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A Meta-Theory for Understanding Systems within Socio-Technical Systems
Journal of Management Information Systems (2009)
  • Robert Bostrom , University of Georgia
  • saurabh gupta , University of North Florida
  • Dominic Thomas , Emory University

Information systems (IS) research often attempts to examine and explain how technology leads to outcomes through usage of IS. Although extensive research in this area has resulted in a significant number of theories, limited work has been done on integrating these theories. This paper presents adaptive structuration theory (AST) as a meta-theory for examining IS within an organizational context. The two main contributions of the paper are an understanding of meta-theory’s role in IS and building a case for using AST as a meta-theory to (1) provide an overarching perspective for understanding and integrating existing literature and theories, (2) provide a template and set of guidelines for creating better context-specific IS models and theories, and (3) provide a deeper understanding of a theory. Along with discussion of the contributions, we provide examples to guide researchers in applying AST as a meta-theory.

  • adaptive structuration theory,
  • conceptual models,
  • meta-theory,
  • technology-mediated learning,
  • virtual teams
Publication Date
Citation Information
Robert Bostrom, saurabh gupta and Dominic Thomas. "A Meta-Theory for Understanding Systems within Socio-Technical Systems" Journal of Management Information Systems Vol. 26 Iss. 1 (2009)
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