This paper presents and illustrates how the approach proposed by Eisenhardt (1989) for building theories from intensive qualitative research, more precisely case study research, can help information systems and medical informatics researchers understand and explain the inherently dynamic nature of IT implementation. The approach, which adopts a positivist view of research, relies on past literature and empirical data as well as on the insights of the researcher to build incrementally more powerful theories. We describe in some detail how this methodology was applied in a particular case study on IT implementation in the health care context and how the use of this approach contributed to the discovery of a number of new perspectives and empirical insights. Furthermore, we provide insights into the many choices that a researcher must make when adopting this methodological approach. Overall, using Eisenhardt's approach as a starting point, our objective is to provide a rigorous, step-by-step methodology for using case studies to build theories within the information systems and medical informatics fields. We provide several insights to the nature of case research, information on and concrete examples of specific techniques and tools, and guidance on how to improve intensive case research.


Case Study Research, Positivist Research, Theory Building, Information System Implementation, and Medical Informatics.

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