In the past, IS research has been criticized for its inability to build a cumulative tradition of IS-specific theory. We suggest that the difficulty in structuring theoretical contributions in IS is one facet of that problem. This has lead to a situation in which a lot of theory generation in IS is not made apparent as such. Based on a conceptual review on theory, we design a framework to structure theoretical contributions in IS. Applying our framework, we show that IS research does offer a broad basis of early, substantive theories and even some more comprehensive theoretical accounts specific to our discipline that IS scholars could build on in order to build a cumulative tradition. We use the context of theory generation in and for IS based on the Grounded Theory approach. While limited to this specific example, the framework provides an approach to assess what kind of theories are currently present in a given field and which range they already obtained. In doing so, we hope toenable a more structured discourse on the current state of theory generation in IS. Furthermore we provide IS researchers with an approach to make their own contributions more easily accessible to a sustainable scientific discourse focused on the theoretical advance of our discipline.
|Place of Publication||Chicago, IL, USA|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|
- Theory framework IS philosophy grounded theory