Communications of the Association for Information Systems


We view the current belief in reference discipline theories and their value in MIS research as exhibiting dominance in our field. This article is based on the panel discussion at the 2008 International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS) held in Paris, France. It examines why this dominance has the potential to harm the future prospects of our intellectual endeavors. In counterpoint, we present the argument that the use of reference disciplines should continue. Aside from the fact that the belief in the value of reference discipline is continued, there are benefits derived from anchoring research initiatives in reference discipline theories which should be acknowledged. Under certain situations such use should be encouraged and broadened. Additionally, we will present arguments for viable alternatives to relying on reference disciplines in theory building. The alternatives are aimed at building and expanding indigenous IS theory.