A systematic literature review on business cases : structuring the study field and defining future research dimensions
Faculty of Applied Economics
Documentation and information
Proceedings of the 7th European Conference on Information Management and Evaluation, September 12-13, 2013, Sopot, Poland
University of Antwerp
Many organisations perceive business cases as a valuable instrument for the justification and evaluation of information technology (IT) investments. This attention from practice has been ascertained by academic scholars resulting in a growing number of publications in both top academic and practitioner journals since 1999. However, most researchers only mention some aspect of a business case somewhere in the course of their article and few include the business case concept in their main research scope. As a result, much knowledge on business case research is scattered throughout literature and a clear definition of what actually constitutes a business case is still missing. The fact that the study field on business cases is emerging stimulates misunderstanding and may cause discouragement for future research endeavours. Therefore, the present paper aims to understand and integrate the current state of research on business cases in an attempt to realise two objectives with clear contributions. First, we tackle the problem of scattered knowledge by organising fragmented knowledge into a newly developed Business Case Research Framework that clearly structures the study field into six dimensions. Second, we identify what constitutes the business case concept and provide a clear definition to resolve the misunderstanding among scholars. Based on the literature findings, we share interesting observations suggesting promising opportunities for future research. A systematic literature review methodology is performed in a selection of top academic and practitioner journals.