University of Maryland

MIS Quarterly Special Issue Showcase

Next-Generation Information Systems Theory

January 27, January 29, and February 4th, 2021

Accelerating change, increasing complexity, and the unprecedented availability of data and algorithms for pattern identification have led some to argue for a reduced emphasis on theory in IS research.  However, it is our contention that theorizing is now more critical than ever. Rather than diminishing the value of theory, more complex systems, new forms of data, and emerging machine learning tools provide opportunities to improve theorizing.  Many critiques of theorizing are actually just critiques of old-fashioned views of theorizing that we can move beyond.  We need to adopt fresh approaches to theorizing for the road ahead (for more on these ideas see the Special Issue Editorial).

This Special Issue seeks to inspire the IS community to reaffirm its commitment to developing foundational theories and offer bold new theoretical ideas and approaches to inspire and shape our field’s future. We hope the papers and provocations presented in these sessions and to be published in the Special Issue will fuel and sustain the intellectual engine of our scholarly community at this crucial point in history.  We are inspired by these scholars’ work, and hope you will be too. 

Registration information and details for each Showcase session are included below. (Please register for each session to receive the Zoom links.)

Andrew Burton-Jones, Brian Butler, Susan Scott, Sean Xin Xu (Special Issue Senior Editorial Team)


Session 1

MISQ Showcase – Session 1
Date and Time:Wednesday, Jan 27: 8pm – 9:30 pm Eastern US (Eastern Standard Time)
Thursday, Jan 28: 9 – 10:30 am Beijing
Thursday, Jan 28: 11 am – 12:30 pm Brisbane (AEST)
Thursday, Jan 28: 1 – 2:30 am London (GMT/UTC)

The Next Generation of Research on IS Use: A Theoretical Framework of Delegation to and from Agentic IS Artifacts (Full Paper)
Aaron Baird, Georgia State University
Likoebe Maruping, Georgia State University

Who Needs Theory? (Invited Provocation)
John King, School of Information, University of Michigan

All IS Theory is Grounded Theory (Invited Provocation)
Natalia Levina, Stern School of Business, New York University

Speculatively Engaging Future(s): Four Theses (Invited Provocation)
Dirk Hovorka, The University of Sydney Business School
Sandra Peter, The University of Sydney Business School


Session 2

MISQ Showcase – Session 2
Date and Time:
Friday, Jan 29:  10 am – 11:45 am Eastern US (Eastern Standard Time)
Friday, Jan 29: 11 pm – 12:45 am Beijing
Saturday, Jan 30: 1 am – 2:45 am Brisbane (AEST)
Friday, Jan 29: 3 – 4:45 pm London (GMT/UTC)

The CARE Theory of Dignity Amid Personal Data Digitalization (Full Paper)
Dorothy E. Leidner, Baylor University
Olgerta Tona, University of Gothenburg

Everything Flows: Studying Continuous Socio-Technological Transformation in a Fluid and Dynamic Digital World (Full Paper)
Reza Mousavi Baygi, IESEG School of Management
Lucas D. Introna, Lancaster University
Lotta Hultin, Handelshogskolan

Theories in Flux: Reimagining Theory Building in the Age of Machine Learning (Invited Provocation)
Monica Tremblay, Raymond A. Mason School of Business, William & Mary
Rajiv Kohli, Raymond A. Mason School of Business, William & Mary
Nicole Forsgren, GitHub, Inc.

Focusing on Programmatic High Impact Information Systems Research, Not Theory, To Address Grand Challenges (Invited Provocation)
Sudha Ram, Eller College of Management, University of Arizona
Paulo Goes, Eller College of Management, University of Arizona

The Economics of IT, Reference Discipline and Boundary Expansion (Invited Provocation)
Erik Brynjolfsson, Stanford Digital Economy Laboratory, Stanford University
Chong Alex Wang, Guanghua School of Management, Peking University
Xiaoquan Michael Zhang, Chinese University of Hong Kong


Session 3

MISQ Showcase – Session 3
Date and Time:Thursday, Feb 4:  10 am – 11:30 am Eastern US (Eastern Standard Time)
Thursday, Feb 4: 11 pm – 12:30 am Beijing
Friday, Feb 5: 1 am – 2:30 am Brisbane (AEST)
Thursday, Feb 4: 3 – 4:30 pm London (GMT/UTC)

Connecting the Parts with the Whole: Toward an Information Ecology Theory of Digital Innovation Ecosystems (Full Paper)
Ping Wang, College of Information Studies, University of Maryland

Avoiding an Oppressive Future of Machine Learning: A Design Theory for Emancipatory Assistants (Full Paper)
Gerald C. Kane, Boston College
Amber G. Young, University of Arkansas
Ann Majchrzak, University of Southern California
Sam Ransbotham, Boston College

Scale Matters: Doing Practice-based Studies of Contemporary Digital Phenomena (Invited Provocation)
Michael Barrett, Judge Business School, Cambridge University
Wanda Orlikowski, Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Let’s Claim the Authority to Speak out on the Ethics of Smart Information Systems (Invited Provocation)
Bernd Stahl, de Montfort University
M. Lynne Markus, Bentley University


The MIS Quarterly Special Issue Showcase: Next-Generation Information Systems Theory is being hosted (virtually) by the University of Maryland, Social Data Science Center.

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