Graphical Research Models in the Information Systems Discipline

Figl, Kathrin
Kiessling, Samuel
Miniukovich, Aliaksei
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Graphical models facilitate communicating hypothesized or tested relationships between variables and are welcome in information systems publications. However, insufficient knowledge exists about design conventions for such models, lowering their communicative effectiveness. This paper investigates how graphical research models are used in the information systems literature. Theoretically, the article bears upon the perspective of prototypicality and cognitively effective design of conceptual modeling notations. Based on an analysis of 134 research models from 589 articles in information systems journals, we tentatively demonstrate prototypical features of visual research models and outline many unique graphical variations. We develop a set of hypotheses on how prototypicality influences preferences for research models and their comprehensibility and describe how we intend to test these hypotheses empirically. A broader goal of this research is to develop an effective modeling notation for research models to support researchers in constructing unambiguous visual models for their research.
Knowing What We Know: Theory, Meta-analysis, and Review, constructs and variables, research methods, research model, standardization, visualization
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