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The Use of Experimental Methods by IS Scholars: An Illustrated Typology

Résumé : This article aims at making an updated typology of recent experimental studies in the IS literature on the period 1999-2019. Based on a full-text search within the Association for Information Systems (AIS) “basket” of eight top IS journals (EJIS, ISR, JAIS, ISJ, JIT, JMIS, JSIS and MISQ), this research gathered 392 articles and highlights the use of 5 different types of experiments in IS, mainly: artificial simulations, laboratory experiments, field experiments, online experiments (scenario simulation game-based; brainstorming-based. . . ) and natural experiments. Each category is discussed through the perspective of its degree of control, and technological realism. Results show the significant predominance of laboratory experiments over field and natural experiments on the period. This, in turn, stresses the preferred tendency followed by IS scholars to perceive experimental methods as a way to control the source of variations of variables under study. In addition, this paper provides a better understanding of the context of use of a specific experimental method. Overall, it is shown that laboratory experiments (including scenario-based lab experiments) are mainly used, in a deterministic manner, to assess or test the impact of an IS on human decision-making or behaviour. By contrast, artificial simulations experiments are more appropriate to study emergent phenomena and to make predictions, often providing key insights about quality and effectiveness of IS.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-03036837
Contributor : Agnès Festré <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, December 2, 2020 - 7:26:37 PM
Last modification on : Monday, December 14, 2020 - 10:08:45 AM

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Marta Ballatore, Agnès Festré, Lise Arena. The Use of Experimental Methods by IS Scholars: An Illustrated Typology. 2020. ⟨halshs-03036837⟩

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