Ethnography, Grounded Theory and Systems Analysis


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Pros and cons of using holistic anthropological methods in systems analysis

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Ethnography, Grounded Theory and Systems Analysis

  1. 1. Ethnography, Grounded Theory and Systems Analysis Presented by Lyndsey Shaeffer Information Technology IAKM 60005 Spring 2005 Michael Sutton, Instructor
  2. 2. Outline <ul><li>What is Ethnography and Grounded Theory (GT)? </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits of using Ethnography/GT </li></ul><ul><li>Tools for using GT </li></ul><ul><li>Case Studies </li></ul><ul><li>How can GT benefit Systems Analysis? </li></ul><ul><li>Downside of using GT </li></ul>
  3. 3. Systems Development Life Cycle (Source: p 635, Turban et al)
  4. 4. Systems Analysis <ul><li>“ The phase of the Systems Development Life Cycle that develops a thorough understanding of the existing organization, its operation, and the situation that is causing a problem. Systems analysis methods include observation, review of documents, interviews and performance measurement.” </li></ul>(Source: p 636, Turban et al)
  5. 5. Ethnography <ul><li>“ Ethnography is the base of social anthropology. A basic feature of the ethnographic method is direct, largely informal interaction with the people being studied so as to provide the opportunity to learn about their society and culture as naturally as possible.” </li></ul>(Source: p17, Kearney)
  6. 6. Grounded Theory (GT) <ul><li>Glaser and Strauss defined Grounded Theory in 1967 as a way to develop a theory from data rather than to gather data in order to test a theory or hypothesis. This means that qualitative methods are used to obtain data about a phenomenon and that a theory emerges from the data. Since this is qualitative research, the research problem is not stated precisely, or in terms of dependant or independent variables. The first description of Grounded Theory should be seen as a methodology for arriving at a grounded theory from data. The theory is grounded in the reality as represented in the data. </li></ul>(Source: p. 210 Goede and de Villiers)
  7. 7. Benefits of Grounded Theory <ul><li>GT is a holistic approach to analysis and enables the researcher to incorporate the “situatedness” of language within this broader framework by examining linguistic, extralinguistic, and contextual features </li></ul><ul><li>Ensures that researchers maintain an open mind toward engaging inquiry rather than attempting to simply impose previous taxonomies onto new data. </li></ul><ul><li>Theory is derived from what speakers actually do rather than what it is believed they should do </li></ul>(Source: Berlin)
  8. 8. Benefits of Grounded Theory <ul><li>The same concept-building stance as dialogue itself </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The grounded theorist examines transcripts in order to let them “speak” for themselves. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Initially descriptive, starts with a bottom-up approach to understanding language phenomena. </li></ul></ul>(Source: Berlin)
  9. 9. Creation of a Grounded Theory <ul><li>Any theory developed must have four properties </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It must closely fit the substantive area in which it will be used </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It must be readily understandable by laymen concerned with this area </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It must be sufficiently general to be applicable to a multitude of diverse daily situations within the substantive area, not to just a specific type of situation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Must allow the user partial control over the structure and process of daily situations as they change through time </li></ul></ul>(Source: p 237, Glaser and Strauss)
  10. 10. Sources of Data <ul><li>(In decreasing level of qualitativeness) </li></ul><ul><li>Participant Observation- Watching behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Key Informant Interviewing- Engaging in Dialog </li></ul><ul><li>Focus Groups- Observation and Dialog </li></ul><ul><li>Surveys- Guided Dialog </li></ul>(Source: McIntosh)
