Information Systems Foundations: Theory Building in Information Systems

Information Systems Foundations: Theory Building in Information Systems

Edited by: Dennis N. Hart, Shirley Gregor orcid

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This volume presents the papers from the fifth biennial Information Systems Foundations Workshop, held at The Australian National University in Canberra from 30 September to 1 October 2010. The focus of the workshop was, as for the others in the series, the foundations of information systems as an academic discipline. The emphasis in the 2010 workshop was on theory building in information systems, which is a non-trivial and difficult issue because the field deals with such a wide range of phenomena, from the highly technological in nature to the distinctly human and organisational in focus. The theory building problem stems from the fact that the sciences that underlie and deal with technologically-oriented fields generally result in theories that fit within the ‘covering law’ model—that is, are assumed and believed to have universal applicability and explanatory and predictive power—whereas, by contrast, theories in the human sciences are generally much more conditional, contextual, tentative and open to exceptions. Successfully marrying the two is, not surprisingly, a challenge that the chapters in this volume explore.


ISBN (print):
ISBN (online):
Publication date:
Oct 2012
ANU Press
Information Systems Foundations
Business & Economics; Engineering & Computer Science: Computer Science & Information Systems

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Part One: Fundamental Issues

  1. Theory Building in the Information Systems Discipline: Some critical reflections (PDF, 316KB) – Ron Weber doi
  2. Obstacles to Building Effective Theory about Attitudes and Behaviours Towards Technology (PDF, 625KB) – Mary Tate and Joerg Evermann doi
  3. Untangling Causality in Design Science Theorising (PDF, 605KB) – Dirk S. Hovorka and Shirley Gregor doi

Part Two: Theories and Theorising in Practice

  1. Theorising about the Life Cycle of IT Use: An appropriation perspective (PDF, 1.1MB) – Justin Fidock and Jennie Carroll doi
  2. A Critical Systems Thinking Perspective for IS Adoption (PDF, 907KB) – Syed Arshad Raza and Craig Standing doi
  3. Advancing Task-Technology Fit Theory: A formative measurement approach to determining task-channel fit for electronic banking channels (PDF, 1.7MB) – Hartmut Hoehle and Sid Huff doi
  4. Theory Building in Action: Structured-case with action interventions (PDF, 1.1MB) – Gerlinde Koeglreiter, Ross Smith and Luba Torlina doi
  5. The Unit of Analysis in IS Theory: The case for activity (PDF, 1.5MB) – Helen Hasan and Sumayya Banna doi
  6. IT-Driven Modernisation in Agriculture: New theories for a new phenomenon (PDF, 1.4MB) – Lapo Mola, Cecilia Rossignoli, Walter Fernandez and Andrea Carugati doi
  7. Competing with Business Analytics: Research in progress (PDF, 726KB) – Harjot Singh Dod and Rajeev doi

Part Three: The Big Picture

  1. Theory: An informatics perspective (PDF, 770KB) – Craig McDonald doi

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