As the specific parts of a theory are refined over time the core concepts and associations of a theory provide the identity of a theory’s domain. This research applies a meta-theoretical analysis to the problem of theory identity and the core-periphery distinction. The theoreticoempirical network for quantitative publications over a 30 year span of top Information Systems journals is analysed and visualized to illustrate these aspects of theory. The analysis provides insight into the density of research in specific theory domains, the explanatory ubiquity of core postulates, and suggests opportunities for increasing explanatory depth and integration in select theory domains.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/james_birt/7/