How the Future is Done

AbstractAs technologies and human systems become increasingly impactful and pervasive, unexpected outcomes often leave researchers to perform ‘research autopsies’ to determine what went wrong. Despite concern around disruptive technologies and the growing complexity, interdependence and volatility of business environments, academics remained oriented to researching the here-and-now and assuming an extrapolation of the present into the future. This research offers “doing future(s)” as a critical research orientation to create discourses of alternative future(s) which our research bring forth. We argue that by engaging in doing future(s), academics provide a critical voice and participate in reframing and recalibrating the futures which we make through collective action. We provide an overview of future-studies approaches categorized by epistemic stance and illustrate the distinctions with a case example. We then describe broad implications for Information Systems research, as well as business practice.

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