Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems


This special issue on Scandinavian Researcher Career Retrospectives (RCR) includes five articles from within the Nordic information systems (IS) research community. Two of the papers are from Finland (Iivari and Nurminen), two from Sweden (Flensburg and Lundeberg), and one from Denmark (Bjørn-Andersen with Clemmensen). Each of these articles illuminates the history of Scandinavian IS research, and its connections to wider contexts from their particular vantage point. Each paper describes a unique career trajectory, and reflects on its authors’ values, aspirations, struggles, successes, failures and lessons learned. In this editorial we equate RCRs with academic autobiographies (Popkin 2007; Aurell 2015). Following the narrative turn of historiography in the 1970s, and the more recent biographical developments in the humanities and social sciences, autobiographies are gaining ground as a legitimate style of writing in academia at large. As the editors of this special issue, we agree with Aurell (2006) that academic autobiographies can truly benefit from being unconventional. We should aim to “Tell a good story!” (Porra 2015b) that reveals the wisdom and character of the Nordic IS academy as seen through the eyes of these individuals. Our hope is that as we collect more Scandinavian careers stories, they will reveal their own philosophical, methodological styles and content illuminating the Nordic peoples’ wisdom of life in the context of using computers for the benefit of all humanity. With this special issue, we explore some broad ideas and concepts for furthering the collecting and writing down Scandinavian IS research field history. We submit that as Scandinavian minded IS peoples, we can benefit from adopting the richness of various categories of history writing genres, but in the end we must adapt their ways as we focus on telling our own story in our characteristic ways that emanate from our own ancestral past.