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Abstract

Researchers in the information system (IS) field have recently called for the field to legitimate itself by erecting a strong theoretical core at its center. This paper examines this proposition, and concludes that it is logically invalid and does not recognize ample evidence to the contrary from the history of other disciplines. We construct a broader concept of academic legitimacy around three drivers: the salience of the issues studied, the production of strong results, and the maintenance of disciplinary plasticity. This analysis suggests that to remain successful, the IS field needs intellectual discipline in boundary spanning across a ¡°market of ideas¡± concerning the application of information technology in human enterprise.

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