Regional IS Knowledge Networks: Elaborating the Theme of Relevance of IS Research

Mikael Söderström, Torbjörn Nordström
InSITE 2002  •  Volume 2  •  2002
The purpose of this paper is to elaborate the theme of the relevance of IS research. Based on recent experiments and experiences in the borderland between research and practice and politics we suggest some additions to the discussion of the IS research relevance in Fitzgerald (2001). One addition concerns relevance to whom, where we suggest considering a regional relevance, through cultivation of regional IS knowledge networks. Such networks comprise regional knowledge production in collaboration between researchers and practitioners, and results are made public and tested also in other organizations than the research sites. This is closely related to the view of knowledge and research put forward by American pragmatism. A second addition is to complement Fitzgerald’s suggestion to expose researchers to practice with the suggestion to expose practitioners to research. It is just as difficult to learn the ‘true nature’ of research from reading the executive summary in MIS Quarterly as it is to learn the ‘true nature’ of practice from a couple of interviews with practitioners. A regional IS knowledge network is an excellent opportunity for such double exposure.
IS research relevance, Knowledge, Collaboration researchers-practitioners, Knowledge networks
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