The Information Systems (IS) research community is very young: it has not yet accumulated the disciplinary tradition of historical epistemic communities such as medicine, or chemistry. As a consequence, the identity of IS research is not consolidated yet, and the purpose, methods, and objects of study are still open for debate. In a first phase, the major threat to IS identity was that Computer Science had a clearer status and longer tradition. As a consequence, these two disciplines were sometimes considered as mother and daughter, instead of sisters: Computer Science was perceived as a “mother discipline” while IS was considered as its soft branch. Early IS researchers felt that this situation was very limiting in the same way as medicine would react if it were considered a mere branch of chemistry. Major efforts were made, then, to differentiate IS research from Computer Science. Since the IS research community wanted to focus on ICT-aided “management of information” within organizations it appeared natural to seek reference theories not in mathematics and logic but in organizational theory and behaviour. Many IS groups around the world actively searched for a stronger link with organizational studies. This process was of great importance to contribute to build the current IS identity, because it strengthened the outsiders’ perception of a specific purpose for the IS research activities, and (maybe even more importantly) started to legitimate IS research in the business and management academic communities. Marco de Marco is among those in Europe who played a pivotal role in this affirmation process. When, in the 80’s, the business academic community still equated IS studies with computer science, Marco started dedicating himself to supporting the affirmation and growth of the Italian IS research community. Pioneer in European Union projects, Marco established links with other IS research communities which were rising throughout Europe, and encouraged other Italian IS academics to join these emerging networks.

Emerging Themes in Information Systems and Organization Studies

ROSSIGNOLI, Cecilia
2011

Abstract

The Information Systems (IS) research community is very young: it has not yet accumulated the disciplinary tradition of historical epistemic communities such as medicine, or chemistry. As a consequence, the identity of IS research is not consolidated yet, and the purpose, methods, and objects of study are still open for debate. In a first phase, the major threat to IS identity was that Computer Science had a clearer status and longer tradition. As a consequence, these two disciplines were sometimes considered as mother and daughter, instead of sisters: Computer Science was perceived as a “mother discipline” while IS was considered as its soft branch. Early IS researchers felt that this situation was very limiting in the same way as medicine would react if it were considered a mere branch of chemistry. Major efforts were made, then, to differentiate IS research from Computer Science. Since the IS research community wanted to focus on ICT-aided “management of information” within organizations it appeared natural to seek reference theories not in mathematics and logic but in organizational theory and behaviour. Many IS groups around the world actively searched for a stronger link with organizational studies. This process was of great importance to contribute to build the current IS identity, because it strengthened the outsiders’ perception of a specific purpose for the IS research activities, and (maybe even more importantly) started to legitimate IS research in the business and management academic communities. Marco de Marco is among those in Europe who played a pivotal role in this affirmation process. When, in the 80’s, the business academic community still equated IS studies with computer science, Marco started dedicating himself to supporting the affirmation and growth of the Italian IS research community. Pioneer in European Union projects, Marco established links with other IS research communities which were rising throughout Europe, and encouraged other Italian IS academics to join these emerging networks.
9783790827385
Information System Theory; ICT in Organizational Design and Change; ICT and Productivity, e-government
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/486349
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