Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 40 Number 1 2023 pp. 1-2

Editorial Introduction

Zwass, Vladimir

The Journal of Management Information Systems (JMIS) is celebrating its 40th year of publication. Over this period, we have witnessed how information systems have evolved into a driving force of societal change. We have also seen the burgeoning of our research field into a mature contributor to the knowledge about the organizational and societal computing, communication, and general information processing, now increasingly assisted by artificial intelligence (AI). With information technology (IT) permeating the global society, with the affordability of its networked end points supported by the clouds, with virtuality and machine learning radically changing the realm of possibility, our field has new heights to climb. We are still quite remote from the understanding of the effects of AI on human work, from knowing how the social media can more strongly become a force for the good, how to move toward more transparent AI, or how online platforms can be differentiated in their influence on the communities and marketplaces. JMIS has always stood for the broad understanding of the compass of our discipline and for the methodological diversity in the generation of knowledge that moves the field of Information Systems (IS) forward.

JMIS is a leading journal in the IS field. Just one of the indicators of this standing is the Journal’s inclusion in the FT50 list of the top scholarly venues by the Financial Times. That is a responsibility we should understand. The leading journals of a scholarly discipline have three essential roles to play. These are the epistemic, instrumental, and societal purposes.

First and foremost, in the epistemic domain, a top-tier scholarly journal is responsible for the refinement, validation, accumulation, and dissemination of reliable and relevant knowledge. To a large degree, the leading journals define the discipline as it evolves and as the journals evolve the contours of the discipline. A generalist journal such as JMIS should be open to all the legitimate subjects and methodologies of the field, as represented by the best papers. It should champion the inclusion in every sense and at every level. For example, early on, JMIS championed the introduction of IS economics and design research into good currency in the IS field. These are now flourishing subfields of our field. The highly international and balanced Editorial Board of JMIS is composed of leaders of the IS discipline. That is one of the ways of assuring not only the quality and integrity of our stringent refereeing process, but also tending to the balanced scope of our evolving coverage.

Second, we have to recognize the instrumental role of the leading journals. They are the means of certification of intellectual achievement. In this credentialing role, scholarly journals impact the advancement, grantsmanship, and intellectual influence of individual scholars. Such journals undergird the functioning of the informal scholarly networks. They should also aim at exerting the influence of the field on the external constituencies, including the cognate disciplines, business, and government. Reflective practitioners should be able to benefit from the journals’ content.

Third, and increasingly important, in the societal domain, the leading journals have to contribute responsibly to the inclusive wellbeing of the society at large. Our societies are undergoing epochal changes and are responding to epochal challenges, and we cannot stand aloof. To a large degree, this transformation and its rapidity have been precipitated or facilitated by the effects of the IT we study. Responsiveness to the societal needs is a commandment in the stewardship of the journals. Our filtering function has to be complemented by fostering our positive contribution to society. As editors, we have at our disposal special issues, editorials, and reviewing guidance.

With this in mind, we have recently championed new subfields of our field, often with special issues guest-edited by leading scholars and guided by members of our Editorial Board. JMIS papers have significantly contributed to health informatics, the understanding of AI as a complement to human efforts, prevention of deception in social media and in other settings, and to behavioral information security, to give only some examples. A special section on the role of IT in fostering mental health is in preparation. The special issue on fostering the metaverse, also now in preparation by its guest editors, will not approach it as a millenarian ideal. Rather, we will show how the present and emerging technologies can undergird the progressive stages of what can become a globally inclusive virtual environment of work, private life, and play.

The present issue of JMIS aptly illustrates the understanding of our field as delivering value with information and information systems, in the definition of the Guest Editors, who bring to you a multifaceted special issue. The Guest Editors, Gert-Jan de Vreede and Jay F. Nunamaker, Jr., include a set of papers that show how this value can be created with the contemporary IS to benefit individuals, communities, and organizations. The issue showcases the objects of our study in action, ranging from collaboration systems and business analytics to deep learning in action.

As we are entering another decade of JMIS publication, we are welcoming to our Editorial Board its new members: Juan (Jane) Feng of Tsinghua University, Susanna Ho of Australian National University, Shirish C. Srivastava of HEC Paris, and Ofir Turel of University of Melbourne.

We mourn the passing of two Editorial Board members. Phillip Ein-Dor was one of the creators of the intellectual and organizational underpinnings of our discipline. Makoto Nagao, a former President of Kyoto University, was a pioneer in machine translation and in several other subfields of IS and Computer Science. We also wish all the best in his future pursuits to Joey F. George, who is stepping down from the Board.

At this milestone, we have every reason to look forward to a new decade of our intellectual development, and of our contribution to scholarship and society.