The object under study in this paper is the distinct core competency of information systems (IS) academics. The author is concerned that, while many would agree that it has more to do with thinking skills than technical expertise, thinking skills are poorly defined. This paper will suggest a definition using the multiple perspectives literature that is growing in popularity both in IS and the theory of knowledge. More specifically, this paper will explore the argument that the core competency of IS academics be recognised as applied critical thinking where this is defined as offering unique and useful perspectives on industry related problems. While there is some recognition of this role for IS academics already, the lack of explicit definitions of ‘critique’ and practical examples may be blocking its development as a feasible core competency. The idea being that academics would develop ways to critique management practice constructively rather than invent more classroom based methodologies. In this way, academics would have a useful service to offer busy developers. Examples of possible critique methods are presented with some discussion about how they might be applied.