Useful Products in Information Systems Theorizing: A Discursive Formation Perspective

Nik Rushdi Hassan, Paul Benjamin Lowry, Lars Mathiassen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Although there is a growing understanding of theory building in the information systems (IS) field, what constitutes IS theory remains the subject of intense debate. Following Weick’s recommendation to focus on the products of theorizing rather than on what theories are, we assemble and analyze 12 products—question, paradigm, law, framework, myth, analogy, metaphor, model, concept, construct, statement, and hypothesis—that are rarely discussed together in any depth in the IS field and combine them into a coherent theorizing framework. Drawing on Foucault’s thesis of discursive formation we characterize the unique role of each product in IS theorizing and illustrate the usefulness of the framework in relation to both classical IS theorizing in the form of media richness theory as well as next-generation theorizing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)418-446
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of the Association for Information Systems
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the Association for Information Systems.


  • Analogy
  • Concept
  • Construct
  • Discursive Formation
  • Framework
  • Hypothesis
  • Information Systems (IS) Theory
  • Law
  • Media Richness Theory
  • Metaphor
  • Model
  • Myth
  • Paradigm
  • Question
  • Statement
  • Theorizing


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