Course Title: Information Systems Research Methods

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Information Systems Research Methods

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


620H Business IT and Logistics


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 2 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011


Singapore Inst of Management


620H Business IT and Logistics


Offsh 2 09,
Offsh1 11,
Offsh1 13

Course Coordinator: Vass Karpathiou

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 5797

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

You are required to be able to demonstrate the ability to comprehend and communicate information in accurate, clear, concise and coherent English. In addition, students are required to have the ability to analyse a given research question or problem relating to information systems research and to be independent and self-directed learners.

To best apply and use the elements of investigative research as it relates to the impact of IT on business, you need to have an understanding of the complex nature of business, an appreciation of the role of information and communication technology (ICTs) in business, and the importance of the impact of these new technologies, as well as basic statistical tools and techniques.

Course Description

Information Systems Research Methods seeks engage students in exploration of a research topic, issue, or problem in a business environment with an emphasis on ICTs and to report the outcomes of this investigation. Students will learn how to frame a suitable business research question, conduct a literature survey, and select appropriate research methods to answer their research questions, and to collect and analyze data. Emphasis will be placed on reviewing a range of information systems research projects.

Likewise, attention will be paid to learning how to evaluate the validity and reliability of published research and considering what the ramifications of research are for business practice.

Students will participate in a case study evaluation of recent research. This participation involves assessment of research and drawing conclusions for business practice.

At the end of the course, students should be able to assess information systems research, produce a well-developed research proposal, and manage a research project effectively.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Successful completion of this course indicates that you have developed the following capabilities:

Information Systems Research Methods Skills

  • Develop skills to investigate, choose develop and refine a focused business research topic into a draft research proposal. Appraise the major approaches to information systems research and the experimental methods’ choices that need to be made.
  • Review the veracity of existing research and act on these assessments in a business setting.
  • Assemble a state-of-the-art review from relevant literature.
  • Understand the qualitative and quantitative approaches to research.
  • Appraise ethical issues involved in the various stages of information systems research.
  • Understand how to manage a business related research project.
  • Improve their academic writing skills.

Research and analytical skills
You should be able to learn basic research methods for business. You will be required to integrate work and life experiences in completing this course. This will require you to consolidate your research skills by identifying, organizing and managing information as it relates to information technology, determine the importance of ICTs in information systems research for business, their impact on the given task, analysze and reason logically to interpret business research findings. You should also be able to develop the capacity to reflect on your learning and understand the implications of your actions.

Problem solving and analytical skills
You should be able to consolidate your problem solving skills that you have developed throughout your program in the analysis of business activities that identify problems, draw on your emerging cross-disciplinary knowledge to reason logically and to develop plans for action. You should also need to understand the implications of your decisions and their impact on quality performance outcomes.

Communication skills
Both written and verbal communication skills will be consolidated in this course in both the tutorial-class activities and assessment tasks.

Interpersonal Skills
Your ability to present, discuss and defend your views, together with effective listening will be consolidated in both the tutorial-class which include a research-group-work environment.

Collaboration in an effective team environment
Your ability to effectively contribute to the success of immediate collaborative interaction (face-to-face) and virtual teams using existing research data to consolidate your capacity to negotiate, be flexible in your thinking and understand the practice of group dynamics.

Capacity to operate independently
A major contribution to your tutorial-class team performance will rely on you developing and then utilizing self-management skills.

Learning Outcomes: You should be able to

  • Develop an understanding of basic information systems research methods to become an informed consumer of business research. Evaluate the impact of existing information systems research in a business environment.
  • Classify existing research findings for their practical business value.
  • Critically evaluate information systems research methods in a range of published journal articles.
  • Apply concepts of experimental research methods to business scenarios.
  • Analyze the published articles supplied for the course, and write a report as a hypothetical case study that transfers your understanding of professional practice in information systems research methods.
  • Demonstrate your understanding of information systems research methods.
  • Identify a significant operational issue in a business setting that needs investigation.
  • Develop a research proposal drawing on a small operational issue that you have identified and researched for current
  • practice, which considers the research problem to be solved.
  • Justify your chosen research design for the research proposal, explaining procedures for data collection, proposed data analysis, and limitations of your proposed study.
  • Specify the research outcomes for your proposed study, and supply an appropriate set of supportive published literature.

Overview of Learning Activities

The course consists of a mix of lectures and  and tutorial-class activities. The tutorial-class will comprise activities to enable you to review the structure, content, and format of your assessment tasks and the write up of your assignments.

In your tutorial-class, you will form teams. Each team will be responsible for analysis of specific problems on a weekly and then extended basis. In class, each team will work in relation to other teams and use the tutorial class setting to work on problems. The class will also enable students to work in discussions on information systems research to mirror best practice in business settings. All developing research projects will be reported verbally and in writing and will involve the use of ICT tools as solutions to reporting. You will also utilize appropriate technology to gather and analyze data and information.

Overview of Learning Resources

Students are required to purchase the prescribed text as it will be used starting from week 1.

In addition, students will need to review:

  • Prescribed text.
  • Lecture notes accessed through the RMIT online learning hub found at
  • Use search engines and periodical indexes to locate relevant sources of evidence for their major assignments.

Although our course guide offers some starting points; additional suggested readings will be mentioned in tutorial-classes. Students, however, are expected to search widely for evaluation materials relevant to the aspects and contexts of the particular information systems that they have opted to assess. In particular, students should pay attention to research literature accessed through periodical indexes.

Overview of Assessment

The assessment for this course may consist of a combination of tutorial-class group work, report writing, oral presentations, virtual report writing and personal reflection. Both independent learning and collaborative group work in tutorial-class is considered as assessable activities. This breadth of assessment provides an opportunity for you to demonstrate your knowledge and the development of the capabilities detailed above.