The Information Science Group has defined its mission as 'to foster the co-evolution of the application of Information Systems in its environment to the greater benefit of the value creation of organizations, networks and society in general.' One way to cope with the diversity of the research domain, is to have a concise focus. Figure 2.1 visualizes the information systems centric focus of the IS research group. Information Science consists of three research lines: strategic design, governance and processes.
Strategic design research
Understanding the setting or context in which IT is used is a key component for success. Architectural decisions, sourcing, security and access control systems are just some of the aspects demanding scrutinous research and are frequently addressed by the IS research team.
On top of the more static aspects mentioned above, dynamic control structures are being studied as well. Strategic design objects may be the cornerstone for creating and using effective and efficient IT, but only in combination with its controlled use, true successes can be achieved. Key focus in this research cluster lays on when, how and who need what IT systems in addition to in what way they can be utilized to achieve improved business processes as the ultimate goal in organizations and organizational networks.
To embark onto improvement and innovation initiatives, the IS research group makes use of the business process perspective. In general, all design and governance study success will eventually materialize in improved processes, i.e. culminates into better process performance/quality.
Understanding and modelling processes, its stakeholders and their ethics, the supporting systems and the context in which they are embedded is addressed in depth by the IS research team.
Multi-domain oriented research
All three research clusters are highly interdependent, and therefore it makes sense to study them in harmony to avoid isolated views and risk sub-optimization. We foster an integrated approach where possible. New architectural measures may never achieve their full potential without support of specifically adapted business processes and governance and vice versa. In a sense, IS’s research can be typified as multi-domain oriented. IS research can be characterized by three basic viewpoints:
- The model view; research issues are stripped from non-focal aspects and structured to suit analysis. Choosing the right model-approach helps with the analysis and communication with peers and actual problem owners.
- Use of actual data; The IS research embraces actual data as a source of studying research questions in contrast with using simulated data. Case studies, questionnaires and design methodologies are used regularly in cooperation with actual organizations.
- A pragmatic approach towards analysis. Various techniques, both qualitative as well as quantitative (and hybrids of both) are used for analysis and knowledge development.