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Abstract

This study examines the development of social capital in the collaboration network of information systems (IS) scholars over a 33-year period (from 1980 to 2012). Using the co-authorship data from six premier journals (MIS Quarterly, Information Systems Research, Journal of MIS, Journal of the AIS, European Journal of Information Systems, and Information Systems Journal), we analyze the historical trajectory of five aspects of the field's structural social capital: network ties, network configuration, structural holes, growth, and structural cohesion. Our results show that, as a scientific field, the IS community has made significant progress in accumulating social capital. The current IS collaboration network is also comparable in several aspects with networks found in other business disciplines (e.g., management, finance, and marketing). Our study has several important implications for the focus-versus-diversity debate in the IS field. Based on our findings, we offer some recommendations as to how the IS community can increase the field's social capital, and thereby facilitate knowledge creation and innovation.

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