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**Research Methods in MIS**

Dr. Deepak Khazanchi

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**Steps in The Research Process**

Review Research Ethics Theory Formulation Concepts, Constructs, Variables, and Relationships

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**The Building Blocks of Theory**

Concepts Constructs Definitions Variables Propositions and Hypotheses Theories Models

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**Understanding Concepts**

A concept is a bundle of meanings or characteristics associated with certain events, objects, conditions, situations, and behaviors Concepts have been developed over time through shared usage

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**Understanding Concepts**

The success of research hinges on: how clearly we conceptualize how well others understand the concepts we use

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What is a Construct? An image or idea specifically invented for a given research and/or theory-building purpose

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What is a Variable? A factor, phenomenon or characteristic that has more than one value or category, either quantitative or qualitative. If a characteristic has only one value, it is a constant, not a variable. Identifying Variables User Information Satisfaction, Color of Monitor, Number of Units Sold, Decision Quality, Computer Abuse, Ease of Use, Attitude towards Usage, Decision Making Satisfaction, End User Computing Satisfaction, Task-Technology Fit

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**Types of Variables Dependent**

The outcome, effect, consequence or output of some input variable. The research problem often comes about by considering the dependent variable.

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**Types of Variables (cont’d)**

Independent The input or antecedent variable Presumed cause of the dependent variable Manipulated, measured or selected prior to measuring the outcome or dependent variable Independent/Dependent categorization is most useful in experimental research; however, even if one is looking for correlations, it is always useful to think in terms of independent and dependent variables

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**Types of Variables (cont’d)**

Moderating Another independent variable which is hypothesized to modify the relationship between the dependent and independent variable E.g., Demographic variables such as age, experience Extraneous/Control Infinite number of such variables that might conceivably affect a given relationship These variables are generally Controlled (“effects cancelled out”) by eliminating the variable, holding the variable constant or using statistical methods.

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**Types of Variables (cont’d**

Intervening A variable which is hypothesized to exist but cannot be observed, measured or manipulated; It is presumed to occur to explain the relationship between the independent and dependent variable

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**Variables: Operational Definitions**

A statement which defines a variable by specifying the operations used to measure and manipulate it. Vs. Conceptual definitions (more dictionary like) Variable in research Problem: Computer usage Labeling the variable: Attitudes towards computer usage Operational Definition: An individual’s score on the attitudes towards computer usage instrument

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**Describing the Theoretical Framework for your Research**

Important foundation for a research project and requires: identifying and operationally defining all variables Establishing logical relationships among variables Explaining the basis and potential direction of the relationships Must be solidly grounded in literature survey (a priori research) A diagrammatic model of the variables of interest and their relationship

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**The Value of a Theory Narrows the range of facts we need to study**

Suggests which research approaches will yield the greatest meaning Summarizes what is known about an object of study Predicts further facts that should be found

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