Research Seminar: Methods and Theories in IS Research

  • Type: Seminar (S)
  • Chair: Information Systems & Service Design
  • Semester: SS 2017
  • Place: 05.20 1C-02
  • Time: 2017-05-01
    14:00 - 17:15 bi-weekly
    05.20 1C-02
  • Lecturer:

     Prof. Dr. Alexander Mädche

  • Lv-No.: 2540553

Lecture Description

The seminar “Methods and Theories in Information Systems Research” (ManTIS) is designed to provide students with an opportunity to build up basic theoretical and methodological skills needed to conceptualize, conduct, and communicate their own research. In doing so, ManTIS familiarizes students with the essential triad consisting of topic, methods, and theories. Hence, ManTIS is a seminar well suited to help students preparing themselves for an academic thesis in the IS discipline (e.g., Master or Doctoral Thesis).

To produce valid and reliable results it is important to have a sound understanding of theories and methods that explain social phenomena tackling questions of how technology is used and designed by humans in organizations. Theories provide the researcher a sound basis by summarizing current knowledge and allowing for a precise investigation and definition of their topic’s underlying phenomenon. Complementary to this, methods afford the student with the ability to produce reliable results which allow her/him to derive both meaningful and trustworthy conclusions. This way they can make sure that their results are not only interesting, but also scientifically valid.

To support students in their preparation for their theses, the seminar will introduce the most common methods used in business research by looking at examples from the IS discipline. This includes how to carry out a literature review as well as qualitative (e.g., case study research) and quantitative methods of empirical research. In addition, the concept of design research will be introduced.

Learning Objectives

The students get

  • ability to understand the relevance of methods and theories in meaningful research
  • overview of most common methods and theories used in IS research
  • ability to prepare and execute own research project (e.g., master thesis)
  • knowledge of the basic quality criteria for scientific research

Lecture Content

  • Foundations: Topic, Methods and Theories
  • Scientific Writing & Publishing
  • Literature Review
  • Qualitative Research
  • Quantitative Research
  • Design Research

Course Schedule

The following dates and locations are preliminary and subject to be changed. The final schedule will be announced soon!

Date Time Location Session Deliverable
May, 11th
2:00pm - 5:15pm 30.28, Seminarraum 2 Organizational Information -
Foundations and Theories


May, 18th
2:00pm - 5:15pm 05.20 1C-02 Foundations: Methods, Scientific Writing and Publishing -
Method I: Literature Review - Introduction -
June, 1st 
2:00pm - 5:15pm 05.20 1C-02 Method I: Literature Review - Reading-based Discussion Paper Review
Literature Review
Method II: Quantitative Methods - Introduction -
June, 22th
2:00pm - 5:15pm 05.20 1C-02 Method II: Quantitative Methods - Reading-based Discussion Paper Review
Quantitative Methods
Method III: Qualitative Methods - Introduction -
July, 13th 
2:00pm - 5:15pm 05.20 1C-02 Method III: Qualitative Methods - Reading-based Discussion Paper Review
Qualitative Methods
Method IV: Design Science Research - Introduction -
July, 27th
2:00pm - 5:15pm 05.20 1C-02 Method IV: Design Science Research - Reading-based Discussion Paper Review
Design Science Research
Q&A / Wrap Up

Course Requirements

This course is offered to all Master students enrolled in the Wirtschaftsingeneurwesen or Informationswirtschaft program of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). There are no prerequisites for attending this course.

PhD students are also allowed to attend the course. However, to prevent biases in the grading of students, PhD students are required to act as passive guest student. As there are limited seat for PhD students, please register by writing an email to .

Course Grading

The grading of the research seminar is based on the review deliverables (70%) and students' interactive discussions (30%) within the course.

Course Materials

Students will be provided with all necessary materials at the beginning of each session. Therefore the material will be uploaded in the ILIAS Portal. Readings are available through the university's electronic library resources. The reading material to be used in this class provides students with both content and background for the topics introduced and discussed in the course. Optional readings are introduced as part of the lecture and provide students with the opportunity to extend their understanding beyond the material discussed in class. These readings are also important references that can be used to justify methodological and theoretical choices in the students’ research projects (e.g., Master thesis). Further details for preparation will be provided to students in class.


For registration, submission of presentation materials, and organizational questions please contact .