Practical interests in theoretical consideration: Constructive methods in the study of the implementation of information systems

Raimo Hyötyläinen

Research output: Book/ReportReport

1 Citation (Scopus)


In this study, we are focusing on the practical interest in the formation of a theory. The basic issue is the relationship between practical development and research, and possibility of transcending that relationship. This dividing line can be seen to concern a knowledge and usage problem in science, which is acknowledged as a central question for theoretical consideration and practical research work. The issue is viewed from the methodological aspects of research and information acquisition. The intent is to create theoretical, methodological and conceptual research models. The objective is to use various research approaches to show the possibilities of a research-aided development process as a constructive research approach in the planning and implementation of practical development solutions, as well as in the formation of new theoretical and conceptual knowledge. The goal is to develop such methodological concepts and models - as well as research methods - through which practical studies can be conducted in the area between research and practical development. The applications discussed are the planning, implementation and use of information systems and especially enterprise resource planning systems (ERP). The research task must be approached by means of theoretical analysis, which is focused on scientific research approaches and methods. The starting point of this study is founded on the same cornerstones as pragmatic philosophy and the concept of knowledge. To examine and create new models in this study, the following research approaches are discussed: positivism, interpretavism, action research and a constructive approach, as well as realist approaches. Through the analysis of these research approach methods, we will arrive at two scientific methods by means of which the relationship between research and practice can be aligned in a new manner. These are a constructive approach and a realist approach. Based on this, one can develop a research and development model in which a research-aided development process is central. With the help of this model, one can emphasize the link between research and practice, as well as the possibilities of transcending this link. The research-aided development model will be viewed separately as its own entity. As an application, we will analyze an experimental development study, as well as its methods and development cycle, which play a central role in the fusion of practical development work and research. As part of the treatment, the issues of research results and interpretation are considered. The study will shed light on the relationship between research and practical applications from the perspective of a real example. This example pertains to technical change with associated research and development designs as well as research methods. As a technical change application, we will analyze the implementation of information systems within an organization. In doing so, we will concentrate on the planning and implementation process of information systems. We will view the planning, implementation and use of enterprise resource planning systems using concept models and their relationships. With the help of concept models, we will delineate the planning and implementation process and its dimensions. Through this process, we will create an interaction and learning framework, including an analysis model, designed for the application of the enterprise resource planning system. For this, we will need the following concepts and models: a context model, a phase model of implementation, an implementation process model and activity model for implementation. In addition, we will analyze planning and implementation models for technical systems. Based on this, we will create a new concept, which consists of a use-oriented planning model. This model facilitates the learning and innovation processes associated with the planning, implementation and use of enterprise resource planning systems. Based on the analysis of the phenomena concerning the planning and implementation process of information systems, we will study and analyze the creation of a research design and of how to organize the associated information acquisition. In regard to the planning, implementation and use of the enterprise resource planning systems, we will determine a research object with associated conceptual research problems. The research subjects, with their associated research problems, define the focus of the study. However, the practical implementation of the research requires that the research problems be broken down into research questions for which the actual research will find answers. Furthermore, the research process includes the creation of a model framework for the concurrent development of enterprise resource planning and action methods, and this model's dimensions with associated factors must be defined. Within this framework, we must scrutinize the study's information acquisition methods as well as the scope of the development work. The central information acquisition method is development group work, which constitutes an essential part of research-aided development, as well as of experimental development research. Development group work is also a central method in the development process. Other information acquisition methods are interviews, questionnaires, document analysis, the use of various knowledge bases and the preparation of different types of studies, as well as literature and concept analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages164
ISBN (Electronic)951-38-6682-3
ISBN (Print)951-38-6681-5
Publication statusPublished - 2005
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

Publication series

SeriesVTT Publications


  • scientific research approaches
  • study models
  • interpretavism
  • action research
  • constructive model
  • realist approach
  • information systems
  • modelling
  • enterprise resource planning systems
  • theory formation
  • information acquisition methods
  • development methods


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