In the past week, I read the two assigned papers about the opportunities and challenges for information systems (IS) research under the era of big data and the soiotechnical aspect of the IS discipline.
From the first one, when the data-driven meets the theory-driven research in the era of big data, IS researchers can play three different roles (intermediary, responsive, and proactive roles) to bridge studies between data-driven and theory-driven perspectives, which helps big-data related research explain well of the patterns obtaining from big data from the theoretical perspectives and theory-driven research better construct and polish the hypotheses and find suitable data to test the proposed theories. By the way, the three different roles are related to four different kinds of challenges (reconciling competing approaches to creating or refining domain theories using big data; selecting data and analytic techniques to conduct theory testing; solving problems that are unsolvable from a single perspective; and sharing data and models across research teams and projects) in the process of combining data-driven and theory-driven studies.
For the second one, the authors summarized and classified the sociothenical core aspects of IS discipline into five types based on the previous studies from 2000 to 2016 of two top IS journals, MIS Quarterly and ISR. The authors argued that IS discipline need to self-identify from both social and technical perspective in order to keep the discipline keep distinctive, diverse, and yet unified which will help the discipline develop healthily and in vitality. There are also three recommendations the authors gave for re-envisaging and recommitting to the sociotechnical perspective of IS research: recognizing IS problems as consisting of social and technical aspects along a continuum, accepting variations of social–technical relationship; and connecting humanistic and instrumental outcomes in a synergistic manner.