Spanning Boundaries between Academia and Practice in Information Systems (IS): A Case Study of a Community and Network of Practice

  • Jyri Naarmala
  • Erkki Koponen
  • Jukka Rannila


While Information Systems (IS) has strong ties in practice, it is extremely important that academic and practice perspectives share the same ground in research and education. While there are different research communities in IS which are called communities of practice and knowing (CoP&K), there exists a gap between academic CoP&K and practitioner CoP&K in doctoral IS education. This paper describes a working approach on boundary spanning between academic- and practitioner CoP&K’s in doctoral education. In presented case example, a doctoral program has been organized in the field of IS for professionally qualified doctoral students with significant industry experience. This doctoral seminar program has been going on for over twenty years and has produced numerous doctors for the field among other things. Based on this example a research model for studying the exchange of knowing and knowledge between different CoP&K’s in doctoral education in Information Systems and research questions for further research are presented. This article suggests that the gap between academia and practice does not need to be as deep as it appears to be, and that there is an understudied field in the intersection between CoP&K’s in the IS research field. Thus authors propose a research agenda, where focus is on narrowing the gap between academia and practice in IS through proper use of CoP&K’s in doctoral education.


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How to Cite
NAARMALA, Jyri; KOPONEN, Erkki; RANNILA, Jukka. Spanning Boundaries between Academia and Practice in Information Systems (IS): A Case Study of a Community and Network of Practice. International SERIES on Information Systems and Management in Creative eMedia (CreMedia), [S.l.], n. 2017/1, p. 303-328, dec. 2017. ISSN 2341-5576. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 19 apr. 2018.
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