Gregor (2014) Theory - Still King But Needing a Revolution


This commentary responds to Avison and Malaurent's (A&M) interesting perspective on the role of theory in qualitative articles published in information systems journals. A&M raise valid concerns with journal norms in respect to acceptance of novelty, tolerance for triviality, possibly unethical behaviour, and, implicitly, accepted epistemological practices for theorizing and theory development. Although I share many of their concerns about journal practice, I have serious concerns that readers will view their paper as attacking theory-in-itself despite the authors' protestations they are not doing so. The guidelines they advance could promote the idea that theory-free articles are acceptable, which I see as a dangerous path for our field. I believe we should be focusing more on the theorizing process and underlying epistemological issues. In this way, we can view and justify new and surprising ideas and interesting empirical findings in single articles against a backdrop of ongoing theory development in the field as a whole. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Citation Shirley Gregor (2014). Theory - Still King But Needing a Revolution. Journal of Information Technology, vol. 29 no. 4, pp. 337–340. DOI

BibTex entry for this article:

BibTex entry for this article:

author = {Gregor, Shirley},
doi = {10.1057/jit.2014.22},
isbn = {0268-3962},
issn = {14664437},
journal = {Journal of Information Technology},
number = {4},
pages = {337--340},
title = {{Theory - Still King But Needing a Revolution}},
volume = {29},
year = {2014}

Key ideas


epistemology, information systems, journal practice, theorizing, theory