Applying and Theorizing Institutional Frameworks in IS Research: A Systematic Analysis from 1999 to 2009

Information Technology & People, vol 27, Iss 4, Forthcoming.

Posted: 21 Mar 2014

See all articles by Francois-Xavier de Vaujany

Francois-Xavier de Vaujany

Université Paris-Dauphine

Sabine Carton

Univ. Grenoble Alpes CERAG CNRS; affiliation not provided to SSRN

Nathalie N. Mitev

King's College London

Cécile Romeyer

University of Saint Etienne

Date Written: December 19, 2014

Abstract

This article investigates how Information Systems researchers apply institutional theoretical frameworks. Our aim is to explore the operationalization of meta-theoretical frameworks for empirical research which can often present difficulties in IS research. We include theoretical, methodological and empirical aspects to explore modalities of use. After an overview of institutional concepts, we carry out a thematic analysis of empirical journal papers on IS and institutional theory indexed in databases from 1999 to 2009. This consists of descriptive, thematic coding and cluster analysis of this textual database; this combined qualitative and quantitative method offers a unique way of analyzing how operationalization is carried out. On the basis of thematic coding and cluster analysis, our findings suggest three groups of publications which represent different methodological approaches and empirical foci: ‘descriptive exploratory approaches’, ‘generalizing approaches’, and ‘sociological approaches’. We suggest that these three groups represent possible patterns of the use of ‘meta’ social theories in IS research, reflecting a search for disciplinary legitimacy. This helps us analyze papers according to how they use and apply theories. We identify the “organizing vision” and the regulatory approach as two institutionalist ‘intermediary’ concepts developed by IS researchers. Furthermore, we find that institutional theoretical frameworks have been used in ‘direct’, ‘intermediary’ or ‘combined’ conceptualizations. We also confirm the dynamism of the IS institutional research stream, as evidenced by the increase in number of articles between 1999 and 2009, and identify a maturation process of the IS field in investigating a social theory. As a conclusion, we make suggestions to blend different conceptualizations, methodologies and empirical foci to enrich the use of institutionalist theories in IS empirical research.

Keywords: institutions; neo-institutionalism; information systems

Suggested Citation

de Vaujany, Francois-Xavier and Carton, Sabine and Mitev, Nathalie N. and Romeyer, Cécile, Applying and Theorizing Institutional Frameworks in IS Research: A Systematic Analysis from 1999 to 2009 (December 19, 2014). Information Technology & People, vol 27, Iss 4, Forthcoming.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2411420

Francois-Xavier De Vaujany (Contact Author)

Université Paris-Dauphine ( email )

Place du Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny
Paris, 75016
France

HOME PAGE: http://www.dauphine.fr

Sabine Carton

Univ. Grenoble Alpes CERAG CNRS ( email )

Grenoble
France

HOME PAGE: http://www.iae-grenoble.fr/cv-CARTON-136.html

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Nathalie N. Mitev

King's College London ( email )

Strand
London, England WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

Cécile Romeyer

University of Saint Etienne ( email )

6, rue basse des rives
Saint Etienne, 42023
France

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