[AISWorld] A small revolution in the IS field

Ilia Bider ilia at ibissoft.se
Thu Jan 3 11:17:01 EST 2013

Hi Nick,

Thanks for posting your reflections. It was fascinating to observer the 
unfolding discussions.
Realizing that one created a monster by one's own will is the first step 
on the way of cutting off its heads.

On 2012-12-30 20:32, Nik R Hassan wrote:
> *A small revolution in the IS field*
> As we approach the end of yet another year in the history of the IS 
> field, I'd like to say how glad I was to have attended ICIS this year. 
> It may just be me, but I think I just witnessed a small revolution 
> taking place (at least in North America) in the field. I heard IS 
> scholars making unconventional remarks I have not heard before. I 
> enclose some quotes, and what went through my mind in parenthesis [I 
> am just reporting - please don't shoot the messenger :-) ].
> [Varun*] "We can do very good research, but that doesn't mean we are 
> producing good knowledge ... can we create 'better' knowledge?... 
> exciting, innovative and addressing important questions of our time"
> (wha... [my jaw dropping] did Varun just say what I thought he said?? 
> He's admitting we're not producing good knowledge?)
> [Varun] "are we scripting the way we do research....requiring us to 
> select a theory and apply it to our phenomena, create a mid-level 
> model and then refine it ... add mediators and moderators to it ... 
> Does this script work for good knowledge?"
> (Wow ... I kinda think everyone knew that was the game, the standard 
> publishing script, and I was taught exactly that in school, but to 
> hear a scholar say it in public and analyze it ... cool!)
> [Bernard**] "I've been looking back at all the work that I've done... 
> I don't think I've done enough ... We really should be doing research 
> to resolve significant global problems...
> (if Bernard feels he hasn't contributed much, how much have the rest 
> of us done?)
> [Bernard] ... at NUS, we've put together an inter-disciplinary team 
> and received a big grant using social media to reduce pests ... and 
> increase food production ... Let's not be too fixated about whether 
> MISQ or ISR would publish such research ... let's target our work at 
> Nature or Science .... to earn the respect of others outside our community
> (that's easy for him to say, he's already published tons in MISQ and 
> ISR. But isn't there something wrong with the picture? Isn't research 
> that's frequently published in the top journals of the field that's 
> supposed to make their way to journals like Science and Nature? What 
> does that say about our "normal" research?)
> [Manju**]  "After we have had the satisfaction of publishing in MISQ 
> or ISR, and at least after making tenure and Full, it is time to start 
> thinking about researching big ideas that make a difference "
> (Publishing 2-3 papers in MISQ and ISR, and getting full professor is 
> going to take at least 10-20 years out of the most productive years of 
> anyone's life, if they're fortunate enough to get there. Shouldn't 
> those most productive years already be spent in researching big ideas? 
> Shouldn't big ideas be some part of getting a full professorship in IS?)
> [Steven Alter in a follow up email]
> Our ICIS panel "DSR ... remind me again about whether it is a new 
> research paradigm or a rationale of last resort ..." chaired by Allen 
> Lee, with Steven Alter, Helmut Krcmar, and Mike Chiasson ... remarks 
> similar to Varun ... that DSR is increasingly governed by a script 
> that makes papers easier to review but ... becoming an obstacle to 
> genuine innovation ... script encourages DSR researchers to do 
> design-related work in a way in which few if any designers actually 
> design things in the real world, which is especially unfortunate for a 
> type of research that is called design SCIENCE research."
> All of these remarks are making me rethink about the notion of "value" 
> in our work (not to be confused with "usefulness" or "utility"). It's 
> close to "relevance" but since relevance has so much baggage attached 
> to it, perhaps we should be taking a closer look at what valuable 
> research really means.
> What kind of IS research is valuable anyway?
> Nik Rushdi Hassan
> Univ of Minnesota Duluth
> Chair SIG Philosophy
> *Varun Grover and Kalle Lyytinen presented at the SIG Philosophy 
> Workshop at ICIS on "IS Theory-State of the Art" - available soon on 
> the SIG Philosophy homepage
> **Bernard Tan and Manju Ahuja presented at the Senior Scholars Panel 
> at ICIS 2012 chaired by Fred Niederman
> -- 
> Nik R. Hassan, PhD
> Assoc. Professor, Finance & MIS Dept.
> Labovitz School of Business and Economics
> University of Minnesota Duluth
> 1318 Kirby Drive, LSBE 335Q
> Duluth MN 55812
> Office Phone: (218) 726-7453 <tel:%28218%29%20726-7453>
> Fax: (218) 726-7516 <tel:%28218%29%20726-7516>
> Home Page: www.d.umn.edu/~nhassan <http://www.d.umn.edu/%7Enhassan>
> LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/pub/nik-rushdi-hassan/33/591/a9b
> Email: nhassan at d.umn.edu <mailto:nhassan at d.umn.edu>
> _______________________________________________
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> AISWorld at lists.aisnet.org

Dr. Ilia Bider
Process- och systemutvecklingskonsult at ibissoft.se
Lektor & Forskare at DSV.su.se
ilia at ibissoft.se         +46 (0)8 164998
Creating an agile eneterprisehttp://t.co/5nJdNBev

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