Communications of the Association for Information Systems


For over 20 years, researchers expressed their concern for the lack of theoretical development in the Information Systems discipline and the lack of a cumulative research tradition. The aim of this study is to investigate the intellectual structure of the IS discipline through an analysis of 993 mainstream research articles published in selected journals and proceedings during the previous decade (1991-2000). We explore the variety of researcher perspectives in the discipline, based on the theoretical frameworks adopted by these studies. This examination shows the relative "mindshare" of different theoretical frameworks and informs the self-reflection that is frequently undertaken in our discipline. The study generates categorizations to map theories to frameworks, which are then located in a three-dimensional ontology. The resulting mappings should help researchers understand the scope of past IS research and identify gaps in theoretical development.