Characterising Information Systems in Australia: A Theoretical Framework
Keywords:discipline, Australia, university, framework
AbstractThe study reported in this volume aims to investigate the state of the Information Systems academic discipline in Australia from a historical and current perspective, collecting evidence across a range of dimensions. To maximise the strategic potential of the study, the results need to be capable of integration, so that the relationships within and across the dimensions and geographical units are understood. A meaningful theoretical framework will help relate the results of the different dimensions of the study to characterise the discipline in the region, and assist in empowering the Australian IS research community. This paper reviewed literature on the development of disciplines, before deriving a theoretical framework for the broader study reported in this volume. The framework considered the current and past state of IS in Australian universities from the perspective of the development of a discipline. The components of the framework were derived and validated through a thematic analysis of both the IS and non-IS literature. This paper also presents brief vignettes of the development of two other related disciplines. The framework developed in this paper, which has been partly guided by Whitley’s Theory of Scientific Change, has been used to analyse data collated from the Australian states and the Australian Capital Territory. The degree of variation in Australian IS as an indication of its “professionalisation”, the nature of its body of knowledge and its mechanisms of control, will be used to frame the analysis. Research reported in several of the papers that follow in this volume has drawn upon the theoretical framework presented below.
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