Challenges to identifying the information systems (IS) field originate within the community, from external institutional forces, from the change in technology, from the emergence of new phenomena, and finally, from the changing understanding of what a “field” or “discipline” entails. In this study we trace the historiography of the IS field to illustrate sources of confusion arising from deeply held assumptions regarding the formation and legitimacy of IS identity. By introducing the identity of IS as a “human science” as opposed to that of a natural science, we illuminate an interstitial gap in knowledge which IS inhabits. To address this gap, we posit sociomateriality as a perspective that offers IS a distinct identity as an academically and socially relevant field by uncovering and enabling research into the entanglement of humans, information, and technologies.



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