Conceptual convergences: positioning information systems among the business disciplines

Dirk Hovorka, Bond University
Kai R. Larsen, University of Colorado at Boulder
David Morachi, University of Colorado at Boulder

Document Type Conference Paper

Hovorka, D., Larsen, K., and Morachi, D. (2009) Conceptual Convergences: Positioning Information Systems Among the Business Disciplines, European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), Verona, IT June 8-10.

For further information please visit The European Conference on Information Systems.

Copyright © Dirk S. Hovorka, Kai R. Larsen & David Morachi, 2009.

Abstract

The structure and interrelationships of formal knowledge produced in the scientific disciplines have long been of interest to academics. One increasingly important domain of Information Systems (IS) research is the study of the creation and evolution of knowledge. Recent discourse about the intellectual structure of IS has revealed Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA) as an analytic technique that reduces problems associated with human categorization and citation analysis. This exploratory research positions IS within a ‘science of business’ using LSA to analyze semantic relationships in 24,841 abstracts from core business journals and begins to chart research concepts around which IS and other business disciplines converge. Results indicate that IS research has greater conceptual similarity to the disciplines of Management, Operations, Strategy, and Marketing than previously thought, and that these disciplines are converging on semantically similar research topics and concepts. This organizational-behavior-technical domain is distinct from an economics focused domain dominated by Finance and Accounting. The convergence suggests that IS is contributing to research and knowledge creation useful to other business disciplines and that strategic and functional dependence among the disciplines is increasing. This potentially leads to more integrated systems-oriented knowledge and greater practical relevance for both IS and other business disciplines.