This master’s thesis aim is to contribute to the science by applying a systematic literature review. In order to make a scientific contribution, the gathered information from the in-depth literature review will be analysed and evaluated and at the end the content of the literature review will be assessed in order to answer the research question.
A systematic literature review is the first step of any academic research. The reason why a literature review is conducted is the same among experienced researchers and those who do this for the first time. Both want to increase their understanding of the topic and the perspectives in the research field in order to place the work in the accurate academic map of knowledge creation. This can happen either by identifying research gaps or by problematizing the content of the existing literature. Literature reviews can vary in terms of the understanding of a literature review, the quality of it, the aim, and the structure. However, all literature reviews have at least similar principles and processes (Alvesson and Sandberg, 2011, p. 256).
The terminology literature review can be distinguished to outcome and method perspectives. The outcome perspective refers to different types of literature reviews which have different aims. The method perspective rather refers to how a literature review is conducted. The outcome perspective of a literature review aims different goals which can be to enclose and provide background for a research, or provide an overview about a field as a standalone paper, or build the background for a research thesis (Boell & Cecez-Kecmanovic, 2014, pp. 2-6; Okoli & Schabram, 2010, pp. 2-3). Background reviews typically represent parts of an empirical paper. Standalone papers are not grounded in any original empirical data, but they are based on theoretical or empirical studies. Generally, standalone papers are much longer than background reviews (Okoli , 2010). The second perspective of literature reviews is the method perspective which also can be distinguished between narrative reviews and systematic reviews (Collins & Fauser, 2005). A narrative review is mostly related to the usual review typically based on experiences of a reviewer in a particular field. Systematic literature reviews differ from narrative reviews by the fact that systematic reviews are more a structured approach used for identifying, evaluating, and synthesizing research. They address a specific research question which is the basis for the data collection, extraction, and aggregation process (Kitchenham, 2004, pp. 4-5; Kitchenham et al., 2009, p. 24; Petticrew & Roberts, 2006, p.5).
The process of a literature review and the presentation of its results are based on the defined context. A literature review can be differentiated between two contexts. The review can either be seen as a part of conceptual papers or empirical papers or as a part of review-centric papers. The process of a systematic literature review includes the following steps and is shown in figure 1. The first step of a systematic literature review is the identification of the research interest. This includes identifying a particular research topic or an interesting research question. Afterwards, the researcher has to decide which sources and search terms he wants to use. Some scientists (Saunders, Lewis, & Thornhill, 2009, p. 62) suggest active reading. Each letter for “active” contains activities during the reading of literature. The letter “a” stands for asking questions before, during and after reading. “c” means connecting literature with other literature and draw a comparison between them. The letter “t” stands for tracking down information. Here the researcher looks up vocabulary words and conducts further research for the reading if needed. The “i” means infer. Every researcher has to take conclusions out of papers and write them down in order to not forget them. The “v” stands for visualizing which means that a reader should visualize and categorize the results of reading. The last letter “e” implies embrace. In this step, it is important that the reader does not only reads and summarizes the content but rather considers the context on a meta-perspective (Saunders et al., 2009, p. 62). Subsequently, the researcher needs to evaluate the quality of the available sources and its information quality. Furthermore, the researcher has to analyse the research in the literature, interpret it and give a synthesis of the results (Hermann & Hatak, 2014, pp. 97–98).
Frank and Hatak (2014) argue that starting the review with a wider sense in terms of conceptual definitions ensures the success of each step. In some cases, it is useful to contact researchers in the field of the topic in order to get a deeper inside of the field. For the evaluation of the selected literature, the authors recommend that the researcher should apply many research design characteristics and link them with the results (Frank & Hatak, 2014, pp. 106-109).
There are several advantages of a literature review, which justifies the steps mentioned above. With the literature review, the researcher can see the big picture. It is important to have knowledge about the historical background, all theories, concepts and terminologies (Baumeister & Leary, 1997, p. 312). Tranfield, Denyer, and Smart (2003) argue that the big picture ensures the overview for the researcher in order to develop a research focus and embed the own research in a larger context (p. 208). To sum up, conducting a literature review allows the researcher to do better research. If the literature review contributes to the science by filling a particular research gap, it is more likely that the researcher is cited. Furthermore, a good systematic literature review motivates other researchers to conduct further research (Frank & Hank, 2014, p. 114).
To visualize the current state of research in the field of immersive systems in business processes, scholarly reviewed articles in this area are reviewed by applying a systematic literature review. Furthermore, due the newness of this topic also articles from prestigious magazines are taken into account. The articles which have been consulted were collected from different databases. The majority of the databases are EBSOhost and ScienceDirect. Also, Google Scholar and ABI Inform/ProQuest were considered too. The first search was conducted by using a keyword search which were “immersive systems”, “enterprise gamification”, “virtual reality”, “augmented reality”, “virtual reality and augmented reality in business”. The first step in the review process was the pre-scan of the articles according to their titles, table of content, abstract and conclusion. In this step, all irrelevant articles were eliminated and were not taken into account. The second step was to categorize the collected articles according to the topic, relevance for the thesis and the quality of the journal. For the further research, the closed circle system was applied. With this, it was possible to identify the basis literature in this field and shorten the search time. In the last step, the articles were synthesized, and the results were compared. The last chapter will compare the results of the literature review and the results of the empirical part to give recommendations for companies.