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Sparking synergies between research and practice: The contribution of social informatics (SIGs TIS, CRIT)

Howard Rosenbaum

Sparking Synergies: Bringing Research and Practice Together @ ASIST '05 (ASIS&T 2005)
Westin Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina, October 28 - November 2, 2005


The purpose of this panel is to address the relationship between research and practice in the domain of organizational information systems. Using the perspective of social informatics, we hope discuss ways in which synergies between researchers and practitioners can be sparked. There is serious problem that organizations regularly face when integrating information and communication technologies (ICTs): in spite of rising corporate investment in ICTs, many large-scale projects fail. There is also a long tradition of empirical research and theorizing about ICTs and organizations that has produced a wide range of findings, many of which have had potential implications for practitioners. There seems to be a disconnect between those who study ICTs and those who use them a research-practitioner gap, the existence of which is clearly a detriment to both parties. Researchers are not doing work seen as relevant by practitioners who, in turn, are missing opportunities to improve practice by not being aware of potentially useful research findings.

The participants on this panel will address the problem of bridging the gap between researchers and practitioners in the domain of organizational information systems from the perspective of social informatics. The panelists are all involved in studying ICTs, the people who use them, the work these people do in a variety of settings in which these people and ITC interact. They will draw on their research experiences to discuss the following issues:

        Bridging the gap the between theory and practice

        Determining the value and relevance of research for practitioners

        Understanding how practitioners apply research insights in their routine work

        Determining the role of practitioners in the conduct of research

        Communicating relevant research effectively to practitioners

In general, we wish to discuss with the audience ways in which practitioners) and social informatics researchers can better interact to imp[rove research and professional practice.

Discuss this on the ASIS&T 2005 Annual Meeting wiki!

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