Paper on Theories and Theorizing in IS Research accepted for publication in the Communications of the Association for Information Systems (CAIS)

The paper „The Why, What and How of Theories in IS Research“ co-authored by Benjamin Müller (University of Groningen) and Nils Urbach (University of Bayreuth) has been accepted for publication. It will appear in one of the next issues of the Communications of the Association for Information Systems (CAIS).



Theory’s pivotal importance has been emphasized in the information systems (IS) discipline since its inception. As in many fields of science, IS scholars’ ability to understand and contribute to theory is an important qualification in research practice. This requires solid foundations for why we engage with theory, what theory is for us, and how we work with theory. We synthesize and reflect on the debates on theories and theorizing in the IS field. Our key contribution is to inform (new) authors of the prevailing state-of-the-art and to help identify opportunities in theorizing to put theory to work. While only a first step, we hope that our synthesis of the status quo advances our discipline’s current efforts towards enhancing theorizing and addressing the increasing demand for theoretical contributions and that it critically reflects on the status quo to help us move beyond it.


A preview of the paper can be downloaded here.


Contact: Prof. Dr. Nils Urbach


Universität Bayreuth -