The Research Design and Methodological Framework into the Study of the Adoption of Decision Support Systems by Knowledge Workers and Lesson Learned

Emmanuel M. Ikart


The method in which Information System (IS) research is conducted maybe considered in respect of the research philosophy undertaken, the research methodology utilized, and the research instruments employed in search of the research objective for a solution of the research problem. Depending on the objectives, research problems and research areas, IS research design and methodology vary considerably, yet basic approach towards IS research remains the same. Whereas the research design defines the structure and strategy for the study plus the tactical plan by which the study will be executed so as to bring empirical evidence to bear on the research problem, the methodology defines the scientific way of studying how the research is done scientifically. This paper presents the research design and methodology into the study of the adoption of Decision Support Systems (DSS) by Knowledge Workers. The paper also centered its discussion on the procedures through which the questionnaire was pilot tested and administered into a satisfactory response rate. Two extreme philosophies namely; positivism and interpretivism were employed as rationale choices of epistemology. The lessons learnt were remarkable. The pilot study ensured that appropriate language was used for scale items and the questionnaire was meaningful and comprehensive. The study underscores key factors influencing the response rate to mail surveys namely; incentives, survey design quality, use of reliable and valid instruments, addressing issues of instrument rigor, timing and administration of survey. The paper makes useful contributions to social sciences research.

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