Rethinking the value of simulation methods in the information systems research field : a call for reconstructing contribution for a broader audience

Zhang, Meng & Gable, Guy G. (2014) Rethinking the value of simulation methods in the information systems research field : a call for reconstructing contribution for a broader audience. In International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS 2014), 14 - 17 December 2014, Auckland, New Zealand.


The impact of simulation methods for social research in the Information Systems (IS) research field remains low. A concern is our field is inadequately leveraging the unique strengths of simulation methods. Although this low impact is frequently attributed to methodological complexity, we offer an alternative explanation – the poor construction of research value. We argue a more intuitive value construction, better connected to the knowledge base, will facilitate increased value and broader appreciation. Meta-analysis of studies published in IS journals over the last decade evidences the low impact. To facilitate value construction, we synthesize four common types of simulation research contribution: Analyzer, Tester, Descriptor, and Theorizer. To illustrate, we employ the proposed typology to describe how each type of value is structured in simulation research and connect each type to instances from IS literature, thereby making these value types and their construction visible and readily accessible to the general IS community.

Impact and interest:

3 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 79287
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Simulation methods, simulation in social sciences, research contribution, construction of knowledge, style of presentation
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > INFORMATION SYSTEMS (080600)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Information Systems
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Past > Schools > School of Information Systems
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 [please consult the authors]
Deposited On: 07 Dec 2014 23:30
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2014 14:10

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