Typifying the setting in IS intensive research: A structurational framework

Joan Rodón Mòdol, Feliciano Sesé Muniategui

Research output: Conference paperContribution


Although Lee, Baskerville, Hirschheim, Klein and others insist that generalizability should be an important goal of IS research, most IS intensive research studies still pay little attention to the possible validity of their results in other settings. We argue that one way to enhance generalizability is to characterize the deep features of the setting. The two main premises of this paper are that although IS intensive research has an idiographic nature, which means that each study treats an IS phenomenon - e.g. implementation, use - as being unique, (1) the settings in which IS phenomena occur may have common features and characteristics, and (2) the transferability of research results - e.g. theory, description - from one setting to another depends on the fittingness between the features and characteristics of the settings. In this article, we draw on the dimensions of structure proposed by Giddens to develop a framework of four pure 'structural configurations'. This framework may be a first approximation to typifying the setting in which an IS-related phenomenon occurs. We consider this framework may enhance the generalizability of IS intensive research by delimiting the applicability and transferability of its results. We illustrate the framework with a review of papers in the MIS Quarterly published after the call for generalizability made by Lee and Baskerville in 2003.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2008
Event2008 Academy of Management Annual Meeting -
Duration: 8 Aug 200813 Aug 2008


Conference2008 Academy of Management Annual Meeting


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