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Abstract

Over the past two decades, the information systems community has become engaged in improving the environmental effects of information systems and technologies, which has given rise to the green IS field. Despite increasing interest, some have suggested that progress toward meaningful solutions for sustainability has been too slow. Responding to these concerns, we examine the development of green IS research using the modernity perspective to understand green IS’s evolution and to present alternative perspectives to motivate future research. From a sample of over 80 green IS papers published over a 15-year period, we identify four main patterns of modernity that are manifest in green IS research. These patterns include the importance of the individual in solving environmental problems; science as the main source of solutions; and the emergence of an artificial science approach, reliance on technology, and growth as businesses’ ultimate goals. Further, our analysis reveals that green IS research has started to demonstrate elements of a hyper-modernity perspective that emphasizes reflexivity. We argue that future green IS research should continue on this path and propose a conceptual framework inspired by hyper-modernity and centered on reflexivity that could serve as a guide for future research.

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