Document Type


Publication Date

January 2012


This paper answers calls for a body of knowledge (BoK) for the IS field. Its new approach for thinking about a BoK provides a path for addressing a longstanding problem in the IS discipline. The paper proposes organizing knowledge as a three dimensional "knowledge cube" that goes beyond compilations of categories of knowledge, sets of generalizations, and sets of documents. The structure of the knowledge cube is based on recognition that "work system in general" is a general case whose subordinate cases include information system in general and project in general. In turn, the special cases have their own special cases. The knowledge cube starts with a 10 X 10 layer for compiling concepts, principles and generalizations, and empirical findings related to the nine elements of the work system framework and "work system as a whole." Those properties are tentatively inherited by special cases, with the caveat that BoK developers may remove properties that are not relevant to special cases and that special cases may have additional properties that are not relevant to more general cases. The paper presents examples that illustrate these points. It also discusses next steps and important issues revealed by the knowledge cube's structure.