Constructing the right disciplinary is questions

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations


This essay argues for the primacy of asking disciplinary research questions instead of just research questions. Following how identities of academic disciplines are constructed based on their unique discourses, research questions become disciplinary when they address what is relevant to that unique discourse. The higher the level of cross-disciplinary activity the field supports, especially toward interdisciplinarity, the more interesting and valued the questions become. It argues that a critical step towards becoming an integrative interdiscipline is for the IS field to ask questions that are not being asked by other disciplines, or questions that other disciplines are incapable of asking. These questions become the right questions that support the establishment of the IS field as an integrative interdiscipline. Addressing these questions will require the IS field to build its own standards and methods of inquiry, its own culture and values that reflect its unique identity. To ensure that the field continues to consolidate itself as a distinct interdiscipline, this essay proposes that IS researchers ask, at the beginning of their research study, “What’s IS about it?” The examples of information technology innovation and NeuroIS are given to demonstrate the importance of asking this question.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAMCIS 2017 - America's Conference on Information Systems
Subtitle of host publicationA Tradition of Innovation
PublisherAmericas Conference on Information Systems
ISBN (Electronic)9780996683142
StatePublished - 2017
EventAmerica�s Conference on Information Systems: A Tradition of Innovation, AMCIS 2017 - Boston, United States
Duration: Aug 10 2017Aug 12 2017

Publication series

NameAMCIS 2017 - America's Conference on Information Systems: A Tradition of Innovation


OtherAmerica�s Conference on Information Systems: A Tradition of Innovation, AMCIS 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 AIS/ICIS Administrative Office. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Disciplinarity
  • IS theory
  • Information systems (IS) philosophy
  • Interdisciplinarity
  • Multidisciplinarity
  • Research question


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