This essay discusses whether “stealing” theories from other disciplines should always be avoided or whether there is any appropriate way of using theories developed in other disciplines in an information systems (IS) context. We take a look at the benefits and problems that have arisen in the IS field as a result of theory borrowing and suggest that – when done appropriately – such borrowing may well benefit the field. In the process, we also draw on the marketing and psychology literatures to evaluate the adequacy of theory borrowing in general and derive specific recommendations about what appropriate borrowing could look like. By synthesizing concepts from these literatures, we derive a comprehensive set of recommendations that may improve the process of theory borrowing in the field; thereby moving the discipline forward.
Tams, Stefan, "Information Systems Development Risk, Success,a nd Firm Performance: the Missing Link" (2010). SAIS 2010 Proceedings. 40.