Sustainability and Societal Impacts of IS

Track Chairs

Steve Elliot
University of Sydney, Australia
Daniel Veit
Augsburg University, Germany
Jane Webster
Queen’s University, Canada


This track welcomes theoretical and empirical perspectives on societal impacts of information systems (IS). These impacts can be actual or potential, intended or unintended, and positive, negative or diverse in effect. The relationship of these impacts to the longer term sustainability of society itself is integral to IS research and concern.

The consequences of IS, whether they revolve around environmental, social, or ethical issues, can translate into degradation or betterment of the natural environment, better or worse quality of life and work, social inclusion/exclusion, (non)discrimination, and (un)employment. For example, IS can contribute to climate change through increasing carbon footprints, but can also provide a means for managing that carbon footprint.

The IS community is uniquely positioned to address these issues of sustainability and societal impacts, given its encompassing knowledge of both technical and social dimensions, along with its solution-oriented focus that has been developed over four decades.

We invite innovative, rigorous and relevant IS studies addressing these issues and employing a wide variety of methods. Empirical (qualitative and quantitative) studies as well as design-oriented research and conceptual papers on theory development will be considered. Due to the broad and inclusive nature of the topic, we encourage the submission of studies that address a variety of different units of analysis, including individual, group, process, organization, government, and society at large. The research questions may be derived from a broad spectrum of disciplines including information systems and business, engineering, management, operations management, applied computer science, environmental science, marketing, economics, psychology, sociology, etc.

Topics of Interests

  • Green IS
  • Sustainable design in IS
  • Sustainable business practices and processes
  • IS for greener supply chains
  • Energy informatics
  • Environmental and societal IS planning and governance
  • Societal consequences of emerging technologies
  • Theoretical perspectives on (un)intended consequences of IS
  • Changing nature of work and life in information society
  • Side effects of IS, such as work stress, addiction, victimization, surveillance, etc.
  • IS-related unemployment and deskilling, especially in knowledge work
  • The role of IS in social protest and economic or educational (in)equality
  • Responsible societal innovations using IS
  • Ethical approaches to IT system investment and IT system design
  • Ethical computing
  • The role of IS in supporting and empowering marginalized groups in society
  • Bottom-of the-pyramid issues relating to IS
  • Sharing Economy
  • Methods for assessing social, ethical, and environmental impacts of IS
  • Societal issues related to the ICIS 2016 theme, Digital Innovation at the Crossroads

Associate Editors

  • Adela Chen, Colorado State U., USA
  • Vanessa Cooper, RMIT U., Australia
  • Jacqueline Corbett, Laval U., Canada
  • Viet Dao, Shippensburg U. of Pennsylvania, USA
  • Jason Dedrick, Syracuse U., USA
  • Gilbert Fridgen, U. of Bayreuth, Germany
  • Uri Gal, U. of Sydney, Australia
  • Henner Gimpel, U. of Augsburg, Germany
  • Petri Hallikainen, The U. of Sydney, Australia
  • Catherine Hardy, The U. of Sydney, Australia
  • Sora Kang, Hoseo U., Korea
  • Wolf Ketter, Erasmus U. Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Lutz Kolbe, U. of Göttingen, Germany
  • Johann Kranz, U. of Göttingen, Germany
  • Ho Geun Lee, Yonsei U., Korea
  • Jungwoo Lee, Yonsei U., Korea
  • Byungtae Lee, KAIST, Korea
  • Seth Li, Clemson U., USA
  • De Liu, U. of Minnesota, USA
  • Peter Loos, Saarland U., Germany
  • Rony Medaglia, Copenhagen Business School
  • Nigel Melville, U. of Michigan, USA
  • Alemayehu Molla, RMIT U., Australia
  • Jacqueline Pike, Duquesne U., USA
  • Israr Qureshi, Hong Kong Polytechnic U., Hong Kong
  • Saonee Sarker, U. of Virginia, USA
  • Sarah Spiekermann, Vienna U. of Economics and Business, Austria
  • Manuel Trenz, University of Augsburg, Germany
  • Rick Watson, U. of Georgia, USA
  • Mary Beth Watson-Manheim, U. of Illinois at Chicago, USA