Contribution in Information Systems (IS) research is a significant concern for authors, reviewers and editors. We argue that the criteria of novelty and utility are insufficient to evaluate the contribution of a research paper. We expand upon Kuhn’s disciplinary matrix of shared commitments to symbolic generalization, exemplars and model/theory as the background to which every contribution is oriented. Cogency or persuasiveness of research is the result of logic, dialectic, rhetoric, and social-institutional argumentation in relation to the disciplinary matrix. We use three examples of published research to illustrate how these elements can be combined to frame research as a contribution in relation to the wider IS field. Lastly we discuss the implications for IS when contribution is understood in relation to a disciplinary matrix.
Cater-Steel, Aileen; Toleman, Mark; and Rajaeian, Mohammad Mehdi, "An Analysis of Design Science Research Adoption in Doctoral Projects in Australia" (2017). ACIS 2017 Proceedings. 85.