Concern that high levels of pluralism within IS have frustrated the development of a strong identity are evident in the literature. Rather than proposing an identity for IS, this paper uses theory and research from occupational sociology and the sociology of professions to analyze the processes involved in establishing boundaries for the field, for defining errors of inclusion and exclusion, and for shaping an IS identity. It is argued that prior work misapplies an organizational metaphor to IS and this misspecification excludes important processes in the evolution of professions including level of paradigm development, culture and control within professions, and the role of professions in social status hierarchies. The paper concludes with a discussion of the challenges facing IS and suggestions for addressing them.
Somers, Mark John, "Paradigm and Pluralism: Using Theory from Occupational Sociology and the Sociology of the Professions to Frame an Identity for IS" (2008). AMCIS 2008 Proceedings. 396.