A4 Article in conference proceedings
How and Why ‘Theory’ Is Often Misunderstood in Information Systems Literature (2019)

Siponen, M., & Klaavuniemi, T. (2019). How and Why ‘Theory’ Is Often Misunderstood in Information Systems Literature. In ICIS 2019 : Proceedings the 40th International Conference on Information Systems (Article 1497). Association for Information Systems. https://aisel.aisnet.org/icis2019/research_methods/research_methods/3/

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Siponen, Mikko; Klaavuniemi, Tuula

Parent publication: ICIS 2019 : Proceedings the 40th International Conference on Information Systems


  • International Conference on Information Systems

Place and date of conference: Munich, Germany, 15.-18.12.2019

ISBN: 978-0-9966831-9-7

ISSN: 1026-1079

Publication year: 2019

Article number: 1497

Publisher: Association for Information Systems

Publication country: United States

Publication language: English

Persistent website address: https://aisel.aisnet.org/icis2019/research_methods/research_methods/3/

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/66756


IS theory accounts have increased our understanding of scientific theories. However, many influential theory accounts in Information Systems (IS) are influenced by the Received View of scientific theory (RV), which flourished in the philosophy of science around 1930-1969. The RV has been widely rejected in the philosophy of science, as the theory ignored much of the actual scientific context, and it mischaracterized several important characteristics of scientific research and theories. Although RV ideas were crafted for philosophers’ philosophical purposes, and not for scientists’ use, several IS scholars seem to believe that some of the RV theses represent actual (good or strong) scientific theories. Mistaking problematic logical reconstructions by philosophers for “real” scientific theories may seriously impede IS research. Recognizing how some of the RV theses may mislead the IS research will hopefully help us to value other types of research contributions that may not meet the current ‘theory’ conventions.

Keywords: data systems; theory of science; philosophy of science; logical empiricism

Free keywords: theory; received view; logical empiricism; logical reconstructions

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2019

JUFO rating: 2

Last updated on 2021-09-06 at 03:32