Social Technical Issues and Social Inclusion (SIGSTISI)

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Track Chairs

Karen Patten, University of South Carolina,
Lakshmi Iyer, University of North Carolina at Greensboro,

Track Description

The Social-Technical Issues and Social Inclusion track focuses on information systems research areas impacting the intersection of humans and technology. It provides a venue for scholars of multiple Information Systems research areas to present research related to a broad range of social-technical issues as well as social inclusion issues. This track creates an area for interested researchers to establish platforms for future research leading to comprehensive research streams dealing with information systems and social, ethical, political, and cultural aspects from the individual, organizational, or societal focus. Once an emerging topics research stream has been started for a few years with ongoing research, the emerging topics often spin-off to become new tracks.

This track also partners with the related Special Interest Group (SIG) – Social Inclusion, which focuses on issues relating to diversity and social exclusion within an Information Society. The track also addresses under-represented groups within the IT field whether producers or consumers of information systems and technology. This partnership provides a greater awareness and an opportunity to focus related research into a more comprehensive research stream.

The Social-Technical Issues and Social Inclusion track solicits research papers (conceptual, theoretical, and empirical) as well as case studies, research-in-progress, and best practices / lessons learned.

Mini-Track 1: Inclusion of the Differently-Abled in the Information Society

Rakesh Babu, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee,

This mini-track invites research papers (conceptual, theoretical, and empirical), research-in-progress, case studies and best practices on Information Systems (IS) use by the differently-abled (DA). DA includes the blind & visually-impaired, the elderly, the hearing-impaired and the dyslexic. They are atypical users who interact with IS differently. Often, they face systemic and functional barriers in effective use of IS. Moreover, they are an under-studied population in the IS discipline. We draw the attention of the AIS community to the broad theme of IS and DA users to make IS more inclusive. The long-term goal is to leverage the unique skill-sets of DA users to develop an inclusive information society. Relevant topics include Systems Accessibility & Usability; Universal Access to IS Education; E-learning of DA; Social/ Mobile Computing through Assistive-Technology; Healthcare IS for the Da; Public Policy and/or Legal Implications of Accessibility and Usability.

Mini-Track 2: Organizational and Social Dynamics in Information Technology

Dragos Vieru, University of Quebec,
Michael B. Knight, Texas A&M University-Kingsville,

This mini-track focuses on information systems research areas impacting the intersection of humans and technology in an organizational context. Social issues related to information technology represents one of the most often discussed underpinnings in information systems research throughout the tenure of the IS field. Social issues are those research topics most aligned with the human factor in terms of information systems planning, development, implementation and utilization.

This mini-track includes all aspects of social issues that are impacted by information technologies affecting organizations and inter-organizational structures. This would include the conceptualization of specific social issues and their associated constructs, empirical validation of social models, and case studies illustrating socialization success and failures.

Some key topics may include:
  1. organizational culture and identity
  2. relationships
  3. human interaction
  4. diversity in the IT workforce.

The types of studies that would be welcomed by this mini-track would include, but would not be limited to research papers (conceptual, theoretical, and empirical) as well as case studies, research-in-progress, and best practices / lessons learned.

Mini-Track 3: Social Inclusion

Jaime Windeler, University of Cincinnati,

This mini-track welcomes relevant theoretical, empirical, and intervention research, in either full paper or research-in-progress format, that relates to the mission of AIS’s SIG Social Inclusion (SIGSI). The purpose of SIGSI is to promote research, pedagogy, and outreach on all aspects of social inclusion in the field of Information Systems (IS). The goal of such efforts is to stimulate greater diversity of thought and personnel in AIS and the IS field overall, and participation of all our members in a more socially-aware and inclusive discipline. Social inclusion research includes topics such as the gender gap in the IS field, gender minorities (e.g., LGBT community), intersectionality of identities (such as ethnicity, gender and socio-economic class), socioeconomic divisions that impact access to or use of technology, the digital divide, underserved groups in the information society (such as persons with disability), and a range of topics related to human diversity, and the “haves” and “have nots” in the information society.

Mini-Track 4: Social Theory in Information Systems Research (STIR ’16)

Howard Rosenbaum, Indiana University,
Pnina Fichman, Indiana University,

This year we are proud to celebrate the 20th consecutive year of the Social Theory in Information Systems Research minitrack. Since 1996, scholars and researchers have presented cutting edge research, using social theory in their work. STIR’16 solicits papers that use social theory in IS research drawing upon such approaches as sociotechnical theory, critical theory, social informatics, and organizational theory. We are interested in highlighting research that critically examines the constitution of ICT, and their roles in organizations and society. We are interested in research that addresses the conference theme, Surfing the IT Innovation Wave; focusing on innovative uses of theories and methodologies to study the impacts of new and emerging technologies, such as social media and wearable technologies, on people’s organizational and social lives and on organizations and institutions. Issues might include designing smart and sustainable digital futures, critically examining the constitution of ICTs, and their roles in the design, maintenance and dissolution of online and offline communities, and posing and investigating questions about how we interact with ICTs in our work and social lives in ways that help and sometimes hinder progress towards more useful, productive, and happier lives. Please join us in San Diego for this milestone!

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