Communications of the Association for Information Systems


I believe that a lively and vigorous debate about the nature of the IS discipline is important. We need an open and constructive debate about the identity of the IS field and its subject matter. For this reason I welcome Benbasat and Zmud's June 2003 article in MIS Quarterly in which they suggested that the core of IS research should be the IT artifact. I also welcome Alter's response in this issue of Communications of the AIS, in which he argues that the core of IS research should be "systems in organizations". However, both articles take one point for granted: that the IS discipline is ready and able to define a core. In this article I take issue with this fundamental assumption. I believe the attempt to narrow the field to a core is misguided, at least at this point in time. The argument of this paper is that the field of information systems is nowhere near ready to define a core in information systems.