We in the Information Systems community often describe our discipline as being of an inherently applied nature. Whether one fully accepts this description or not, what is clear is that the academic IS community faces significant pressure from government, commerce and industry to assist to resolve urgent problems which they face “in the real world”. A community desire for research which might be commercialised is not, of course, restricted to the IS domain—we see similar needs in medicine and engineering, for example. Information Systems is, however, uniquely placed in the following combination of respects: · Low level of development of fundamental theoretic advances · Rapid rate of change of the enabling technology · High relative contribution of the commercial sector to innovations which are similar to those sourced from academe · Rapidly increasing pervasion of Information Technology (and the consequent pervasion of IS need) within Commerce, Government and Society generally · High visibility These characteristics, together with the inherently multidisciplinary nature of Information Systems and the wide range of backgrounds of IS academics have combined to influence the character of research within the discipline. Although the Chair and Panelists now all perceive themselves as members of the Information Systems Community, their backgrounds are diverse. Three members come directly from an IS/Business Administration background, while the other three founded their careers, variously in Software Engineering, Sociology and Psychology. Paul Swatman, in his role as the session chair, will briefly introduce the topic and establish the importance of a multidisciplinary debate. Next, each of the panelists will make a short presentation. The panel members will outline their perspectives on the topic, by reference to their own backgrounds and, where appropriate, by reference to the corresponding debate in their parent discipline. The panelists will illustrate their views with examples and by comparison with the reference disciplines. The diversity of the panelists’ backgrounds itself offers a basis for considerable debate although the format allows significant time for interactions with the audience.
Swatman, Paul A., "Rigour vs. Relevance in IS Research: Perspectives from IS and the Reference Disciplines" (2000). ECIS 2000 Proceedings. 37.