On Digital Theorizing, Clickbait Research, and the Cumulative Tradition

Abayomi Baiyere*, Nicholas Berente, Michel Avital

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debateResearchpeer-review

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The pursuit of novel and indigenous digital theories is a thought-provoking call by Grover and Lyytinen. Such a piece is direly needed, and we hope it will spark a reinvigoration of the field. However, despite its many merits and our alignment with its message, we have two comments or caveats for readers of their piece. These are—a) a need to re-emphasize the value of attending to the cumulative tradition in our pursuit of digital theorizing, and relatedly b) an unreflective reading of the paper may risk mobilizing IS scholarship towards clickbait research. We further highlight three anchors that future scholarship can consider in attending to these issues a) problematization anchor, b) implications anchor, and c) boundary-spanning anchor. With these points, we add more volume to amplify the message of G&L and offer suggestions for pursuing innovative digital theories that go beyond ephemeral theorizing.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Information Technology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)67-73
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Published online: 02 February 2023.


  • Digital theorizing
  • Theory building
  • Cumulative tradition
  • Clickbait research
  • Problematization
  • Debate

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