IT and Social Change

Track Chairs

Sirkka L. Jarvenpaa

The University of Texas at Austin

Jan Recker

Queensland University

Jonathan Wareham

Ramon Llull University


Consequences from interactions with and influences of IS, whether they revolve around environmental, economic, social, psychological, cultural or ethical issues, can translate into degradation or betterment of the artificial, social or natural environment, better or worse quality of life and work, social inclusion/exclusion, (non)discrimination, (un)employment, and civic participation or lack of it. For example, IS can contribute to climate change through increasing carbon footprints, but can also provide a means for managing that carbon footprint. IS can also contribute to hyperreality through immersive applications of virtual reality, and at the same time trigger changes in the mundane reality itself. IS can be a critical means for social and political activists to afford visibility to various injustices through e-strikes and e-protests but it also affords means for activists of anti-social, illegal or unethical movements.

The IS community is uniquely positioned to address these issues of the imbrication of technological and social change and impacts, given its encompassing knowledge of both technical and social dimensions, along with its need-solution pairing that generativity properties of IS have facilitated.

This track welcomes innovative, rigorous and relevant theoretical, empirical and design studies on societal change and societal impacts from interactions with and influences of information systems (IS) broadly speaking. Empirical (qualitative and quantitative) studies as well as design-oriented research and conceptual papers on theory development will be considered. Our view of societal change and impacts is broad and inclusive.  Change can involve planned, emergent, serendipitous, and other forms.  Impacts can be actual or potential, intended or unintended, and positive, negative or diverse in effect. Various dimensions including environmental, social, economic, cultural or ethical can be involved in these relationships.  Timeframes of changes and impacts can be varied including short-term such as work stoppage or more long-term such as sustainability outcomes.

Due to the broad and inclusive nature of the topic, we encourage the submission of studies that address a variety of different units of analysis, including individual, group, process, organization, government, and society at large. We particularly welcome contributions that manage to integrate different dimensions, units, levels and views. The research questions may be derived from a broad spectrum of disciplines including information systems and business, engineering, management, operations management, applied computer science, environmental science, marketing, economics, psychology, anthropology, sociology, fine arts, etc

Topics of Interest

Topics of interests include but are not limited to

  • Socio-technical and sustainable design
  • Societal consequences of emerging technologies
  • The dark side of technology including work stress, addiction, victimization, surveillance, etc.
  • Social movements and IS
  • Green IS
  • Sustainable and unsustainable IS
  • Sustainable business practices and processes including greener supply chains
  • Energy and environmental informatics
  • Theoretical perspectives on (un)intended consequences of IS
  • The changing nature of work and life in information society
  • IS-related unemployment and deskilling, especially in knowledge work
  • The role of IS in social protest and economic or educational (in)equality
  • Responsible societal innovations using IS
  • Ethical approaches to IT system investment and IT system design
  • Ethical computing
  • The role of IS in supporting and empowering marginalized groups in society
  • Bottom-of the-pyramid issues relating to IS
  • Methods for assessing social, ethical, and environmental impacts of IS
  • Social change issues related to the ICIS 2017 theme, Crowdsourcing, Crowdfunding, Blockchain, and Sharing Economy

Associate Editors

  • Stefan Seidel, Uni Liechtenstein
  • Alem Molla, RMIT
  • Helen Hasan, UoW
  • Jyoti Choudrie, Uni Hertfordshire
  • Ofir Turel, California State University
  • Jungwoo Lee, Yonsei University
  • Vanessa Cooper, RMIT
  • Jane Webster, Queen’s University
  • Wen Wen, University of Texas at Austin
  • Likoebe Maruping, Georgia State University
  • Mary Beth Watson-Mannheim, University of Illinois
  • Anne-laure Fayard, NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering
  • Jason Chan, University of Minnesota
  • Lisen Selander, University of Gothenburg
  • Attila Marton, Copenhagen Business School
  • Tina Blegind-Jensen, Copenhagen Business School
  • Ela Klecun, London School of Economics
  • Joan Rodon, ESADE
  • Cristina Gimenez, ESADE
  • Robert Gregory, IESE
  • Konstantina Valogianni, IE Business School
  • Marina Fiedler, Universität Passau
  • Wolf Ketter, Erasmus University
  • Sherif Kamel, The American University in Cairo