Informing as a Discipline: An Initial Proposal

Zbigniew Gackowski
InSITE 2007  •  Volume 7  •  2007
This paper presents an inquiry and a proposal of a structured way of thinking about informing as a separate field of scientific inquiry and practical endeavors and possibly a separate academic discipline. Informing is the science and art of practical endeavors to increase its effectiveness and efficiency; it is an interdisciplinary applied science with some components of universal validity, which according to Biglan (1979) mark pure science. It is a field with a defined model, a fundamental research question, a point of reference, a framework, observation points, and a way of measuring results. It has fundamental concepts, basic distinctions, a universal taxonomy of informing factors and their qualities, universal quality requirements, and priorities of research. It lacks, however, a clear division into sub-areas. To attain the status of a separate academic discipline, it needs further elaboration of sub-areas and a curriculum model that specifies competencies, an introductory course, prerequisite courses, and laboratories. This is an initial position paper written mainly from the operations management and decision sciences viewpoint with the purpose of eliciting challenge, critique, discussion, and suggestions for expansions in order to gradually develop a mutual consensus among those dealing with informing.
Informing, informing science, informing discipline, field of inquiry
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