Theories and Methods in Information Systems

IS 541 for Master students (M.Sc. MMM, M.Sc. MMBR, M.Sc. Bus. Edu., M.Sc. Bus. Inf., M.Sc. Econ.)

Lecturer Prof. Dr. Hartmut Höhle
Course Format Lecture
Offering FSS
Credit Points 6 ECTS
Language English
Grading 30% presentation, 70% written term paper
Exam Date TBD
Registration Obligatory
Information for Students  

Course Information

  • Course Description

    This course provides students with an introduction to scientific research methods and theories in the field of information systems. Master students gain a broad overview of the strengths and weaknesses of different methods and theoretical perspectives. This overview prepares them for conducting own, bounded research projects (e.g., master theses) as a first step towards a scientific career. This course primarily targets students of the MMBR but is also open to students of the MMM and the Master in Business Informatics.

    In this course, students come to understand the importance of theory for organizing and cumulating knowledge as well as the importance of rigorous empirical methods to establish the validity of findings. The course covers publications in premier IS journals to exemplify and discuss procedures of qualitative, quantitative, and design-oriented research.

    The course is taught in a seminar style, requiring students to prepare readings for discussions in class. Attendance in classroom sessions is mandatory. Students are required to prepare textbook chapters and selected readings on IS research in advance of the course. A list of required readings is distributed after registration. In addition, students are assigned contemporary articles published in IS journals that must be evaluated based on the topics covered in the course and presented during classroom sessions. Each student finally writes a term paper of four to five pages on an assigned topic.


  • Learning Outcomes

    After completing the course, students

    • are able to prepare, plan, and execute own research endeavors (e.g., master thesis).
    • understand the relevance of methods and theories in meaningful research.
    • know quality criteria and corresponding means to improve research designs.
    • have gained an overview of most common methods and theories in IS research.