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IfG.Research - Research Methods

The interdisciplinary nature of the field of eGovernment means that diverse research methods must be applied to be able to acquire new knowledge. IfG.Research is interested in new "e-phenomena" and their transformational effects. These phenomena and effects can be better explained, understood and even shaped through the use of different methodical research approaches. These theories and methodical approaches are used more to further develop the field of eGovernment, rather than to develop abstract theories themselves.

In addition to conventional social-scientific research methods a special focus is placed on design thinking research which addresses information systems in the context of institutional change requirements. This research does not involve merely prescription, but is rather an analytic-reflective approach which also considers framework and implementation conditions.

Action research with which theory-based concepts and methods are employed in practical situations to solve concrete problems, also plays an important role. The close connection between implementation and research which arises during the course of action research helps create a mutual learning process between scientists and practitioners. Action research therefore differs fundamentally from the common social-scientific research approach, which is devoted primarily to explanation and the passive observation of the existing circumstances.

Another methodological approach is think tank research. It goes beyond current developments and seeks to design developmental paths which intentionally differ from existing ones. It is concerned with the identification and development of entirely new solutions and options in order to place and understand them in a holistic information society context.

IfG.Research continuously conducts worldwide monitoring of issues related to eGovernment, security, health, infrastructure, economic development and other issues. Information about current applications and impacts are evaluated on a daily basis for application at local level, or for transfer to other countries. Since the foundation of the IfG.research more then over 35,000 articles in German and English have been collected and have been read more than ten million times.


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