Selected Papers of the IRIS, Issue Nr 7 (2016)


The concept of loose coupling is used in various disciplines, such as organisation science, computer science, information systems and geography, but its definition and application is elusive. In this paper we investigate the roots and meanings of the concept, and ask two research questions: (i) How is the concept of loose coupling used within streams of IS research? And (ii) how can we apply the concept to design the system interaction within the field of IS? Our method is a systematic review of the literature, where we identify the definitions and uses, conduct a cross-disciplinary meta-analysis, and deduct a framework for analysing and using the principle of loose coupling. We then discuss implications for the dynamics of information infrastructures. We offer two contributions. First, we provide a comprehensive overview of the loose coupling research, and gives rich insight into uses of the concept. Second, we propose a framework where we synthesize the insights.