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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Testing Technology Transfer Hypotheses in GIS Environments Using a Case Study Approach (93-8)


In late 1990 and early 1991, a methodological framework was developed for testing technology transfer hypotheses within GIS operational environments. The paper reporting this work was titled "Case Study Research Methods for Geographic Information Systems" (Onsrud, Pinto, and Azad 1992). This report gathers together (1) the original foundation paper used as the basis for the case study research project, (2) the call for participation that includes a listing of the thirty hypotheses for which "control conditions" were sought in each case study, and (3) reports from two of the case studies. The two case studies incorporated into this report were selected for inclusion because they most closely adhered to the methodology presented in the original Onsrud, Pinto, and Azad paper and they provided constructive criticism of the methodology. Most case work seen to date in the GIS community has been directed at deriving theory. The intent of this project was to spur work in which pre-derived theory would drive the direction the case study work would take and to use case study methods as a means of testing theory. The methods and results that follow are offered as additional tools for gaining greater understanding of the factors and processes involved in implementing and using geographic information systems.

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