University of Oulu

Legal regulation in empirical research in the Information Systems Basket of 8 Journals : a systematic literature review

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Author: Bhandari, Aayush1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Information Processing Science
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2 MB)
Pages: 62
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : A. Bhandari, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-06-29
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Väyrynen, Karin
Reviewer: Väyrynen, Karin
Lanamäki, Arto


The core content of the paper lies in exploring how studies in information systems research address the topic of legal regulation. This study intends to fill the main gap in knowledge by aiming at the empirical studies within the basket of 8 journals that studies legal regulation. The results of this study provide perspectives on specific legal regulations, the research methodologies employed in empirical studies, and the theoretical foundations of the policy cycle stages to which these studies belong. This research identifies and presents a general overview of the trends in the information systems domain.

This thesis utilizes a systematic literature review to discover, examine, and extract empirical studies relevant to legal regulation from a basket of eight journals. The data were obtained from the SCOPUS database, resulting in 351 studies. Through the inclusion/exclusion criteria, 33 primary studies were identified that were relevant to the focus of the study. These primary studies focused on various legal regulations and were subsequently classified into four themes: impact, implementation, compliance, and policies. These themes allow for the identification of trends and the scope of the primary studies that investigate legal regulations. Furthermore, these themes are further analyzed and classified into sub-categories to provide a more detailed analysis of the primary studies.

The results of the study indicate that many primary studies within the empirical research follow qualitative research methodology. Among these primary studies, the legal regulations most frequently examined are from the United States. Several studies focus on regulations such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, High-Frequency Trading Act, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Following the United States, the study finds that primary studies also explore legal regulations in Europe, with a notable emphasis on the General Data Protection Regulation and the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive. However, the results also highlight that many primary studies belong to the implementation phase of the policy cycle stage, while none specifically focus on the problem identification stage.

The findings of the study broaden the opportunity to investigate how legal regulation has been addressed in journals beyond the selected basket of eight. Additionally, since this paper focuses solely on empirical evidence, most primary studies relied on qualitative research methodologies. This suggests the potential for exploring other studies that utilize methodologies such as design science or theoretical analysis.

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Copyright information: © Aayush Bhandari, 2023. Except otherwise noted, the reuse of this document is authorised under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC-BY 4.0) licence ( This means that reuse is allowed provided appropriate credit is given and any changes are indicated. For any use or reproduction of elements that are not owned by the author(s), permission may need to be directly from the respective right holders.