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Conceptualization in theory development has received limited consideration despite its frequently stressed importance in Information Systems research. This paper focuses on the role of construct clarity in conceptualization, arguing that construct clarity should be considered an essential criterion for evaluating conceptualization and that a focus on construct clarity can advance conceptualization methodology. Drawing from Facet Theory literature, we formulate a set of principles for assessing construct clarity, particularly regarding a construct’s relationships to its extant related constructs. Conscious and targeted attention to this criterion can promote a research ecosystem more supportive of knowledge accumulation.


Originally published in

Zhang, M., Gable, G., and Rai, A., Toward Principles of Construct Clarity: Exploring the Usefulness of Facet Theory in Conceptualization, Australasian Journal of Information Systems, 2016, 20, 1- 16. doi:

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License