Communications of the Association for Information Systems


Equity across academic disciplines is taken for granted in contemporary business schools. The status of a discipline is crucial for such fairness. One might assume, therefore, that IS scholars are treated fairly during tenure and promotion processes when compared to scholars from other business school academic fields. In fact, to the extent that the IS field has short and long term problems, this may not be the case. The playing field used by business academic disciplines may not be level. This study addresses three questions related to this issue. The first asks whether there is a level playing field for publication among the various business disciplines, and second, assuming a level playing field, what are the relative productivity differences between dissemination of scientific results among these disciplines? The third question is how could the playing field be leveled, assuming it is not at the present time. To answer these questions, existing data sources were tapped, one of these containing well over 18,000 data points. Further, original data was gathered from U.S. business schools, and all the data was analyzed in relation to AACSB data on the relative sizes of business school disciplines. Given our finding that the playing field is not level, the differences between the IS discipline and the other disciplines - Accounting, Finance, Management, and Marketing - are examined, and the consequences of the disadvantage to the IS discipline are discussed. The article concludes with recommendations of actions to level the field, and these are presented as a challenge to leaders in the Information Systems discipline.