  11. 11. QSR Nvivo <ul><li>Documents - are the data that you analyze in your study </li></ul><ul><li>Nodes - are the places where you store ideas and categories </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Free nodes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tree Nodes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Case Nodes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Attributes - properties assigned to nodes or documents </li></ul><ul><ul><li>May be Boolean, numeric or string </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Document and Coding Bar
  13. 13. Nvivo Node Browser
  14. 14. Cumulative Coding in Nvivo
  15. 15. Case Study- Image Search <ul><li>Preliminary study to make recommendations for improving Google’s image search </li></ul><ul><li>Used text of “Ask an Expert” questions that submitted in the Visual Arts category </li></ul><ul><li>Queries coded to characterize types of details users offered </li></ul>(Source: p 47, Cunningham et al)
  16. 16. Case Study- Image Search (Source: p 48, Cunningham et al)
  17. 17. Case Study- Image Search (Source: p 48, Cunningham et al)
  18. 18. Case Study- Designing for the RV Tribe <ul><li>Problem- human factors study and industrial design overhaul of motor homes </li></ul><ul><li>Two anthropologists went on the road with the firm’s current RV model </li></ul><ul><li>Lived on the RV circuit for 6 months </li></ul><ul><li>Took notes, pictures, videos and conducted interviews </li></ul>(Source: p 5, Squires and Byrne)
  19. 19. Case Study- Designing for the RV Tribe <ul><li>Converted all gathered data into conceptual categories </li></ul><ul><li>Created new space plans and subsystem features that RV manufacturer implemented </li></ul><ul><li>New model became so popular manufacturer scaled back on production of other models to meet demand for new model </li></ul>(Source: p 5, Squires and Byrne)
  20. 20. Benefits to Using a GT approach in Systems Analysis <ul><li>Documents existing organization </li></ul><ul><li>Shows how system is being used in the field </li></ul><ul><li>Can offer solutions derived from gathered data </li></ul><ul><li>Can help identify information requirements and entity-relationships (stage 3 of SDLC) </li></ul>
  21. 21. Possible Problems When Using Grounded Theory <ul><li>Pre-understanding </li></ul><ul><li>Everyday Knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Disassociation from Context </li></ul><ul><li>Coding Procedure </li></ul>(Source: Selden)
  22. 22. Sources <ul><li>Cunningham, Bainbridge and Masoodian. </li></ul><ul><li>How People Describe Their Image Information Needs: A Grounded Theory Analysis of Visual Arts Queries. </li></ul><ul><li>International Conference on Digital Libraries archive Proceedings of the 4th ACM/IEEE-CS joint conference on Digitalibraries. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Glaser, Strauss. </li></ul><ul><li>The Discovery of Grounded Theory: strategies for Qualitative Research. </li></ul><ul><li>Aldine Publishing. Chicago, 1967 </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Goede and De Villiers </li></ul><ul><li>The applicability of grounded theory as research methodology in studies on the use of methodologies in IS practices </li></ul><ul><li>ACM International Conference Proceeding Series archive </li></ul><ul><li>Proceedings of the 2003 annual research conference of the South African institute of computer scientists and information technologists on Enablement through technology, 208 - 217, 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Kearney, Michael </li></ul><ul><li>Changing fields of anthropology : from local to global </li></ul><ul><li>Lanham, MD : Rowman & Littlefield, 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Lawrence N. Berlin </li></ul><ul><li>Grounded theory and its benefits for dialogue analysis </li></ul><ul><li>International Association for Dialog Analysis 2004 Conference </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  23. 23. Sources <ul><li>McIntosh </li></ul><ul><li>Qualitative Basis of Survey Research </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Seldén Lars. </li></ul><ul><li>On Grounded Theory- With Malice. </li></ul><ul><li>Journal of Documentation, January 2005, vol. 61, no. 1, pp. 114-129 </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Squires and Byrne. </li></ul><ul><li>Creating Breakthrough Ideas: The Collaboration of Anthropologists and Designers in the Product Development Industry. </li></ul><ul><li>Bergin and Garvey, 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Turban, McLearn and Wetherbe. </li></ul><ul><li>Information Technology for Management: transforming Organizations in the Digital Economy </li></ul><ul><li>New York, Wiley, 2004 </li></ul>