n South African Computer Journal - Generalizations from an interpretive study : the case of a South African community-based health information system : reviewed article

Volume 2007, Issue 38
  • ISSN : 1015-7999
  • E-ISSN: 2313-7835



This paper explores the making of generalizations from interpretive research by examining the process of developing a community-based information system (IS) in a rural area in South Africa. Lee and Baskerville's framework of four categories, and Walsham's four types, of generalizations form a framework that is used in this case study. Using the concept of the Ideal Speech Situation two empirical to theoretical generalizations are made: the reconceptualization of participation and the need to generate common ground in which free and open dialogue between those who use, and those who are affected by the IS, is made possible. The main argument of this paper, using the generalizations made from this single case study, is that generalizations from interpretive research can be made and that much valuable contribution in the IS field is lost because IS researchers fail to make these generalizations.

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