To read this content please select one of the options below:

The future is now: calling for a focus on temporal issues in information system research

Viswanath Venkatesh (Pamplin College of Business, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA)
Tracy Ann Sykes (Sam M. Walton College of Business, University of Arkansas Fayetteville, Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA)
Ruba Aljafari (Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA)
Marshall Scott Poole (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, Illinois, USA)

Industrial Management & Data Systems

ISSN: 0263-5577

Article publication date: 19 January 2021

Issue publication date: 4 February 2021




As information systems (IS) phenomena continue to emerge and evolve in our ever-changing economic and social contexts, researchers need to increase their focus on time in order to enrich our theories. The purpose of this paper is to present broad suggestions for IS researchers about how they can direct some of their research efforts to consider, conceptualize and incorporate time into research endeavors and how they might be mindful about considering and specifying time-related scope conditions of their research efforts.


The authors synthesize empirical studies and discuss three distinct yet related frameworks of time and the benefits they can provide. The authors choose two research streams that reflect dynamic economic and social contexts – namely, enterprise systems and social networks – to illustrate how time and frameworks of time can be leveraged in our theory development and research design.


The authors demonstrate that limited research in IS has incorporated a rich conceptualization and/or discussion of time. The authors build on this gap to highlight guidelines that researchers can adopt to enrich their view of time.


Given the dynamic nature of IS phenomena and the increased availability of longitudinal data, the authors’ suggestions aim to urge and guide IS researchers about ways in which they can incorporate time into their theory and study designs.



Venkatesh, V., Sykes, T.A., Aljafari, R. and Poole, M.S. (2021), "The future is now: calling for a focus on temporal issues in information system research", Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 121 No. 1, pp. 30-47.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles