Evaluating diagnosis, treatment and inference activities in the information systems (IS) profession. European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), Tel Aviv, Israel, June 2014

José-Rodrigo Córdoba, Alberto Paucar, Gillian Wright

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Information systems (IS) is a field that influences and is influenced by the work of many different academics and practitioners. The influence of IS to other areas of knowledge (i.e. management) has led to debate as to whether IS has become a reference field of knowledge. Focusing on either knowledge elements or knowledge activities of a reference field leaves out consideration of relationships and interactions through time between both. Following Abbott’s sociology of professional knowledge, this paper proposes a triad of analytical categories: ‘Diagnoses’, ‘Treatments’ and ‘Inferences’ to examine and advance a more comprehensive understanding of the development of IS. Our analysis, based on a pilot survey of five IS journals, suggests that the key focus of IS activity has been on refining methodologies (treatments).
The field has been less explicit and inclusive in generating and disseminating diagnoses and inferences. Those people working in the field can and should make available untapped stocks of knowledge in relation to these two elements whilst attempting to expand the jurisdiction (ownership) of IS over different problems. They can do so by relating more strongly methodologies to how IS problems can be defined and theorized upon. As this is work in progress, we propose a number of implications that we intend to explore in further research.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2014
EventEuropean Conference in Information Systems - Tel Aviv, Israel
Duration: 9 Jun 201411 Jun 2014


ConferenceEuropean Conference in Information Systems
CityTel Aviv


  • Information systems
  • Professions
  • Abbott
  • treatment
  • Knowledge

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