate, test the evidence, keep a log of developing ideas be alert to your own interference with the evidence (CSI)

14 Craig McDonald © UC 2005 Analysis & Presentation What is the ‘structure of concepts and relationships’ that emerge from the case study ? Test it against the evidence for: Construct Validity Categorical Analysis Internal Validity cross-referenced evidence, triangulation External Validity auditable, repeatable? Write up & Present: to whom ? for what purpose ?

15 Craig McDonald © UC 2005 A Case : AusVit AusVit Objective : To achieve the transfer of scientific knowledge and industry best practice in a way that meets the management needs of the grower to improve efficiency, yield and quality while reducing environmental impact and the risk of crop loss.

16 Craig McDonald © UC 2005 Technology (knowledge) Transfer Applied Research user Education Extension scientific publication courses, graduates fact sheets, seminars

17 Craig McDonald © UC 2005 Technology (knowledge) Transfer Applied Research user Education Extension scientific publication courses, graduates fact sheets, seminars year 2 year 3 year 5 time

18 Craig McDonald © UC 2005 Technology (knowledge) Transfer Applied Research user Education Extension scientific publication courses, graduates fact sheets, seminars year 2 year 3 year 5 time 50% 10% 2% ? quantity

19 Craig McDonald © UC 2005 Technology (knowledge) Transfer Applied Research user Education Extension Expert System scientific publication courses, graduates fact sheets, seminars

20 Craig McDonald © UC 2005 AusVit and the Grower The Grower planning and review vineyard monitoring: weather, soil, pests and disease, vine development decision making on: water use, chemical application information and explanation AusVit supports : AusVit

21 Craig McDonald © UC 2005 The Science AusVit and the Science AusVit CRCV program 3 CRCV program 4 Published Literature The Grower

22 Craig McDonald © UC 2005 Wineries Grower Groups Extension Officers Chemical Companies The Science The Industry AusVit: Grower, Science & Industry AusVit CRCV program 3 CRCV program 4 Published Literature The Grower

23 Craig McDonald © UC 2005 AusVit Architecture weather monitor field observations: (eg. pestcounts) field actions: (eg. sprays) water monitor databases: vineyard profile action chemicals AusVit expert rule bases: pest management cultivar susceptibility simulations: pest & disease models vineyard profile: variety, aspect, soil, grape use User irrigation

24 Craig McDonald © UC 2005 AusVit Architecture weather monitor field observations: (eg. pestcounts) field actions: (eg. sprays) water monitor databases: vineyard profile action chemicals AusVit expert rule bases: pest management cultivar susceptibility simulations: pest & disease models vineyard profile: variety, aspect, soil, grape use User irrigation

25 Craig McDonald © UC 2005 AusVit Components

26 Craig McDonald © UC 2005 AusVit Components

27 Craig McDonald © UC 2005 AusVit Components

28 Craig McDonald © UC 2005 AusVit Components

29 Craig McDonald © UC 2005 AusVit Components

30 Craig McDonald © UC 2005 AusVit Development and Status 1990 AusVit defined as part of the CRC for Viticulture 1991/3 Knowledge Engineering starts - Level 5 Object 1993 Specification and programing starts 1994/5 First prototype trialed 1995/6 Second prototype trialed 1996/7Chemical Database and spray components released Full commercial release for the 1997/8 growing season 1998/9Maintenance & enhancement Developed with professional level Quality Assurance measures

31 Craig McDonald © UC 2005 AusVit Preliminary Evaluation Sales : Currently ~450 in all grape growing areas. Many evaluation and educational copies. Used in Integrated pest management workshops Presented in grower group seminars & workshops Featured in Bug Match & Grapes CDROM Articles in Industry and Academic journals Used in University & TAFE courses AusVit has helped in : Refinement of domain experts knowledge Transfer of expertise to growers Coordination between local and international researchers

32 Craig McDonald © UC 2005 Current Enhancements Additional Decision Support Modules : Canopy and vineyard floor management Financial Management WWW Information Service Transparent Simulations for Scientific Models Fuzzy logic Grower Community / Enterprise Architecture GIS integration Knowledge Management

33 Craig McDonald © UC 2005 AusVit The LiteratureThe Users From Decision Support to Knowledge Management The KMS Knowledge Bases Meta Knowledge Base Paper 1

34 Craig McDonald © UC 2005 AusVit The LiteratureThe Users From Decision Support to Knowledge Management The KMS Knowledge Bases Meta Knowledge Base Education Interface Paper 1

35 Craig McDonald © UC 2005 AusVit The LiteratureThe Users From Decision Support to Knowledge Management The KMS Knowledge Bases Meta Knowledge Base Research Support Education Interface Paper 1

36 Craig McDonald © UC 2005 AusVit The LiteratureThe Users From Decision Support to Knowledge Management The KMS Knowledge Bases Meta Knowledge Base Research Management Research Support Education Interface Paper 1

37 Craig McDonald © UC 2005 Case Study Exercise What Case Study might you do on AusVit ? How might you organise it ?


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