The Goldspink and Kay (2004) paper posits that a potential synthesis between autopoietic and complexity theories can be instrumental in explaining the relationship between the elements constituting social systems and emergent phenomena resulting from their interaction; an issue referred to as the micro-to-macro problem in social sciences. The authors argue that autopoietic theory elucidates the characteristics of individuals (the micro-level agents that together form social systems), whereas complexity theory sheds light on the way their interactions lead to macro-level phenomena.
All in all the writers do an excellent job of deriving an intelligible framework from the above mentioned theories and converting it to a theoretical lens that, when applied to the problems associated with the underlying interactions and dynamics between a social system’s constituting agents, can actually provide us with a less opaque picture. One such example could be the framework’s explaining power in reconciling two seemingly conflicting notions, those of divergent and convergent dynamics in social systems. This novel understanding, however, remains at an undesirable level of abstraction and fails to deliver any real-world empirical applications, perhaps calling for future development and expansion.
Klein and Myers (1999) propose a set of principles for conducting and evaluating interpretive field studies in IS. One of the major limitations of their work (as acknowledged by the authors) is that their principles apply only to interpretive research of a hermeneutic nature. More importantly, the same set of principles are suggested for both conducting and post-hoc evaluation of case studies. As fruitful as this might be in creating common understandings and expectations, it will more likely than not compromise the rigor of the evaluation process, if the proposed principles are to be adopted by reviewers and editors. At the very least, some additional principles meant solely for assessment purposes could have been put forth.