The progress of the IS field over the last two decades has witnessed powerful and impactful methodological and theoretical developments across multiple domains. While the centrality of theory and theorizing in the field has remained, the development of new and novel approaches to theory-building, alongside the ability to utilize new methods for empirical testing, have made this a particularly exciting time to be an IS researcher. These developments are driven by four concurrent advances – the advent of new technologies and artifacts in the field, an increased ability to capture and collect micro-level data, the development of statistical and analytical tools to extract insight from this data, and an increased sensitivity to perspectives that transcend the IS discipline per se. As a discipline that spans technology and human behavior, we are in a unique position to offer fresh thinking on foundational issues that become increasingly important with the ubiquity and power of digital innovation.
While opportunities abound, therefore, for the IS researcher, there are also new questions and challenges that emerge regarding the philosophical underpinnings of what is acceptable, reasonable, and publishable. Indeed, as a vital and growing field of enquiry, it is necessary for us, as members of the IS community, to invest in a systematic discussion of the evolution of these new approaches to research, while also re-evaluating the moral and philosophical implications associated with these opportunities. An informed discussion of evolving theoretical and methodological research approaches as well as their places in current IS research will help for two reasons. First, it will disseminate a revised set of acceptable norms and principles to the community at large. Second, it will provide guidelines for where gaps still exist in our understanding of the IS artifact, and its interactions with individuals, organizations, and society.
It is common for academic fields reaching a level of maturity to “take stock” of their research traditions – ICIS represents one such venue for performing this “stock taking” on a recurring basis for our field. This track represents the forum for conducting challenging debates. We invite submissions that address underlying questions of theory and theorizing, methodology, and philosophy within IS research. Specifically, we are interested in papers that, either through argumentation or through methodological rigor, push the envelope in terms of what is known and acceptable within the IS community.