This paper discusses the adoption of a pluralist theoretical framework ¿ one that is also multiparadigmatic ¿ for conducting and publishing information system (IS) research. The discussion is illustrated by a single case study involving the Australian cotton industry. The theoretical framework is informed by three sociological theories, each with its particular paradigmatic assumptions: structuration theory as a meta-theory, and diffusion of innovations and gender relations as lower-level theories from notionally opposing paradigms. Theoretical pluralism helped to produce rich findings, illuminating both the social nature of women farmers' roles, the materiality of the cotton farming context, the characteristics of the decision support systems in use and the recursive way in which human agency and institutional pressures shape each other. Because users of so-called divergent paradigms often face criticism based on the incommensurability issue, one of the main contributions of this paper is to discuss the value of a pluralist and multiparadigmatic theoretical framework in dealing with complex IS social phenomena.
Pozzebon, M., Mackrell, D., & Nielsen, S. (2014). Structuration bridging diffusion of innovations and gender relations theories: a case of paradigmatic pluralism in IS research. Information Systems Journal, 24(3), 229-248. https://doi.org/10.1111/isj.12007