Does location matter in IS research? A developing country perspective from India

Mar 20th, 2024 | By | Category: RSS Feed

Abstract

This paper examines the question of doing information systems (IS) research from a location, particularly from a developing country like India. Our analysis reveals that IS publications from India are relatively few in number, though increasing in recent years; hardly focussed on context-specific issues and concerns; and are largely in lower-ranked journals. Using neo-institutional theory, we show that the reasons are dominantly coercive (measuring up to rankings and accreditation agencies) and mimetic (following leaders). Normative (influence of professional bodies) forces appear to counterbalance this by necessitating continuous improvement in research outputs and emphasising location-specific, impactful research. Institutional responses to these forces manifest in policies and mechanisms to operationalise them, such as resource availability, balancing teaching load with research expectations, promotion and tenure policies amongst others. We examine the paths by which more rigorous and relevant research, responsible to a location can be achieved, based on the insights from a series of talks given by eminent IS scholars. We opine that there is a need to consciously seek out such paths, perhaps by actively seeking collaboration with other disciplines and practitioners; establishing programmes of research; and building contextualised theories. We conclude with a relook at the underlying dynamics of the various institutional responses, recommended paths and some policy implications of our findings.

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