Meta-Synthesizing Qualitative Research in Information Systems

  • Hossana Twinomurinzi University of South Africa
  • Roy Johnson Gordon Institute of Business Studies, South Africa
Keywords: Qualitative meta-synthesis, secondary data analysis, meta-triangulation, Information Systems, IS methodology, IS research


The beauty of qualitative research is in its appreciation of context, pluralism and diversity. However, this appreciation creates a problem; the results from such studies are often dissonant or appear to be disconnected. On the other hand, there is a growing acceptance and appeal for the rich insights gained from qualitative studies in Information Systems. In this paper, we propose the Qualitative Meta-Synthesis as a credible method to create substantive Information Systems theories from qualitative studies. We reflect on how Qualitative Meta-Synthesis has been used in other fields before proposing a set of guidelines. The paper makes a contribution to practice and theory. To theory, the paper offers emergent fields in Information Systems, especially those that depend a great deal on qualitative research (such as community informatics, e-government and ICT for development) a tool with which to create micro-, meso- and macro- level theories. For practice, the paper offers an approach that could assist policy makers to make sense of the dissonant findings from qualitative studies towards the creation of policy.

Author Biographies

Hossana Twinomurinzi, University of South Africa
Associate Professor | School of Computing
Roy Johnson, Gordon Institute of Business Studies, South Africa
Roy Johnson is a visiting professor at Gordon Institute of Business Studies, South Africa. Email
How to Cite
Twinomurinzi, H., & Johnson, R. (2015). Meta-Synthesizing Qualitative Research in Information Systems. The Journal of Community Informatics, 11(3). Retrieved from