New Information Systems Development Methodologies (ISDMs) are suggested in the belief that their deployment would be beneficial to consultants in their work. A large number of ISDMs already exist but their value has been questioned and at the same time new methodologies continue to be introduced in an attempt to support and improve the practice of information systems development work. What is not always clear from current studies is that ISDM is a multi-perspective and cross-discipline phenomenon. Although a large amount of knowledge of ISDM is available, different disciplinary interests have resulted in fragmented assessments of it. This paper intends to identify theoretical perspectives applied in the conceptualization of ISDM. A review of the literature on ISDM was conducted and four different theoretical perspectives were identified: 1) system, 2) structure, 3) innovation, and 4) knowledge. While each perspective provides various overarching depictions of ISDM, the synthesized view of ISDM provided in this study reveals the complexities and ambiguities of a multifaceted phenomenon such as ISDM. Suggestions for an alternative conceptualization of ISDM are provided in an attempt to facilitate the investigation of ISDM.
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