Uncovering the Boundary-spanning Role of Information Systems Research in Trans-Disciplinary Knowledge Advancement

Fei Liu, Eric T. K. Lim, Chee-Wee Tan, Weiquan Wang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Intrigued by the important yet underexplored inter-disciplinary impact of IS discipline, this study investigates the inter-disciplinary role played by IS discipline in trans-disciplinary knowledge advancement. To achieve this objective, this study firstly advanced a Model of Trans-Disciplinary Knowledge Advancement that posits a process that consists of three stages of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis with two transitions, namely knowledge liquidization and crystallization, in two modes, namely boundary-reinforcing and boundary-spanning. In light of this model, this study conducted an algorithmic historiographic citation analysis on 114767 articles in four distinct research areas, including technology acceptance, IT system success, trust, and knowledge management, extracted from ISI Web of Science database. 64 central articles in main paths of liquidization and crystallization were elicited. Results from an in-depth bibliographic analysis on these central articles shed light on four distinct trans-disciplinary roles (i.e., spanner, innovator, aggregator, and reinforcer) and trans-disciplinary characteristics of IS research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICIS 2017 Proceedings
Number of pages20
Place of PublicationAtlanta, GA
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems. AIS Electronic Library (AISeL)
Publication date2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event38th International Conference on Information Systems: Transforming Society with Digital Innovation, ICIS 2017: Transforming Society with Digital Innovation - Coex Convention Center , Seoul, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 10 Dec 201713 Dec 2017
Conference number: 38


Conference38th International Conference on Information Systems: Transforming Society with Digital Innovation, ICIS 2017
LocationCoex Convention Center
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of
Internet address
SeriesProceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems


  • Trans-disciplinary knowledge advancement
  • Disciplinary boundary spanning
  • Algorithmic historiography
  • Bibliography analysis

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