Communications of the Association for Information Systems


This paper reports on the panel discussion that took place at the European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS) in Guimarães, Portugal, on 9 June, 2017. The discussion focused on three central questions: 1) “What does research impact mean for you?”, 2) “What is your approach to making an impact with your research?”, and 3) “What advice would you give to PhD students and early-career scholars?”. While the five panelists (Samir Chatterjee, Alan R. Dennis, Shirley Gregor, Magnus Mähring, and Peter Mertens) partly differed in their views on what impactful research is and how to conduct it, they seemed to largely agree that assessing impact requires a multidimensional view, that impactful IS research requires a clear link to real-world problems (“grand challenges”), and that young scholars need to avoid the trap of confusing research gaps with research relevance. With the panel discussion and this report, we hope to initiate a discussion on the essential topic of research impact in the IS discipline and to contribute to the development of a more uniform, yet more diverse, understanding and appreciation of different approaches to making an impact with IS research.





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