Advertisement

The Principle of Theory

Chapter
  • 153 Downloads
Part of the Contemporary Issues in Technology Education book series (CITE)

Abstract

This chapter proposes that theory is important for the teaching of design and innovation. The question on what constitutes theory is contentious and widely regarded as difficult to answer. This chapter will address the role of theory in design and innovation studies with the view to providing the groundwork for its application in the teaching of the subject. Initially it will describe what constitutes a theory and what constitutes a good theory. Then it will address the theory of design and innovation in three ways. First, I will argue for the importance of an innovation-based view (IBV) of an organisation. Second, I will draw on the work of Carol Slappendel who contended that design and innovation is an interactive process. Third, I will propose that the complexities of design and innovation require an ecological approach by presenting an ecological systems theory (EST). I will then combine these three aspects into a metatheory.

Keywords

Theory Resource-based view Knowledge-based view Dynamic capabilities Innovation-based view Ecological systems theory Metatheory 

References

  1. Amabile, T. M., Hadley, C. N., & Kramer, S. J. (2003). Creativity under the gun. In Harvard business review on the innovative enterprise. Massachusetts: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  2. Astley, W. G., & Van de Ven, A. H. (1983). Central perspectives and debates in organization theory. Administrative Science Quarterly, 28, 245–273.Google Scholar
  3. Banville, C., & Landry, M. (1989). Can the field of MIS be disciplined? Communication of the ACM, 32(1), 48–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barney, J. B. (1991). Firm resources and sustained competitive advantage. Journal of Management Information Systems, 17, 99–120.Google Scholar
  5. Benbasat, I., & Zmud, R. (1999). Empirical research in information systems: The practice of relevance. MIS Quarterly, 23(1), 3–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bessant, J. (2003). Challenges in innovation management. In L. V. Shavinina (Ed.), The international handbook on innovation. Oxford, UK: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  7. Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development: Experiments by nature and design. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Bronfenbrenner, U. (Ed.). (2004). Making human beings human: Bioecological perspectives on human development. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  9. Chamberlin, T. C. (1890). The method of multiple working hypotheses. Science, 15, 92–96.Google Scholar
  10. Checkland, P., & Holwell, S. (1998). Information systems and information systems. Chichester, UK: Wiley.Google Scholar
  11. Chesbrough, H. W. (2003). Open innovation: the new imperative for creating and profiting from technology Boston: Harvard Business School.Google Scholar
  12. Coakes, E. (2000). Knowledge management: A sociotechnical perspective. In E. Coakes, D. Willis, & S. Clarke (Eds.), Knowledge management in the sociotechnical world: The graffiti continues (pp. 4–14). London: Springer.Google Scholar
  13. Conboy, K. (2009). Agility from first principles: Reconstructing the concept of agility in information systems development. [Ph.D. thesis]. Information Systems Research, 20(3), 329–354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Costello, G. J. (2018). Proposing an innovation-based view of the firm. Irish Journal of Management, 37(1), 65–79.  https://doi.org/10.2478/ijm-2018-0006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Costello, G. J. (2010). Innovation and information systems: A case for ecological systems theory. PhD Thesis, National University of Ireland, Galway.Google Scholar
  16. Costello, G. J., & Donnellan, B. (2008). Seeking the face of innovation with the ethical compass of Emmanuel Levinas. In G. León, A. Bernardos, J. Casar, K. Kautz, & J. DeGross (Eds.), IFIP International Federation for Information Processing, volume 287, open IT-based innovation: Moving towards cooperative IT transfer and knowledge diffusion (pp. 97–117). Boston: Springer.Google Scholar
  17. Cranefield, J., & Yoong, P. (2007). To whom should information systems research be relevant: The case for an ecological perspective. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the 15th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS2007) June 7–9 2007, St. Gallen, Switzerland.Google Scholar
  18. Crowston, K., & Myers, M. D. (2004). Information technology and the transformation of industries: three research perspectives. The Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 13(1), 5–28.Google Scholar
