5. What the papers say: A journal critque

In “Challenges to information systems:time to change,” Ray Paul argued for the need to address the way Information Systems (IS) is being perceived by other professionals. As a student currently studying Masters in Information Systems Management, I must say I find Ray’s views compelling, intelligent and most importantly well worth paying attention to.

Rays repeated use of phrases like  “change” and “Challenge”  in the first and second paragraphs highlights the state at which Information Systems currently is, pointing out some key challenges IS face.

“What is Information Systems ?” Ray claims it is not a surprise that many people do not know what an IS is, especially since many people study it from a variety of perspectives, thereby given rise to many definitions. he goes on to say that it will be difficult for the society to know what IS is and what it can do if there is no clear understanding. He did however suggested on creating a proposal to the  conference of IS Academics, that will promote IS publicly and seek to address the ambiguities errors and omissions. He also suggested that we can start by distinguishing IT, which is (a collection of devices, software and
accessories) from IS which is what emerges from the adaptation and usage of IT  and the formal and informal process by the users.

“Nobody seems to know who we are outside the IS Community” 

“Nobody seems to know who we are outside the IS Community” this perhaps is the most interesting of all his arguments, he argues, the subject IS don’t usually attract public attention unless it’s for a negative reason or some failure and when this happens, solutions are usually sought for people in the computer science community, who place emphasis on the technology rather than other factors of IS such as Social factors. In his own opinion he argued that IS groups do not have a distinct identity, Instead they are situated in other environments such as Business Schools and Computer Science Departments. However he suggested that rather than argue about having an identity, we should embrace the fact that IS is being acknowledged when interesting discoveries are made.

As a student who have had many interactions with people about what I do or study I am inclined to agree with Paul on thse assertions

Article Reviewed

Ray J. Paul
European Journal of Information Systems
(2007) 16, 193–195.


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