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Samstag, 12. Oktober 2019
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VHB Gruppe




82. Jahrestagung des VHB

17. bis 20. März 2020

in Frankfurt am Main




Wissenschaftliche Kommissionen


Theory and Theorizing in Information Systems Research



The generation of knowledge can be seen as one of the key contributions of any science. Consequently, many scholars emphasize the centrality of theories for any scientific endeavor – a thought widely reflected in many disciplines from the natural to the social sciences. While a corresponding attention to theoretical work has been at the heart of the Information Systems (IS) discipline for a long time, the focus on theoretical debates and genuine conceptual contributions has been picking up recently. This is reflected by journal sections and conference tracks dedicated to advancing theory and theorizing in IS research, a number of workshops and special issues dedicated to the matter, as well as many authors’ experiences during the reviews processes of their work.


The course “Advanced Topics in Information Systems Theory” invites participants to join the ongoing discourse on theories and theorizing in the Business and Information Systems Engineering (BISE) and Information Systems (IS) research communities. It is designed to help participants build and extend their understanding of the nature and role of theory in BISE and IS research. Through discussions and analyses of current theoretical developments in the BISE and IS discipline and some of its main reference disciplines, participants will engage with theory and advance their skills of building their own theoretical contributions.


The course aims to achieve the following high-level learning objectives

  1. Build a foundational understanding of what theory is and what role it plays in research
  2. Develop basic theorizing skills and be familiar with extant theorizing strategies
  3. Understand strategies to develop and publish own theoretical contributions


Overall, the course is designed to help students advance their understanding of theory and theorizing in the BISE / IS discipline and enhance their theorizing skills related to their own research and thesis work.


In terms of teaching formats, the course will be using a mixture of formats and approaches – from traditional lectures to interactive seminar sessions. To make this work, participants’ preparation before class is essential. Most of this preparation will involve reading a set of papers assigned to each participant that needs to be prepared for class. Through this preparation, a large portion of the workload for the course will occur in the weeks before the actual course date. Participants may also be asked to prepare other things as well, such as small presentations or posters, but these will come with less effort required. Specific instructions for all of the preparation necessary will be distributed in time before class.


Be advised that the course is not intended to be a comprehensive or normative prescription of how to engage with theory and theorizing in research. It is rather aimed at encouraging and empowering young scholars to carefully pay attention to their theoretical contribution and their engagement with the extant knowledge in the field. This explicitly includes a critical reflection on the current state of theory in the IS and BISE field in order to enable students to develop their own theoretical contributions as well as empower them to contribute to advancing the current debates on the nature and role of theory and theorizing in their own right.


Date of event:

16-19 July 2019



Kühne Logistics University

Raum GF Lecture 1

Großer Grasbrook 17

20457 Hamburg



Prof. Dr. Benjamin Müller
Universität Lausanne


To get an overview of the amount of the participation fee and to register for the course, please use this link:

You can also send an email to prodok(at)vhbonline(dot)org.


Registration Deadline: 16 June 2019



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