Abstract

The conceptualization of space is integral to many of the diverse forms of information systems, as for example in the physical space represented in geographical information systems and the virtual space in simulated worlds. Yet, despite its importance and centrality, the conceptualization of space in information systems has not been subject to the in-depth discussion that has occurred in other fields. This lack of serious attention to the diversity of perspectives on space hampers ongoing research and the re-visioning of phenomena that leads to new insights. The aim of this research perspectives paper was to develop an encompassing framework that provides a comprehensive view of philosophical perspectives, spatial themes, and concepts of space, relevant to information systems. As a result of an extensive literature review, an encompassing framework is presented that includes four prominent spatial themes: representing space; differentiating space; disclosing space and intuitive space. Each theme is related to its key characteristics and features and underlying philosophical perspectives. The paper demonstrates how the new framework can facilitate IS scholars’ expansive analysis in scholarly work, the re-visioning of phenomena that can lead to transformational shifts in understanding IS phenomena, and be used by editors and reviewers to evaluate papers concerning space in IS.

DOI

10.17705/1jais.00830

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