IS and Complexity Track


Igor Hawryszkiewycz Local track chair University of Technology Sydney
Corina Raduescu Local track chair University of Sydney
Richard Vidgen Local track chair University of New South Wales


This track focuses on complex issues as they apply to information systems. Submission of papers addressing ways in which complexity affects the structure and design of IS, are welcome, such as providing the ability to reorganise and respond to emerging events, self organisation, or co-evolution. They can include ways in which complexity can be addressed using methods and ideas from complexity theory, system dynamics, cybernetics, and soft system methodologies as well as development methods such as agile system development.

Papers should address ways to provide solutions in working environments that are increasingly networked with evolving interrelationships between system objects and where these networks and relationships are continually changing to gain new expertise and competitive advantage. These environments include work in governments, who are dealing with problems that involve interacting communities and often require changes in the behaviour of these communities. Many problems organisations face are socially complex and require changes in behaviour because they do not have a single solution and need to be addressed by involving a number of organisations. IS in such scenarios must therefore create working environments where participants progress towards wider visions through self-organisation and responsiveness to emerging problems. The focus of IS is often on helping organise communities to collaborate and share knowledge.

In dealing with a complex problem, catastrophe, crisis, or emergency, stakeholders rarely have the luxury of complete information, complete understanding, or a pre-defined set of collaborative processes through which they can manage to achieve desirable outcomes. Requirements in such situations can evolve quickly over time and need other approaches than those commonly used in developing ICT systems for well-defined problems. This complexity is further magnified as each organisation or group has their own individual culture, structure and way of doing things, which must also be accommodated, often requiring special mediation or coordination. Solutions are likely to be a mixture of pre-planned routines, self-organising and emergent practices. Effective communication, coordination, and collaboration are essential to responding effectively to unplanned and extreme events, situations that will undoubtedly involve IT and IS.

Topics include (but are not limited to):

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