Advancing Information Systems Theories


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The information systems (IS) field represents a multidisciplinary area that links the rapidly changing technology of information (or communications and information technology, ICT) to the business and social environment. Despite the potential that the IS field has to develop its own native theories to address current issues involving ICT it has consistently borrowed theories from its reference disciplines, often uncritically, to legitimize its research. This volume is the first of a series intended to advance IS research beyond this form of borrowed legitimization and derivative research towards fresh and original research that naturally comes from its own theories. It is inconceivable for a field so relevant to the era of the hyper-connected society, disruptive technologies, big data, social media, "fake news" and the weaponization of information to not be brimming with its own theories. The first step in reaching the goal of developing native IS theories is to reach an agreement on the need for theory (its rationale) and its role as the most distinctive product of human intellectual activity. This volume addresses what theories are, why bother with theories and the process of theorizing itself because the process of developing theories cannot be divorced from the product of that process. It will lay out a research agenda for decades to come and will be invaluable reading for any academic in the IS field and related disciplines concerned with information, systems, technology and their management. Nik Rushdi Hassan is Associate Professor of Information Systems (IS) at the Labovitz School of Business and Economics (LSBE), University of Minnesota Duluth, USA. He is currently Associate Editor for the History and Philosophy Department of the Communications of the AIS and Senior Editor of Data Base Advances in Information Systems. He has served as President of the Association of Information Systems (AIS) Special Interest Group on Philosophy in Information Systems (SIGPhil) and was one of the Editors of a recent special issue of the European Journal of Information Systems on Philosophy and the Future of the IS Field. His research areas include the philosophical foundations of the IS field, theorizing and theory building, IS development, business analytics, social network analysis and complexity science. He has published in the Journal of the Association for Information Systems, Journal of Information Technology, European Journal of Information Systems, Information Systems Journal, Decision Support Systems, Data Base Advances in Information Systems, Information Systems Management Journal, Communications of the AIS, Journal of IS Education, Informing Science Journal, Review of Accounting and Finance, Journal of Documentation, Journal of Business Analytics and in The 2018 Routledge Companion to Management Information Systems. Leslie Willcocks is Professor of Work, Technology and Globalisation, Department of Management, London School of Economics, UK. His research areas include automation, digital business, the future of work, IT and business process outsourcing, organisational change, management, and global strategy. As well as being a professor in the Information Systems and Innovation Faculty Group, he is a Fellow of the British Computer Society. For the last 30 years he has been Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Information Technology. He is co-author of 69 books, including most recently Robotic Process and Cognitive Automation: The Next Phase, Dynamic Innovation Through Outsourcing Service Automation Robots and The Future of Work (2016, and Global Business: Strategy In Context (2021). He has published over 240 refereed papers in journals such as Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, California Management Review, MIS Quarterly, MISQ Executive and Journal of Management Studies. .

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