The future is now: calling for a focus on temporal issues in information system research


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Purpose: As information systems (IS) phenomena continue to emerge and evolve in our ever-changing economic and social contexts, researchers need to increase their focus on time in order to enrich our theories. The purpose of this paper is to present broad suggestions for IS researchers about how they can direct some of their research efforts to consider, conceptualize and incorporate time into research endeavors and how they might be mindful about considering and specifying time-related scope conditions of their research efforts. Design/methodology/approach: The authors synthesize empirical studies and discuss three distinct yet related frameworks of time and the benefits they can provide. The authors choose two research streams that reflect dynamic economic and social contexts – namely, enterprise systems and social networks – to illustrate how time and frameworks of time can be leveraged in our theory development and research design. Findings: The authors demonstrate that limited research in IS has incorporated a rich conceptualization and/or discussion of time. The authors build on this gap to highlight guidelines that researchers can adopt to enrich their view of time. Originality/value: Given the dynamic nature of IS phenomena and the increased availability of longitudinal data, the authors’ suggestions aim to urge and guide IS researchers about ways in which they can incorporate time into their theory and study designs.



Conceptualization of time, Engineering, Engineering, Industrial, IS phenomena, Time