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Abstract

This paper reflects on some significant trends and achievements in Information Systems (IS) theorizing in Australia. Important themes identified as typifying Australian eclecticism are (i) the influence of socio-technical thinking; (ii) design and action approaches; (iii) critical theory research; (iv) emphasis on theory and theoretical foundations; and (v) some unusual approaches to theory. These themes are seen as emerging from Australia’s background as an isolated, distant country with a low population density, and its identification as a masculine, peaceful, democratic, and equalitarian society that is also multi-cultural and technologically advanced. The Australian IS community is seen to have some commonality with Scandinavia in that both are to some extent “outsiders” in comparison with more prominent and powerful research communities in Europe and North America. Value is seen in researchers in both Scandinavia and Australia being able to “think differently”, taking lessons from a number of traditions and being willing to find a new path and pioneer new directions.

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