Researchers have emphasized theory’s pivotal importance in the information systems (IS) discipline since its inception. As in many science disciplines, IS scholars’ ability to understand and contribute to theory is an important qualification in research practice. As a discipline, we require solid foundations for why we engage with theory, what theory is for us, and how we work with theory. We synthesize and reflect on the debates on theories and theorizing in the IS discipline. In doing so, we inform (particularly new) authors about the current state of the IS discipline’s debate on theory and theorizing and help them identify opportunities in theorizing to put theory to work. We do not intend to advocate or cement that status quo we portray but rather, through informing the community about it, to support early efforts to further develop and move beyond the current state of the debate on theory and theorizing in IS research.
Mueller, B., & Urbach, N. (2017). Understanding the Why, What, and How of Theories in IS Research. Communications of the Association for Information Systems, 41, pp-pp. https://doi.org/10.17705/1CAIS.04117