The Repertory Grid Technique: A Method for the Study of Cognition in Information Systems

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Abstract

Recent studies have confirmed the importance of understanding the cognition of users and information systems (IS) professionals. These works agree that organizational cognition is far too critical to be ignored as it can impact on IS outcomes. While cognition has been considered in a variety of IS contexts, no specific methodology has dominated. A theory and method suitable to the study of cognition—defined as personal constructs that individuals use to understand IT in organizations—is Kelly’s (1955) personal construct theory and its cognitive mapping tool known as the repertory grid (RepGrid). This article expounds on the potential of this technique to IS researchers by considering the variety of ways the RepGrid may be employed. The flexibility of the RepGrid is illustrated by examining published studies in IS. The diagnostic qualities of the RepGrid and its mapping outcomes can be used for practical intervention at the individual and organizational levels.

Additional Details

Author Felix B. Tan and M. Gordon Hunter
Year 2002
Volume 26
Issue 1
Keywords Cognitive mapping, repertory grid, personal construct theory, qualitative research, quantitative research
Page Numbers 39-57