Theory provides the medium for organizing and communicating knowledge that enables scientific collaboration. Review of five years of published work in two major IS journals, Management Information Systems Quarterly and Journal of Management Information Systems, describes the nature of this theoretical diversity in IS research. Two-hundred-seventy-three articles were evaluated for theoretical citations to identify the range of theories in Information Systems. Approximately half of the papers explicitly cited one of the 111 theories identified. Thirty of the theories were cited multiple times, representing 55% of the citations. The large number of theories used and the small number used more than once indicate that theoretical diversity clearly exists in information systems research. Based on the results, no theory emerged as a potential candidate for the role of grand/unified theory of information systems.
Barkhi, Reza and Sheetz, Steven D.
"The State of Theoretical Diversity,"
Communications of the Association for Information Systems:
Vol. 7, Article 6.
Available at: http://aisel.aisnet.org/cais/vol7/iss1/6