"The strengths of qualitative research methods lie in their usefulness for understanding the meaning and context of the phenomena studied, and the particular events and processes that make up these phenomena over time, in real-life, natural settings .When evaluating computer information systems, these contextual issues include social, cultural, organizational, and political concerns surrounding an information technology; the processes of information systems development, installation, and use (or lack of use); and how all these are conceptualized and perceived by the participants in the setting where the study is being conducted ."
(Bonnie Kaplan and Joseph A. Maxwell, p.31, 2005)
Kaplan, B. and J. Maxwell (2005). Qualitative Research Methods for Evaluating Computer Information Systems. Evaluating the Organizational Impact of Healthcare Information Systems. J. Anderson and C. Aydin. New York, Springer: 30-55.
"Hermeneutic theory is a member of the social subjectivist paradigm where meaning is inter-subjectively created, in contrast to the empirical universe of assumed scientific realism (Berthon et al. 2002). Other approaches within this paradigm are social phenomenology and ethnography. As part of the interpretative research family, hermeneutics focuses on the significance that an aspect of reality takes on for the people under study. Hermeneutics focuses on defining shared linguistic meaning for a representation or symbol.
In order to reach shared understanding as proposed in hermeneutic theory, subjects must have access to shared linguistic and interpretative resources (Marshall et al. 2001). However, hermeneutic theory also posits that linguistic meaning is likely open to infinite interpretation and reinterpretation due to the interpretative ambiguity coming from presuppositions, to the conditions of usage different from authorial intention, and to the evolution of words (Marshall et al. 2001).
Due to its interpretive nature, hermeneutics cannot be approached using a pre-determined set of criteria that is applied in a mechanical fashion (Klein et al. 1999). However, a meta-principal [sic], known as the hermeneutic circle, guides the hermeneutic approach where the process of understanding moves from parts of a whole to a global understanding of the whole and back to individual parts in an iterative manner (Klein et al. 1999). This meta-principal allows the development of a complex whole of shared meanings between subjects, or between researchers and their subjects (Klein et al. 1999).
Other co-existing principles that may help assure rigorous interpretive analysis involve: a) understanding the subject according to its social and historical context, b) assessing the historical social construction between the researcher and the subject, c) relating ideographic details to general theoretical concepts through abstraction and generalization, d) being sensitive to potential pre-conceptual theoretical contradictions between research design and actual findings, e) being aware of possible multiple interpretations among participants for a given sequence of events, and f) being conscious of potential biases or systematic distortions in the subject's narratives (Klein et al. 1999)."
(IS Theory, 15 November 2011, Information Systems PhD Preparation Program of the Marriott School of Management of Brigham Young University)
"IDEO Method Cards is a collection of 51 cards representing diverse ways that design teams can understand the people they are designing for. They are used to make a number of different methods accessible to all members of a design team, to explain how and when the methods are best used, and to demonstrate how they have been applied to real design projects.
IDEO's human factors specialists conceived the deck as a design research tool for its staff and clients, to be used by researchers, designers, and engineers to evaluate and select the empathic research methods that best inform specific design initiatives. The tool can be used in various ways - sorted, browsed, searched, spread out, pinned up - as both information and inspiration to human-centered design teams and individuals at various stages to support planning and execution of design programs.
Inspired by playing cards, the cards are classified as four suits - Ask, Watch, Learn, Try - that define the types of activities involved in using each method. Each approach is illustrated by a real-life example of how the method was applied to a specific project. As new methods are developed all the time, the deck will grow and evolve over time.
In its first year, the Method Cards appeared to have unexpected relevance to groups that are not necessarily engaged in design initiatives. Clients report using the tool to explore new approaches to problem-solving, gain perspective, inspire a team, turn a corner, try new approaches, and to adapt and develop their own methods."
"This episode features Alvin Toffler. He is an American writer and futurist, known for his works discussing the digital revolution, communications revolution, corporate revolution and technological singularity. A former associate editor of Fortune magazine, his early work focused on technology and its impact (through effects like information overload). Then he moved to examining the reaction of and changes in society. His later focus has been on the increasing power of 21st century military hardware, weapons and technology proliferation, and capitalism"
(Sciencedump, submitted by Jur on 30 October 2010)
Halperin, J. (2002). "Alvin Toffler - Futurist". Big Thinkers. USA, TechTV: 22 minutes [The Internet Movie Database, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0250841/fullcredits#cast].