Neuromania refers to the proliferation of neuroscience outside its home territory, across diverse and unlikely disciplines in the humanities and the social sciences. Examples of the neuro prefix’s promiscuity include neuro-economics, neuro-ethics, neuro-politics. Management science has not been immune; organization neuroscience, if not burgeoning, is a growing area, spawning research in areas such as leadership, personnel selection. Information Systems too has seen the birth of a new sub-field, that of NeuroIS, devoted to the application of neuroscience and its technologies “to study the development, adoption and impact of Information and Communication Technology”. Articles have appeared in august journals excitedly setting out research agendas, promising new traction on old problems. In this presentation, I will take a critical look at what may realistically be achieved, separating this from the hype and over-claiming, and examine some of the moral hazards that may lie ahead. Other challenges relate to the unsettled state of the neuroscience knowledgebase, methodological costs/benefits and mismatching ontologies. As well as tempering neuromania, I will make a positive (but balanced) case for NeuroIS, drawing on some of my own work, on stress and mental workload, which shows the utility of neurophysiological methods (in both laboratory and field) in the context of sociotechnical systems design.
Wastell, David, "THE LAGADO DAILY NEWS: “SCIENTISTS LOCATE BRAIN CENTRE FOR INFORMATION SYSTEMS STRATEGY” (31)" (2016). UK Academy for Information Systems Conference Proceedings 2016. 44.