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The Mutualistic Relationship between Information Systems and the Humanities

Jan H. Kroeze
University of South Africa, South Africa


Abstract
The paper explores the nature of the relationship between the study fields of Information Systems and the humanities. Although literature on Humanities Computing states in principle that there is a bi-directional, beneficial symbiotic relationship, most studies and reflections investigate only the application of information technology in the humanities. This implies that the relation is commensalistic rather that mutualistic. However, studies do exist that implement theoretical constructs borrowed from the humanities in various aspects of Information Systems. Therefore, the author pleads that more recognition be given to the pre-discipline of Humanities-enriched Information Systems and proposes theoretical and practical ways to make the field more independent. The paper uses an interpretive research approach and explores the issue at hand on a meta-theoretical level. It suggests that, by building on the foundations of existing, pre-disciplinary enrichment endeavors, a new paradigm of Information Systems research may be acknowledged and nursed in order to facilitate further growth of the discipline.

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Reference:Kroeze, J.H. (2010). "The Mutualistic Relationship between Information Systems and the Humanities," . Sprouts: Working Papers on Information Systems, 11(170). http://sprouts.aisnet.org/11-170
Keywords:Information Systems, Humanities, Symbiosis, Mutualism
Item Type:Article - Volume 11 Article 170 (2011)
Language:English
Email: Jan H. Kroeze (kroezjh@unisa.ac.za)
Additional Information:Suggested reference: KROEZE, J.H. 2010. The Mutualistic Relationship between Information Systems and the Humanities (full paper, edited version of inaugural lecture). Proceedings of the 15th International Business Information Management Association Conference (15th IBIMA), 6 - 7 November 2010, Cairo, Egypt, pp. 915-927. (Knowledge Management and Innovation: A Business Competitive Edge Perspective, edited by Khalid S. Soliman. On CD: ISBN: 978-0-9821489-4-5). (Discussion paper at the AIS Special Interest Group on the Philosophy and Epistemology of Information Systems (SIGPHIL) Workshop, held concurrently with the International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS 2011) in Shanghai, China, on December 4-7, 2011.)

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