Deduction is generally an analytical procedure based on the representation of reality. Deduction is divided into three research methods: formal-deductive, conceptual-deductive and argumentative-deductive analysis.


The aim of this method is to develop a theory or a model to gain a better understanding of a situation.


With the help of various theories, a theory or model is developed in the context of a specific issue in order to generate new insights.  In practice, an implementation may proceed as follows:

  1. Select the research area and research question: the first step is to identify a specific research area of interest and formulate a clear research question or hypothesis to be answered using conceptual-deductive analysis.
  2. Identify theoretical concepts and theories: This step identifies relevant theoretical concepts and existing theories that could be useful in explaining the research question or hypothesis. These concepts serve as the basis for the analysis of empirical data.
  3. Data Collection: Empirical data are collected through appropriate methods such as interviews, surveys, observations, or document analysis. Data collection should be designed to gather information related to the identified theoretical concepts.
  4. Coding of data: The collected data will be carefully analyzed and coded. Specific passages or sections that relate to the relevant theoretical concepts are identified. This coding allows for the discovery of patterns and relationships between the data and the theoretical concepts.
  5. Analysis and interpretation: In this step, the coded data are systematically analyzed. Researchers apply the concepts and theories to the empirical data and see if they can explain them or offer new insights. The analysis aims to deepen the relationships between the concepts and the data and to develop possible explanations.
  6. Drawing Conclusions: Based on the analysis and interpretation of the data, conclusions are drawn. These conclusions may confirm, extend, or modify how theoretical concepts are applied to the empirical data.
  7. Discuss and contextualize: the results of the conceptual-deductive analysis are placed in the context of existing research literature. Implications of the findings will be discussed and how they contribute to expanding theoretical understanding.
  8. Reporting: the results are recorded in a scientific paper or report. Here, the research context, research question, theoretical concepts applied, methodology, results, and conclusions are presented in a concise and neutral manner.

In summary, conceptual-deductive analysis represents a systematic approach to applying theoretical concepts to empirical data in order to gain new insights in the research field. This process requires accuracy, objectivity, and a clear link between theory and empiricism.

Core literature

  • [1] Wilde, T., & Hess, T. (2006). Methodenspektrum der Wirtschaftsinformatik: Überblick und Portfoliobildung (No. 2/2006). Arbeitsbericht, Institut für Wirtschaftsinformatik und Neue Medien, Fakultät für Betriebswirtschaft, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität.
  • [2] Palvia, P., Mao, E., Salam, A. F., & Soliman, K. S. (2003). Management Information Systems Research: What's there in a Methodology?. Communications of the Association for Information Systems11(1), 16.
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