Champions of IS Innovations

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Champions have been studied in diverse settings and kinds of initiatives; a significant body of work is also growing steadily in the information systems field. However, there is still a lack of clarity about the distinctiveness of IS champions. Given the poor track record of IS project success and champions’ importance to that success, the paper argues that this lack of conceptual clarity about the uniqueness of IS champions constitutes a significant and urgent gap. In part, this gap exists because of inadequate consolidation of knowledge about IS champions thus far. In response, we follow a systematic literature review by approaching this gap from two viewpoints: a research process perspective whereby we investigate the approaches and practices followed in IS champion research; and a thematic perspective whereby we examine progress with the accumulation of knowledge about IS champions to date. Our findings culminate in three contributions: 1) Eight IS champion distinctive features are proposed using a classification scheme; 2) A refined definition of IS champions is offered which better reflects the distinctiveness of the champion role in IS innovation; 3) Findings from process and thematic perspectives are combined in an agenda to take IS champion research forward.
Original languageEnglish
Article number38
Pages (from-to)1
Number of pages40
JournalCommunications of the Association for Information Systems
Publication statusPublished - May 2019


  • IS Champions
  • IS Innovation
  • Systematic literature review
  • Research Agenda

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global Development Institute


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