Taxonomy Development in Information Systems Research


Type of Course Seminar
Term Winter term 2020/21
Credits 4 ECTS
Responsible Instructors Prof. Robert C. Nickerson, PhD.
Dates and Times UniVZ
Teaching Format Online Sessions

Course and content:

Taxonomies play an important role in information systems research. By classifying objects in a domain into different categories, they allow researchers to focus on the similarities and differences among the objects. Such a focus leads not only to a better understanding of the objects but may also lead to new theories about the objects. Useful taxonomies, however, are not trivial to develop. Numerous research papers describe taxonomies but as Nickerson et al. (2013) point out in their analysis, many taxonomies are developed in an ad hoc manner leading to questions about their efficacy. A well-designed taxonomy development method is needed to provide support for the quality of the resulting taxonomy. Nickerson at al. (2013) present such a method. The purpose of this seminar is to describe taxonomies and related classification systems and to present the Nickerson et al. (2013) taxonomy development method, which we dub the NVM method for simplicity. Students will spend the first part of the seminar reviewing literature related to taxonomies and taxonomy development, including a thorough review of the NVM method and papers that use the method. Then they will develop a taxonomy for their domain of research using the NVM method and present the taxonomy to the seminar participants for critical review. The goal of the seminar is to develop a taxonomy which will serve as the basis for a paper describing the taxonomy in a form that is suitable for submission to a conference or a journal.

Additional information to this course can be found here: UniVZ