We question a call by Benbasat and Zmud (2003) to narrow the focus of information systems research to a set of core properties. We first discuss three limitations of their argument and then offer two alternative viewpoints for analyzing the state of our profession. One viewpoint casts the arguments of Benbasat and Zmud in terms of power in the domain of scholarship. The second viewpoint, based on colonial systems, sees fresh perspectives, discipline newcomers, boundary spanners, and topical outliers as the likely source of the field¡¯s creativity, vitality, and long-term survival. We conclude that the discipline is best served by focusing on supporting diverse and novel research. We proffer neither an alternative research agenda nor a research-appropriate evaluation mechanism since we demonstrate that such restrictive policies hinder both our relevance and potential survival. We suggest some administrative changes for the IS discipline intended to encourage and nurture creativity without sacrificing academic rigor.
Ives, Blake; Parks, Michael S.; Porra, Jaana; and Silva, Leiser
"Phylogeny and Power in the IS Domain: A Response to Benbasat and Zmud's Call for Returning to the IT Artifact,"
Journal of the Association for Information Systems:
3, Article 4.
Available at: http://aisel.aisnet.org/jais/vol5/iss3/4