Defining information systems has been a longstanding problem for the field. This paper suggests that, since it may not be possible to develop a universal definition, consideration should be given to a plurality of definitions aligned toward specific purposes. As an implementation of this approach it recommends the following shorter definition for the purpose of education, which emphasizes topics that are being or will be taught to prepare students for employment in the field: Information systems is the field that prepares students to interface between non-technical organizational employees and managers and very technical IT professionals, with a focus on functions that are unlikely to be offshored. It includes general categories of information and communications technology use that currently and/or will employ substantial numbers of employees in organizations. The more detailed definition presented in the body of the paper extends this by identifying five broad subcategories that currently fit within the above definition.
Westfall, Ralph D.
"An Employment-Oriented Definition of the Information Systems Field: An Educator's View,"
Journal of Information Systems Education: Vol. 23
Available at: https://aisel.aisnet.org/jise/vol23/iss1/6
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