Examiner's Comments

Thesis: Is the Future of Business Software Proprietary or Free and Open-Source? A Macroscopic Information Systems Investigation

The abstract provides an overview of the dissertation with detail of the key findings and conclusions to further inform and entice the reader.

The introduction chapter provides a detailed context and problem definition. The introduction is well written providing a reasoned account of what is to come. A focused set of research objectives are stated that define the boundaries of the dissertation.

This was an interesting review that draws on a wide range of themes. The student convincingly justifies the literature review. As far as I could ascertain I was very comfortable with the sources used, in terms of range and depth, and that the review covered the most relevant & significant literature in the area. There is clarity as to how the research objectives and questions fall out of the literature review. Throughout there is evidence of a critical dimension where existing work is evaluated. The literature review is well referenced, drawing on a comprehensive range of sources used to inform the work covering texts, journals and web-based resources.

The methodology chapter is a comprehensive account that explains and justifies very clearly the adopted research approach. Of note is the way theory is most successfully integrated and applied to the research instruments. A clear justification and explanation for the approaches applied in the data analysis. It goes without saying that primarily, the methodology chapter is intended to justify the choice of methods employed in course of the research. The task as the researcher is to demonstrate an understanding that there are various options for conducting research, but the preferred ones fit the objectives of the dissertation best of all. In this regard the methodology is constructed extremely well.

The findings are presented in a coherent and logical structure that makes creative use of an appropriate mode of argument drawing upon theoretical contributions. It is clear, that a good range of interesting and relevant points have been drawn, this linked to an in -depth level of analysis along with an informed and detailed insight into them is extremely effective. One observation to make is the data derived from the interviews, apart from general observations drawn, there isn’t a lot of evidence to demonstrate qualitative data analysis.

The conclusions chapter draws the dissertation together