  19. Douma, S., & Schreuder, H. (2008). Economic approaches to organizations (4th ed.). London, United Kingdom: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  20. Dubin, R. (1976). Theory building in applied areas. In M. Dunnette (Ed.), Handbook of industrial and organisational psychology (pp. 17–40). Chicago: Rand McNally.Google Scholar
  21. Dubin, R. (1978). Theory development. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  22. EGFSN. (2017). “Winning by Design” report by the Expert Group for Future Skills Needs (EGFSN) November 2017. Available at https://dbei.gov.ie/en/Publications/Publication-files/Winning-by-Design.pdf. Accessed February 2018.
  23. Etzkowitz, H., & Leydesdorff, L. (2000). The dynamics of innovation: From National Systems and “Mode 2” to a Triple Helix of university–industry–government relations. Research Policy, 29(2), 109–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Fagerberg, J. (2005). Innovation: A guide to the literature. In J. Fagerberg, D. Mowery, & R. R. Nelson (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of innovation (pp. 1–26). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Goffin, K., & Mitchell, R. (2005). Innovation management: Strategy and implementation using the pentathlon framework. Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  26. Grant, R. M. (1996). Toward a knowledge-based theory of the firm. Strategic Management Journal, 17, 109–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gregor, S. (2006). The nature of theory in information systems. MIS Quarterly, 30(3), 611–642.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hookway, C. J. (2005). Peirce, Charles Sanders. In T. Honderich (Ed.), The Oxford companion to philosophy (2nd ed., pp. 685–688). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Hoskisson, R. E., Hitt, M. A., Wan, W. P., & Yiu, D. (1999). Theory and research in strategic management: Swings of a pendulum. Journal of Management, 25, 417–456.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Keen, P. (1980). MIS research: Reference disciplines and a cumulative tradition. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the First International Conference on Information Systems, Philadelphia.Google Scholar
  31. Keen, P. (1991). Relevance and rigor in information systems research: Improving quality, confidence cohesion and impact. In H. Nissen, H. Klein, & R. Hirschheim (Eds.), Information systems research: Contemporary approaches & emergent traditions (pp. 27–49). Amsterdam: North-Holland.Google Scholar
  32. Kraaijenbrink, J., Spender, J.-C., & Groen, A. J. (2010). The resource-based view: A review and assessment of its critiques. Journal of Management, 36(1), 349–372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Lang, S. S. (2005). In Appreciation – Urie Bronfenbrenner. Association for Psychological Science – Observer. Available on-line through https://www.psychologicalscience.org/observer/in-appreciation-urie-bronfenbrenner accessed March 2020, 18(11).
  34. Leonard, D. (1998). Wellsprings of knowledge: Building and sustaining the sources of innovation. Massachusetts: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  35. Lundvall, B.-A. (1995). National Systems of innovation: Towards a theory of innovation and interactive learning. London: Pinter.Google Scholar
  36. Markus, M. L., & Saunders, C. (2007). Looking for a few good concepts...and theories...for the information systems field. MIS Quarterly, 31(1), iii–vi.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. McLeroy, K. R., Bibeau, D., Steckler, A., & Glanz, K. (1988). An ecological perspective on health promotion programs. Health Education & Behavior, 15(4), 351–377.Google Scholar
  38. Metcalfe, M. (2004). Theory: Seeking a plain English explanation. Journal of Information Technology Theory and Application, 6(2), 13–21.Google Scholar
  39. Moran, D. (2000). Introduction to phenomenology. London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  40. OECD. (2005). Oslo manual: Guidelines for collecting and interpreting innovation data (3rd ed.). Paris: Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development, Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Pierce, J. L., & Delbecq, A. L. (1977). Organization structure, individual attitudes and innovation. Academy of Management Review, 2, 27–37.Google Scholar
  42. Peirce, C. S. (2010). Writings of Charles S. Peirce: A chronological edition. Vol. 8, 1890–1892/Edited by the Peirce Edition Project. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  43. Penrose, E. (2009). The theory of the growth of the firm with a new introduction by Christos N. Pitelis. Oxford, UK/New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Pettigrew, A. M. (1987). Introduction: Researching strategic change. In A. M. Pettigrew (Ed.), The management of strategic change. Oxford, UK: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar
