Leveraging Conceptual Models for Qualitative Research

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Rosenkranz, C., Seidel, S., & Simons, A. (2010). Leveraging Conceptual Models for Qualitative Research. Paper presented at the 5th International Conference on Qualitative Research in IT & IT in Qualitative Research (QualIT2010), Brisbane, Australia.

Publication type

Paper in Conference Proceedings


Qualitative research makes use of a variety of data sources. Case studies or grounded theory studies, for example, are not limited to interviews, observations, or questionnaires, but may also involve other data sources, such as publicly available information on websites, press-releases, audio visual materials, and many more. One widely available, but under-utilized, source of data appears to be conceptual models such as data models, software architectures, or business process models. While the Information Systems (IS) discipline is so much characterized by the design and usage of conceptual models in areas such as software development, business process analysis, or workflow management, the question remains how such data can be used in qualitative studies. As a response, this paper identifies and describes three modes of leveraging conceptual models for qualitative research, namely analyzing existent conceptual models, conceptual modeling as a data generation procedure, and conceptual models as a methodological tool in the process of data collection and analysis. Selected results from two case studies illustrate how conceptual models can be used by fellow researchers in their qualitative studies and provide the ground for discussing related methodological and philosophical issues.


Organizational Units

  • Institute of Information Systems
  • Chair of Information Systems and Innovation