2013 AMCIS Panel on IS History

Chicago, 2013.08

IS History: Timeline and Institutional Roles of IS

Moderator: Ping Zhang, AIS Historian, Syracuse University


  • Izak Benbasat, AIS LEO award winner, University of British Columbia
  • Ephraim McLean, AIS LEO award winner, Georgia State University
  • Richard Watson, AIS LEO award winner, University of Georgia
  • Bob Zmud, AIS LEO award winner, University of Oklahoma

Panel Theme

As part of the first initiatives, the AIS History Task Force is organizing panels at IS conferences, including ECIS, PACIS, AMCIS and ICIS. This is one type of activity that will help collect as well as communicate/share the IS history with the community. The main idea is to invite the most influential pioneers in our field as the panelists to offer their memories, opinions, suggestions, and share such with the audience.

The theme of the AMCIS panel is: IS Timeline and The Institutional Roles of IS.

The targeted audience is scholars who are interested in the IS discipline and its history. They may benefit from the memories and opinions of panelists as well as of other members of the audience on issues related to the panel theme. They may become engaged in contributing to the preservation, collection and dissemination of IS history in the future.

Panel Structure and Expected Outcomes

At the panel, the panelists present personal recollections on the following topics. Each panelist may cover either one or both Topics 1 and 2; all panelists will address Topic 3. Then the audience will be asked to dialogue with the panelists by responding to the panelists or adding their comments

  • Topic 1. Time line of the IS field (major events)
  • Topic 2. The institutional role/position of IS within business schools
  • Topic 3. Learning from the history: How history helps us in the future

Overview of the Moderator and Panelists

Ping Zhang was one of the key developers of the very first MIS ever custom built in China (1984-1986). After researching and practicing on developing MIS for three different organizations in China for five years (Nanjing Automobile Manufacture, Beijing TV Factory, and Beijing Insurance Company), she decided to pursue a PhD on MIS. She is the author of the first article published in the AIS research flagship journal JAIS. She is co-author (with Dov Te’eni and Jane Carey) of the first HCI textbook for non-CS students. She is co-editor (with Dennis Galletta) of two edited books on HCI and MIS of the Advances in MIS series. She and Dennis Galletta are founding EICs of the first AIS Transactions journal, AIS THCI. In addition, she is a guest SE for MISQ, former SE for JAIS, former AE for IJHCS and CAIS, on the editorial board of JMIS, and a guest editor of eight special issues. Ping co-founded and chaired one of the first six AIS Special Interest Groups, SIGHCI. In 2013, she was appointed the first AIS Historian, leading an important effort to preserve the heritage and legacy of the IS field. Since 2004, she has been visiting professor/scholar of the following universities: The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, City University of Hong Kong, Fu Dan University, Abu Dhabi University, National Sun Yat-Sen University (Taiwan), Tsinghua University, Australia National University, University of Technology Sydney, Australia, and University of Surrey in UK. She holds multi-year guest professor appointments with the Inner Mongolia University, Renmin University, and Xi’An Jiao Tong University in China.

Izak Benbasat (Ph.D. University of Minnesota, 1974; Doctorat Honoris Causa, Université de Montréal, 2009) is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and Canada Research Chair in Information Technology Management at the Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia. He was editor-in-chief of Information Systems Research, editor of the Information Systems and Decision Support Systems Department of Management Science, and a senior editor of MIS Quarterly. He became a Fellow of the Association for Information Systems (AIS) in 2002, received the LEO Award for Lifetime Exceptional Achievements in Information Systems from AIS in 2007, and was conferred the title of Distinguished Fellow by the Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences (INFORMS) Information Systems Society in 2009. He was a Marvin Bower Fellow at the Harvard Business School and a Shaw Visiting Professor at the National University of Singapore.

Eph McLean is the Chair of the Computer Information Systems Department, a Regents’ Professor, the G.E. Smith Eminent Scholar’s Chair in Information Systems, and the Director of the Center for Research in Information Systems and the Center for Health IT, all in the Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to joining GSU in 1987, he was on the faculty at UCLA for 18 years; and before that he worked in industry for Procter & Gamble, first as a manufacturing manager and later, starting in 1962, as a computer systems analyst. This is his 51st year in the computer field. He has published over 130 articles in such publications as the Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, California Management Review, MIS Quarterly, Information Systems Research, Management Science, Journal of MIS, European Journal of Information Systems, and others. He is the co-author or co-editor of seven books, including Strategic Planning for MIS, Management of Information Systems, and Information Technology for Management. He was a founding Associate Editor for Research of the MIS Quarterly and for seven years was the Co-Editor-in-Chief of DATABASE. In 1980, Dr. McLean co-chaired the organizing committee for the International Conference on Information Systems and was three times ICIS Conference Chair or Co-chair. He is also one of the founders of the Association for Information Systems and served as the AIS Executive Director for nine years. In 1999, he was named as one of the first AIS Fellow and in 2007 was recognized with the LEO Lifetime Achievement Award. He earned his B.M.E. and M.E. degrees at Cornell University and his S.M. and Ph.D. degrees at M.I.T.’s Sloan School of Management.

Rick Watson is the J. Rex Fuqua Distinguished Chair for Internet Strategy in the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia. He has published over 150 journal articles, written books on electronic commerce, data management, and energy informatics. He has given invited presentations in more than 30 countries. He is a former President of the Association for Information Systems, a visiting professor at the Viktoria Institute in Sweden, the International Coordinator for the PhD in Information Systems at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, Chair of the Georgia Energy Informatics cluster, Co-founder and co-leader of the Global Text Project, and the Research Director for the Advanced Practices Council of the Society of Information Management, an exclusive forum for senior IS executives. In 2011, he received the LEO award.

Bob Zmud is George Lynn Cross Research Professor Emeritus in the Michael F. Price College of Business at the University of Oklahoma. He was a recipient of the LEO Award from AIS (2008), selected a fellow of AIS (2003), a fellow of the INFORMS Information Systems Society (2009), a fellow of the DSI (1991), a recipient of a SIGADIT Lifetime Achievement Award (2009), and a recipient of a Lifetime Service Award from the OCIS Division of the Academy of Management (2011). The vast majority of Bob’s research has involved examinations of the following question, “What must an enterprise do right in order to introduce appropriate information technology so as to fully leverage the technology in creating business value?” His publications have appeared in a variety of scholarly journals, including: MIS Quarterly, Information Systems Research, Management Science, Organization Science, Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal and The Accounting Review. Bob served as the Editor-in-Chief of MIS Quarterly (1995-1998), as a founding Senior Editor of Organization Science (1987-1995), and as a Senior Editor with both Information Systems Research (2000-20110 and MISQ Executive (2005-2011). Bob also served as General Chair of the 1993 ICIS and as Program Chair for the 1986 ICIS. Finally, through his work with SIM, International as Research Director of the Advanced Practices Council (1992-2004), Bob has been actively engaged in furthering practice-based research in information systems.