A Review of IS Research Activities and Outputs Using Pro Forma Abstracts

A Review of IS Research Activities and Outputs Using Pro Forma Abstracts

Francis Kofi Andoh-Baidoo (State University of New York at Brockport, USA), Elizabeth White Baker (Virginia Military Institute, USA), Santa R. Susarapu (Virginia Commonwealth University, USA) and George M. Kasper (Virginia Commonwealth University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-128-5.ch021
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Using March and Smith’s taxonomy of information systems (IS) research activities and outputs and Newman’s method of pro forma abstracting, this research mapped the current space of IS research and identified research activities and outputs that have received very little or no attention in the top IS publishing outlets. We reviewed and classified 1,157 articles published in some of the top IS journals and the ICIS proceedings for the period 1998–2002. The results demonstrate the efficacy of March and Smith’s (1995) taxonomy for summarizing the state of IS research and for identifying activity-output categories that have received little or no attention. Examples of published research occupying cells of the taxonomy are cited, and research is posited to populate the one empty cell. The results also affirm the need to balance theorizing with building and evaluating systems because the latter two provide unique feedback that encourage those theories that are the most promising in practice.
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The information systems’ literature is diverse. Some applaud this expansive scope while others consider it indicative of a lack of discipline. This research investigates the scope of IS literature using a taxonomy proposed by March and Smith (1995) and a classification method developed by Newman (1994). This offers a different and richer view of the literature landscape than that provided by citation analysis and one that is independent of epistemological and methodological partisanship. The authors approach IS research from the perspective of juxtaposing research activities and research outputs, leading to 16 different classifications of IS research products. Being able to move away from dichotomous classification systems and toward a richer lens through which to view IS research, IS researchers can take a broader view of the underrepresented areas in the field and surgically address those research voids in the IS research quilt.

At the first International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS), Keen (1980) warned IS researchers of the need to develop a cumulative research tradition, to build upon each other’s and their own work; to develop shared definitions, topics and concepts; to ensure that journals in the field have a clear focus; and to build orthodoxy without dissuading novelty. Since then, several researchers have considered IS’s progress toward this goal (Banville & Landry, 1989; Benbasat & Weber, 1996; Weber, 1987, 1999). Baskerville and Myers (2002) for example, stated, “[i]t is our opinion that IS has been singularly successful in developing its own research perspective and its own tradition” (p. 3). Likewise, Culnan (1987) stated that IS has “made significant progress toward a cumulative research tradition” (p. 341). Others, however, such as Vessey, Ramesh and Glass (2002) suggested that a cumulative research tradition has not yet been achieved because of a lack of focus on theory, “[o]ur data leads us to the conclusion that IS research does not demonstrate reliance on a single theory, or a set of theories, even in what we may regard as well-defined subareas of the discipline” (pp. 166–167). Benbasat and Zmud (2003) also concluded that there is a lack of cumulative research tradition in IS, but they argue that this is a result of a failure to focus on the artifact.

The state of IS cumulative research remains unclear, and whether this confusion is a result of a lack of focus on theory or artifact may be both a contributor and a result of this confusion, a chicken-and-egg argument. In other words, any meaningful assessment of the state of IS cumulative research must (a) categorize theory and artifact research, (b) consider the impact of the theory-artifact mix on cumulative knowledge, and (c) identify and encourage research programs that fill-in gaps and have the greatest potential impact on IS cumulative knowledge. To our knowledge, these relationships have not collectively been considered in past empirical reviews of IS literature.

Others have recognized that development of IS cumulative knowledge requires a symbiotic give-and-take between artifact design research, building and evaluating systems, and behavioral science research, theorizing and justifying systems (Hevner, March, Park, & Ram, 2004; Lee, 1991; March & Smith, 1995; Newman, 1994; Simon, 1996; Walls, Widmeyer, & El Sawy, 1992). The behavioral science paradigm is well established in the IS literature. Although introduced to IS researchers in the early 1990s (Walls et al., 1992), the design science paradigm is only recently beginning to gather momentum (Walls, Widmeyer, & El Sawy, 2004). Moreover, Simon (1996) asserts that design science research is the foundation of all professional disciplines.

