The Challenge of Relating IS Research to Practice

The Challenge of Relating IS Research to Practice

Jim Senn (Georgia State University, USA)
Copyright: © 1998 |Pages: 6
DOI: 10.4018/irmj.1998010103
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Abstract

“The academic IS community is following slowly.” “The work is not relevant, reachable, or readable.” “If they’ve never personally done it, how can they possibly advise someone?” “If I want to know what works or what’s being tried, I’ll pick up the phone and get a hold of my counterpart in other companies...With few exceptions, the academic IS community doesn’t have a clue.” These, and a substantial number of other highly critical comments, made by chief information officers in major corporations, were captured during the course of structured interviews conducted with information technology professionals participating in a research program currently in process 1 (Senn, 1997). They are representative of many similar expressions concerning university-based information systems research. Moreover, they appear to be consistent with assessments and impressions sensed by many persons conducting information systems research from an academic home base. Judging from the apparent frequency and consistency of these judgments, it is evident that a sizeable portion of the practitioner community does not value the research conducted by information systems IS scholars. This paper explores the challenge of relating IS research to practice. It suggests alternatives for researchers to consider if they seek an impact on practice and an ongoing communication link with practitioners.

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