Theory and Theorizing in Information Systems Research
The generation of knowledge is often 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 a number of special issues, journal sections, and conference tracks dedicated to advancing theory and theorizing in IS research just as much as in many authors’ experiences during the reviews of their work.
The course “Theory and Theorizing in Information Systems Research” invites you 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 you build and extend your 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, you will engage with theory and advance your skills of building their own theoretical contributions.
The course aims to achieve the following learning objectives: It is designed to help you …
(1) … build a foundational understanding of what theory is and what role it plays in research
(2) … develop basic theorizing skills and become familiar with extant theorizing strategies
(3) … understand the current state-of-the-art in theory and theorizing along with its limitations
(4) … develop strategies to publish your own theoretical contributions
Overall, the course is designed to facilitate the advancement of your understanding of theory and theorizing in the BISE / IS discipline and to enhance your theorizing skills related to your own research and thesis work.
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 you to carefully pay attention to your own theoretical contribution and your engagement with the extant knowledge in the field. To do so, the course introduces and reviews the necessary foundations as well as current trends in the extant literature. This explicitly includes a critical reflection on the current state of theory in the IS and BISE field in order to help you advance the current debates on the nature and role of theory and theorizing.
All the course sessions are hosted around the lunch break on the Fridays in October and November 2023.
06., 13., 20., 27.10.2023 and
03., 10., 17., 24.11.2023
The course is designed as a fully virtual seminar, organized around a series of live online sessions. We will be using a combination of Zoom and Slack as a platform to host the live sessions and to enable continued engagement around the seminar’s topics outside of the live interactions.