Communications of the Association for Information Systems


The doctoral consortium is a well-established, widely endorsed event in the information systems (IS) discipline that occurs adjunct to mainstream IS conferences (e.g., ICIS, ECIS, PACIS, AMCIS). Anecdotal evidence suggests that PhD students’ experience of these events is almost universally positive; some have referred to the events as “life changing” or “magical”. Further, both participating students and scholars strongly perceive the events’ value. To extend the experience to more PhD students, doctoral consortia are more recently being run locally and unaffiliated with any conference. By reviewing the literature and historical documents and conducting a series of interviews and email exchanges with past conference co-chairs, we explore the merits of IS doctoral consortia (consortia). We position the IS doctoral consortium as distinct from forms of doctoral student development in other disciplines, a veritable “signature pedagogy” for IS. In examining the practices and motivations underlying doctoral consortia, we explain related phenomena to improving future consortia. In addition, by appending much historical detail, we add to the IS discipline’s organizational memory.