According to Barbara Adam, “time is such an obvious factor in social science that it is almost invisible”. Indeed, Information Systems (IS) researchers have relied upon taken-for-granted assumptions about the nature of time and have built theories that are frequently silent about the temporal nature of our being in the world. This paper addresses two key questions about time in IS research: (i) what formulations of time are available to us in our research and (ii) how can these formulations be used in a coherent way in our research? In addressing the first question, two meta-formulations of time are examined. The first relates time to the sense of passing time expressed in successive readings of the clock. The second relates time to the experience of purposive, intentional, goal-directed behaviour. Our proposal is that IS researchers should be encouraged to identify the formulations of time that underpin their research. Our goal is to provide a framework to allow IS researchers to evaluate the fit between the goals of research and the temporal assumptions being used to underpin it and ultimately to investigate the extent to theories that are based on different assumptions about time can be combined or integrated.
O Riordan, Niamh, "DESIGNING THE FUTURE PERFECT: REORGANISING IS RESEARCH AROUND THE AXIS OF INTENTION" (2016). Research-in-Progress Papers. 42.