Applegate, L. M., & King, J. L. (1999). Rigor and relevance: Careers on the line. MIS Quarterly, 23(1), 17-18.

Among what leaps out at me here is the problem of generalizability. Maybe Moore’s results would lack generalizability. But if every researcher looks at the situation that way and thus avoids such studies, no researchers will do case studies, and we’ll never get data from which we can generalize.

That problem sticks out because I can imagine my own dissertation topic running into the same objection. Concentrating on the implementation of information systems in South Dakota may not offer results that generalize to San Francisco, Germany, or Africa (then again, they might!). But we won’t know that until someone does the study.

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