IS sustainability research: A trans-disciplinary framework for a ‘grand challenge'

Date of this Version


Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Details

In press.

Hovorka, D. S. & Corbett, J. (2012) IS sustainability research: A trans-disciplinary framework for a ‘grand challenge'. Paper presented at the 2012 International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS 2012): Digital innovation in the service economy, Orlando, Florida.

Access the conference website.

© Copyright ICIS, 2012. All rights reserved.


To address the “grand challenge” of biosphere sustainability, it is imperative that we examine the assumptions and philosophies underlying Information Systems sustainability research and expand research approaches. Despite calls for trans-disciplinary research and recognition that addressing sustainability will require multiple perspectives, a review of the IS sustainability literature finds that few publications incorporate knowledge or methods from outside traditional businesscentric boundaries. Drawing on a diverse range of IS and sustainability literature, we develop a trans-disciplinary framework for IS Sustainability Research (ISSR) based on a view of sustainability that recognizes the environment as a critical stakeholder rather than a collection of resources to be managed and exploited. We identify three broad areas of inquiry and representative research questions which address the connections between human activity, the natural capital of the biosphere, and the societal goals of human-environment interactions through which ISSR can contribute to the grand challenge of biosphere sustainability.

This document is currently not available here.