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Associate Editors
Table of Contents
Mehdi Khosrow-Pour
Chapter 1
Manuel Mora, Ovsei Gelman, Guisseppi Forgionne, Doncho Petkov, Jeimy Cano
A formal conceptualization of the original concept of system and related concepts—from the original systems approach movement—can facilitate the... Sample PDF
Integrating the Fragmented Pieces of IS Research Paradigms and Frameworks: A Systems Approach
Chapter 2
Steven Alter
The work system method was developed iteratively with the overarching goal of helping business professionals understand IT-reliant systems in... Sample PDF
Could the Work System Method Embrace Systems Concepts More Fully?
Chapter 3
Alfonso Reyes A.
This chapter is concerned with methodological issues. In particular, it addresses the question of how is it possible to align the design of... Sample PDF
The Distribution of a Management Control System in an Organization
Chapter 4
Phillip Dobson
This chapter seeks to address the dearth of practical examples of research in the area by proposing that critical realism be adopted as the... Sample PDF
Making the Case for Critical Realism: Examining the Implementation of Automated Performance Management Systems
Chapter 5
Jo Ann Lane
As organizations strive to expand system capabilities through the development of system-of-systems (SoS) architectures, they want to know “how much... Sample PDF
System-of-Systems Cost Estimation: Analysis of Lead System Integrator Engineering Activities
Chapter 6
Kosheek Sewchurran, Doncho Petkov
The chapter provides an action research account of formulating and applying a new business process modeling framework to a manufacturing processes... Sample PDF
Mixing Soft Systems Methodology and UML in Business Process Modeling
Chapter 7
Aidan Duane, Patrick Finnegan
An email system is a critical business tool and an essential part of organisational communication. Many organisations have experienced negative... Sample PDF
Managing E-Mail Systems: An Exploration of Electronic Monitoring and Control in Practice
Chapter 8
Stephen V. Stephenson, Andrew P. Sage
This chapter provides an overview of perspectives associated with information and knowledge resource management in systems engineering and systems... Sample PDF
Information and Knowledge Perspectives in Systems Engineering and Management for Innovation and Productivity through Enterprise Resource Planning
Chapter 9
Gunilla Widén-Wulff, Reima Suomi
This chapter works out a method on how information resources in organizations can be turned into a knowledge sharing (KS) information culture, which... Sample PDF
The Knowledge Sharing Model: Stressing the Importance of Social Ties and Capital
Chapter 10
Jijie Wang
Escalation is a serious management problem, and sunk costs are believed to be a key factor in promoting escalation behavior. While many laboratory... Sample PDF
A Meta-Analysis Comparing the Sunk Cost Effect for IT and Non-IT Projects
Chapter 11
Georgios N. Angelou
E-learning markets have been expanding very rapidly. As a result, the involved senior managers are increasingly being confronted with the need to... Sample PDF
E-Learning Business Risk Management with Real Options
Chapter 12
C. Ranganathan
Research on online shopping has taken three broad and divergent approaches viz, human-computer interaction, behavioral, and consumerist approaches... Sample PDF
Examining Online Purchase Intentions in B2C E-Commerce: Testing an Integrated Model
Chapter 13
Nicholas C. Georgantzas
This chapter combines disruptive innovation strategy (DIS) theory with the system dynamics (SD) modeling method. It presents a simulation model of... Sample PDF
Information Technology Industry Dynamics: Impact of Disruptive Innovation Strategy
Chapter 14
Shana L. Dardan, Ram L. Kumar, Antonis C. Stylianou
This study develops a diffusion model of customer-related IT (CRIT) based on stock market announcements of investments in those technologies.... Sample PDF
Modeling Customer-Related IT Diffusion
Chapter 15
Bassam Hasan, Jafar M. Ali
The acceptance and use of information technologies by target users remain a key issue in information systems (IS) research and practice. Building on... Sample PDF
The Impact of Computer Self-Efficacy and System Complexity on Acceptance of Information Technologies
Chapter 16
James Jiang, Gary Klein, Eric T.G. Wang
The skills held by information system professionals clearly impact the outcome of a project. However, the perceptions of just what skills are... Sample PDF
Determining User Satisfaction from the Gaps in Skill Expectations Between IS Employees and their Managers
Chapter 17
James Jiang, Gary Klein, Phil Beck, Eric T.G. Wang
To improve the performance of software projects, a number of practices are encouraged that serve to control certain risks in the development... Sample PDF
The Impact of Missing Skills on Learning and Project Performance
Chapter 18
Leigh Jin, Daniel Robey, Marie-Claude Boudreau
Open source software has rapidly become a popular area of study within the information systems research community. Most of the research conducted so... Sample PDF
Beyond Development: A Research Agenda for Investigating Open Source Software User Communities
Chapter 19
Milam Aiken, Linwu Gu, Jianfeng Wang
In the literature of electronic meetings, few studies have investigated the effects of topic-related variables on group processes. This chapter... Sample PDF
Electronic Meeting Topic Effects
Chapter 20
A. Durfee, A. Visa, H. Vanharanta, S. Schneberger, B. Back
Text documents are the most common means for exchanging formal knowledge among people. Text is a rich medium that can contain a vast range of... Sample PDF
Mining Text with the Prototype-Matching Method
Chapter 21
Francis Kofi Andoh-Baidoo, Elizabeth White Baker, Santa R. Susarapu, George M. Kasper
Using March and Smith’s taxonomy of information systems (IS) research activities and outputs and Newman’s method of pro forma abstracting, this... Sample PDF
A Review of IS Research Activities and Outputs Using Pro Forma Abstracts
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