The information systems discipline in Australia's capital

Shirley Gregor, Edward Lewis, Craig McDonald

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapter


The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is the seat of Australia’s federal
government. The three universities studied—the University of New
South Wales at the Australian Defence Force Academy (UNSW@ADFA),
The Australian National University (ANU) and the University of
Canberra (UC)—are all located in the nation’s capital city, Canberra.
Each group has a distinctive background that reflects this setting. The
UNSW@ADFA is essentially a private university for the Australian
Defence Organisation; the ANU was set up to be a national research
institution; and the UC group for many years focused on meeting the
training needs for computing professionals for the federal government.
Despite these distinguishing characteristics, the information systems
(IS) groups studied have some commonalities. Pedagogical approaches,
epistemological approaches and research topics are all recognisably
within the bounds of what is regarded as legitimate for the IS discipline.
There is also a degree of commonality in the core knowledge topics
offered to students. There are, however, also aspects that detract from
the degree to which IS has developed as a discipline. Our field is not
regarded as socially prestigious and there are few signs of mechanisms
of control. A unique symbol set does not exist to exclude outsiders.
The placement of the organisational units within the universities is a
result of local contingencies, as is, to some extent, the nature of research
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Information Systems Academic Discipline in Australia
EditorsGuy Cable
Place of PublicationAustralia
PublisherANU E Press
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781921313943
ISBN (Print)9781921313936
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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