Research in information systems: a study of diversity and inter-disciplinary discourse in the AIS basket journals between 1995 and 2011

  • Edward W N Bernroider
  • Alan Pilkington
  • José-Rodrigo Córdoba


The paper investigates how Information Systems (IS) has emerged as the product of interdisciplinary discourses. The research aim in this study is to better understand diversity in IS research, and the extent to which the diversity of discourse expanded and contracted from 1995 to 2011. Methodologically, we apply a combined citations/co-citations analysis based on the eight Association for Information Systems basket journals and the 22 subject-field classification framework provided by the Association of Business Schools. Our findings suggest that IS is in a state of continuous interaction and competition with other disciplines. General Management was reduced from a dominant position as a reference discipline in IS at the expense of a growing variety of other discourses including Business Strategy, Marketing, and Ethics and Governance, among others. Over time, IS as a field moved from the periphery to a central position during its discursive formation. This supports the notion of IS as a fluid discipline dynamically embracing a diverse range of adjacent reference disciplines, while keeping a degree of continuing interaction with them. Understanding where IS is currently at allows us to better understand and propose fruitful avenues for its development in both academia and practice.


citation analysis co-citation analysis information systems research reference discipline Abbott Foucault 


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Copyright information

© Journal of Information Technology (JIT) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward W N Bernroider
    • 1
  • Alan Pilkington
    • 2
  • José-Rodrigo Córdoba
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Information Management and ControlVienna University of Economics and BusinessViennaAustria
  2. 2.School of ManagementUniversity of LondonSurreyUK

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