Moving beyond IS identity: Concepts and discourses

Date of this Version


Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Details

Published Version.

Hovorka, D.S. (2010). Moving beyond IS identity: Concepts and discourses. Paper presented at the Thirty-first international conference on information systems (ICIS 2010), St Louis, Missouri.

Access the conference website.

2010 HERDC submission. FoR Code: 080600

© Copyright Dirk S. Hovorka, 2010




The ongoing debate about the identity of the Information Systems (IS) discipline is examined from a new perspective. Two recent studies are contrasted to demonstrate the limits of retrospective analysis for defining the field of IS. A new model for IS research, based on concepts and discourses is suggested. Latent Semantic Analysis is proposed as an approach to identifying concepts which form transdisciplinary discourses. Conceptual mapping across disciplines may elucidate fruitful areas of research and a transdisciplinary approach to research may improve research salience and intellectual contributions. Such an approach may also weaken or dissolve the discipline as an applied business/organizational field focused on the information technology artifact. This has the long term effect of maintaining intellectual plasticity and relevance, while expanding the range of intellectual contributions available to IS researchers. Moving beyond IS identity will require rethinking institutional structures upon which the identity of IS is currently dependent.



This document has been peer reviewed.