Understanding Unstable Information Systems Phenomena: A Punctuated Equilibrium Perspective

Date
2021-01-05
Authors
Crossler, Robert E.
Belanger, France
Torres, Carlos
Johnston, Allen
Warkentin, Merrill
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Abstract
The information systems (IS) literature includes different perspectives, epistemologies, and research philosophies to explore phenomena at the intersection of technologies, information, people, organizations, and processes. As studies are replicated and knowledge accumulates, researchers can develop a more in-depth understanding of how their constructs of interest interact and affect each other. IS researchers have reported mixed findings in prior research as the phenomena change. In this paper, we discuss unstable phenomena in IS and argue that conflicting findings in a variety of domains might be the result of this instability. Using examples from IS security and word processing research streams, we examine the issues surrounding unstable phenomena using a punctuated equilibrium lens and suggest research strategies and a research framework to help researchers conduct studies in this challenging environment
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Keywords
Innovative Behavioral IS Security and Privacy Research, contextualization, infosec, punctuated equilibrium, unstable phenomena
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