Taxonomy development in information systems: Developing a taxonomy of mobile applications


The complexity of the information systems field often lends itself to classification schemes, or

taxonomies, which provide ways to understand the similarities and differences among objects under

study. Developing a taxonomy, however, is a complex process that is often done in an ad hoc way.

This research-in-progress paper uses the design science paradigm to develop a systematic method for

taxonomy development in information systems. The method we propose uses an indicator or

operational level model that combines both empirical to deductive and deductive to empirical

approaches. We evaluate this method by using it to develop a taxonomy of mobile applications, which

we have chosen because of their ever-increasing number and variety. The resulting taxonomy contains

seven dimensions with fifteen characteristics. We demonstrate the usefulness of this taxonomy by

analyzing a range of current and proposed mobile applications. From the results of this analysis we

identify combinations of characteristics where applications are missing and thus are candidates for

new and potentially useful applications.

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