  45. Poole, M. S., & Van de Ven, A. H. (2000). Towards a general theory of innovation processes. In A. H. Van de Ven, H. L. Angle, & M. S. Poole (Eds.), Research on the management of innovation : The Minnesota studies (Vol. 32, pp. 637–662). Oxford, UK/New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  46. Rothwell, R. (1994). Towards the fifth-generation innovation process. International Marketing Review, 11(1), 7–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Ruse, M. (2005). Theory. In T. Honderich (Ed.), The Oxford companion to philosophy (2nd ed.). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  48. Saren, M. (1987). The role of strategy in technological innovation: A re-assessment. In I. L. Mangham (Ed.), Organizational analysis and development. Chichester: Wiley.Google Scholar
  49. Sautet, F. (2000). Entrepreneurial theory of the firm. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Schumpeter, J. A. (1934). The theory of economic development: An inquiry into profits, capital, credit, interest, and the business cycle. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press (1959 printing).Google Scholar
  51. Scruton, R. (2004). Modern philosophy: An introduction and survey. London: Pimlico.Google Scholar
  52. Slappendel, C. (1996). Perspectives on innovation in organizations. Organization Studies, 17(1), 107–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Stein, E. (1989). On the problem of empathy (The collected works of Edith Stein; vol. 3) translated by Waltraut Stein, Ph.D. Washington, DC: ICS Publications.Google Scholar
  54. Suppe, F. (1999). Abduction. In R. Audi (Ed.), The Cambridge dictionary of philosophy (pp. 651–654). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  55. Sutton, R. I., & Staw, B. M. (1995). What theory is not. Administrative Science Quarterly, 40, 371–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Svennevig, J. (2001). Abduction as a methodological approach to the study of spoken interaction. Norskrift, 103, 1–22.Google Scholar
  57. Teece, D. J., Pisano, G., & Shuen, A. (1997). Dynamic capabilities and strategic management. Strategic Management Journal, 18(7), 509–533.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Tidd, J., Bessant, J., & Pavitt, K. (2005). Managing innovation: Integrating technological, market and organizational change. Chichester, UK: Wiley.Google Scholar
  59. Tsai, W. (2004). Knowledge transfer in intraorganizational networks: Effects of network position and absorptive capacity on business unit innovation and performance. Academy of Management Journal, 44:996–1004. In J. Storey (Ed.), The management of innovation: Volume II (pp. 533–562). Cheltenham, UK: Northampton Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  60. Van de Ven, A. H. (1986). Central problems in the management of innovation. Management Science, 32(2), 590–607.Google Scholar
  61. Van de Ven, A. H. (Ed.). (2007). Engaged scholarship: A guide for organizational and social research. Oxford, UK/New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  62. Van de Ven, A. H., Angle, H. L., & Poole, M. S. (Eds.). (2000). Research on the management of innovation: The Minnesota studies. Oxford, UK/New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  63. von Hippel, E. (2005). Democratizing Innovation. Massachusetts: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  64. Wacker, J. G. (1998). A definition of theory: Research guidelines for different theory-building research methods in operations management. Journal of Operations Management, 16(4), 361–385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Walton, R. E. (1987). Innovating to compete. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  66. Weick, K. (1989). Theory construction as disciplined imagination. Academy of Management Review, 14(2), 516–531.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Wernerfelt, B. (1984). A resource-based view of the firm. Strategic Management Journal, 5(2), 99–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Whelan, E., Parise, S., Valk, J. D., & Aalbers, R. (2011). Creating employee networks that deliver open innovation. MIT Sloan Management Review, 53(1), 37–45.Google Scholar
  69. Whelan, E. (2007). Exploring Knowledge Exchange in Electronic Networks of Practice, Journal of Information Technology, 22, 5–12.Google Scholar
  70. Whetten, D. A. (1989). What constitutes a theoretical contribution? Academy of Management Review, 14(4), 490–495.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Wolfe, R. A. (1994). Organizational innovation: Review, critique and suggested research directions. Journal of Management Studies, 31(3), 405–431.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Yin, R. K. (1994). Case study research: design and methods London Sage Publications.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Galway-Mayo Institute of TechnologyGalwayIreland

Personalised recommendations