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Information Systems


Information Systems (IS) research examines the design, implementation, use and value creation of digital technologies in organizations. While digital technology is central to the phenomena studied, research in the IS field emphasizes the behavioural, social, organizational and societal issues as they interact with digital technology. This focus is distinct from studying purely technical aspects of digital technology. IS field is multi-disciplinary in nature and draws on theories and methods unique to IS research and in other fields in business (e.g., strategy, organizational theory, organizational behaviour), or in the social sciences (e.g., psychology, sociology, economics, and statistics).

The doctoral program in IS is designed to produce scholars who study managerial (as opposed to technical) aspects of digital. Our graduates complete necessary course work, research and teaching training and actively engage in grant proposal writing and early publishing of their work so that they can begin their academic career with the tools and foundation necessary to succeed. Three of our PhD graduates have won the prestigious ICIS Dissertation Award – the highest award given to recent PhD graduates and the largest number awarded to any institution globally.

Information Systems PhD students take courses in Research Methods, Statistics, IS Special Fields emphasizing core topics (including IS theories, adoption, implementation, decision making, organizational impacts) along with many other diverse topics reflecting a cross section of the various sub-fields of IS studies. Additionally, there will be elective choices (offered by other Area Groups in the school such as Strategy or Organizational Behaviour, and/or other graduate faculties in the university such as Sociology, Computer Science or Statistics). Other aspects of the program are tailored to fit the student's own research, teaching and professional interests.

In the Information Systems seminar classes students consider recent scholarly work in the field, develop an understanding of theories and models, design research approaches, and enhance their ability to understand and extend scholarship about managing digital technologies.

Areas of Research Focus

  • Design, development, implementation, use and value creation of digital technologies
  • Behavioural, social, organizational, and societal issues as they interact with digital technologies

Post-graduate Opportunities

The doctoral program in Information Systems is designed for those interested in pursuing academic careers in information systems at top business schools. 

Program Requirements

Students have program requirements, put into place by the PhD office, and discipline requirements, which are governed by the student’s respective area group. On a case by case basis, some students may be able to waive out of particular required courses or substitute others. Such a course of action must be approved by the PhD director

All PhD students must complete the following requirements.

Discipline Requirements

To be completed before the comprehensive exam.

  • Bus 9832 Information Systems I
  • Bus 9842 Information Systems II
  • Bus 9852 Information Systems III


*If further development is identified in any area, students may be required to take additional courses as requested by the student’s supervisor or the PhD coordinator. PhD students do not formally name their supervisor until they have passed their comprehensive exams. A doctoral student becomes a doctoral candidate only upon passing comps.


Discipline Coordinator

Yasser Rahrovani

Yasser's research interests focus on two streams: innovating with information technology (IT) and information systems (IS) management. With respect to the former, Yasser is interested in the notion of user innovation, as an emergent and distributed phenomenon. His research examines how individuals proactively use IT to go beyond job requirements and innovate in their work practices. He studies the relationships between several organizational antecedents of proactive/innovative behaviors (e.g., IS resources) and innovating with IT (more here). With respect to the latter, drawing upon his interest stemming from his professional experience, he has also conducted several studies in the IS management domain. In the context of organizational IT innovation adoption, he explores how distributed leadership and social capital facilitate successful IT innovation implementation. As part of the same stream of research on IS management, he has conducted additional research on the very closely related areas of IS planning and IS alignment.

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