This tutorial provides and overview of what are middle range theories appropriate to understand, explain, reveal and or predict software processes and outcomes. The tutorial will cover analyses of separate theory classes and their goals including variance and process theories. We will discuss also the intimate relationships between instrumentation, sampling and data and the consequent types of theorizing, boundary conditions and validity criteria for theorizing, unique trade-offs faced during theorizing such as radical v.s. incremental or simplicity v.s. accuracy. We will review also how to evaluate theoretical contributions. The presentation will draw on recent articles by the presenter and additional readings provided as part of the course (Grover and Lyytinen 2015, 2022). Several examples of theorizing decisions and types of theorizing processes are covered using published research on software development processes and outcomes the presenters ongoing research on software processes and outcomes focused mainly on open source development.
Grover V., Lyytinen K (2015): “New State of Play in Information Systems Research: The Push to the Edges”, MIS Quarterly, 39, 2, pp. pp. 271-296, June 2015
Grover V. Lyytinen K. (2022): “The Pursuit of Innovative Theory in the Digital Age’, Journal of Information Technology, (forthcoming) https://doi.org/10.1177/02683962221077112