Theorizing is often described as a rigorous, nebulous, and time-consuming process. In the end, theories are traditionally attributed to one individual or to a small group of individuals. Consider for example Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, Aker’s Social Learning Theory, Davis’ Technology Adoption Model, and Fishbein and Ajzen's Theory of Reasoned Action. Further, expectations of IS theories are quite high and accepted in fewer publication outlets as compared to routine theory testing endeavors, creating extra risk in commencing the theorizing process. The “average” researcher’s involvement in theorizing is often limited to theory testing and incremental theory extension through these testing efforts. This critical polemic proposes that such arrangements are not necessary and may be damaging to the collective creativity of the IS discipline. In this polemic, we identify different configurations for work products and working relationships between researchers to collaboratively develop novel IS theories in a modular and incremental fashion.
Wall, Jeffrey D., "Modular and Collaborative Theorizing: A Move Away from Theoretical Superstars" (2019). MWAIS 2019 Proceedings. 2.