Communications of the Association for Information Systems


Developing and advancing theory in the information systems (IS) discipline requires scholars to use and contribute to theory. While few IS scholars create new theories, many borrow and adapt theories from other disciplines to study a variety of phenomena in the realm of IS. Over time, this practice has raised concerns as to the appropriateness and quality of theories adapted in the discipline. In particular, this practice causes issues when one considers conflicting results from many studies that claim to leverage the same theoretical foundation. We examine the issues surrounding theory adaptation in IS and provide a set of integrated theory adaptation guidelines to help scholars successfully and reliably adapt theory. We illustrate how one might use our guidelines via using Protection Motivation Theory in an organizational information security setting.