Sebastian Boell

Photo of Sebastian Boell

MA Saarland; PhD UNSW
Senior Lecturer

Rm 4063
H70 - Abercrombie Building
The University of Sydney
NSW 2006 Australia

Telephone +61 2 9351 2882
Fax +61 2 9351 7294
sebastian.boell@sydney.edu.au
Web Sebastian Boell's site

Bio

Dr. Sebastian Boell joined the department of Business Information Systems at the University of Sydney Business School in 2014. He investigates how information and communication technologies (ICT) shape how organisations are able to create understanding about themselves and their environment. Seeing organisations as complex, continuously changing social systems Sebastian explores foundational questions about information systems, such as:  How do ICT shape organisational information? and, How do organisations change and adapt with and through information over time?

Sebastian’s research draws from his multi-disciplinary training in Information Systems, Information Science, Cognitive Psychology, Engineering and further expertise in different research methodologies including: histography, qualitative research, interpretive work, scientometric and bibliometric approaches, practical information retrieval and literature analysis. This broad intellectual foundation is applied to problems such as: the use of technology for remote work (telework); conducting literature searches and analysis; the visibility of research output in journals, libraries and online; the creation of knowledge in academic disciplines; and for investigating fundamental concepts in information systems and information science.

Sebastian holds a PhD in Information Systems from the University of New South Wales and an MA in Information Science from Saarland University, Germany. He has received several awards at international conferences for his research, including best conference theme paper at the International Conference on Information Systems. His research is published in top-tier journals across the fields of Information Systems, Information Science, and Work and Organizational Studies (see section Publications and Research Interests for further details). Sebastian currently serves as director for the Business and Labour History Group (BLHG) and is an active member in the Digital Disruption Research Group (DDRG).

Research Interests

Information and communication technologies (ICT) have a broad influence on how organisations are able to collect, store, provide and process information. ICT are thus shaping what organisations and individual actors within organisations know and can know about the organisation itself and its environment. Seeing organisations as complex, continuously changing social systems Dr. Boell asks questions, such as: How does technology shape organisational information?; How can we understand information systems? ; Or, how do organisations change and adapt with and through information over time?

Methodologically and conceptually, Sebastian’s work draws from histography, qualitative research methods, practice theory, process philosophy, sociomateriality, the late Wittgenstein's philosophy of language, social systems, interpretive work, virtual ethnography, as well as scientometric and bibliometric approaches. Sebastian also has an interest in Free and Open Source Software and the history of computer games.

Sebastian has broad research expertise as he has investigated ICT in various research projects including the use of technology for remote work (telework) and the role of ICT in shaping organisational information over longer time-frames. He also engages with problems beyond a narrow disciplinary focus, engaging with problems such as: how to approach literature search and analysis in the social sciences, or how scholarly claims of contributing to knowledge can be persuasively argued for. Finally, Sebastian investigates philosophical questions regarding the ontological status of the existence and nature of information and information systems.

Sebastian’s transdisciplinary and innovative research received several nominations and awards at international conferences including the International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS), the Australasian Conference on Information Systems (ACIS), and the Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS). Sebastian also received awards for his PhD and MA dissertations (ASIST ProQuest Doctoral Dissertation Award 2013, Professor Weinstock Memorial Price, VFI Award 2008). He has published in leading international journals across Information Systems, Information Science, as well as Work and Organizational Studies. Journals his work has appeared in includes: Journal of Information Technology (JIT), Information and Organisation (I&O), New Technology Work and Employment (NTWE), Communications of the Association of Information Systems (CAIS); the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST), and Scientometrics. For more detail on his publications please see the section Publications.

Selected publications

2017

Journal Article

Boell S (2017) Information: Fundamental positions and their implications for information systems research, education and practice Information and Organization, 27 (1), 1-16. [More Information]

Conference Proceedings

Boell S (2017) Information and Organizational Change on Long Time-Scales Association of Academic Historians in Australian and New Zealand Business Schools (AAHANZBS) 9th Annual Conference; The University of Sydney Business School, Sydney, Australia.

Hovorka D, and Boell S (2017) Contribution in Information Systems: Insights from the Disciplinary Matrix The 28th Australasian Conference on Information Systems ACIS 2017; Australasian Association for Information Systems (AAIS), Hobart.

2016

Journal Articles

Boell S, Cecez-Kecmanovic D, and Campbell J (2016) Telework paradoxes and practices: the importance of the nature of work New Technology Work and Employment, 31 (2), 114-131. [More Information]

Utesheva A, and Boell S (2016) Theorizing society and technology in information systems research Data Base for Advances in Information Systems, 47 (4), 106-110. [More Information]

Conference Proceeding

Hafermalz E, Boell S, Elliot S, Hovorka D, and Marjanovic O (2016) Exploring Dimensions of Sharing Economy Business Models Enabled by IS: An Australian Study The 27th Australasian Conference on Information Systems (ACIS 2016); Australasian Association for Information Systems (AAIS), Wollongong.

Book Chapters

Boell S, and Cecez-Kecmanovic D (2016) On being 'systematic' in literature reviews Formulating Research Methods for Information Systems, Volume 2; Palgrave Macmillan UK, New York, United States, 48-78.

Hafermalz E, Riemer K, and Boell S (2016) Enactment or Performance? A Non-dualist Reading of Goffman Beyond Interpretivism? New Encounters with Technology and Organisation: IFIP WG 8.2 Working Conference on Information Systems and Organizations, IS&O 2016, Dublin, Ireland, December 9-10, Proceedings; Springer, Cham, 167-181. [More Information]

2015

Journal Articles

Boell S, and Cecez-Kecmanovic D (2015) On Being 'Systematic' in Literature Reviews in IS Journal of Information Technology, 30 (2), 161-173. [More Information]

Boell S, and Cecez-Kecmanovic D (2015) Debating systematic literature reviews (SLR) and their ramifications for IS: a rejoinder to Mike Chiasson, Briony Oates, Ulrike Schultze, and Richard Watson Journal of Information Technology, 30 (2), 188-193. [More Information]

Boell S, and Hoof F (2015) Using Heider's Epistemology of Thing and Medium for Unpacking the Conception of Documents: Gantt Charts and Boundary Objects Proceedings from the Annual Meeting of the Document Academy, 2 (1), 1-14.

Conference Proceedings

Boell S, and Cecez-Kecmanovic D (2015) What is an Information System? 48th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences HICSS 2015; IEEE Computer Society, Piscataway. [More Information]

Boell S, and Cecez-Kecmanovic D (2015) What is 'Information' Beyond a Definition? 36th International Conference on Information Systems ICIS 2015; Association for Information Systems (AIS), United States.

Hovorka D, and Boell S (2015) Cogency and Contribution in IS Research 36th International Conference on Information Systems ICIS 2015; Association for Information Systems (AIS), United States.

2014

Journal Article

Boell S, and Cecez-Kecmanovic D (2014) A Hermeneutic Approach for Conducting Literature Reviews and Literature Searchers Communications of the Association for Information Systems, 34, 257-286.

Conference Proceedings

Boell S, Cecez-Kecmanovic D, and Campbell J (2014) Telework and the Nature of Work: An Assessment of Different Aspects of Work and the Role of Technology Twenty Second European Conference on Information Systems, ECIS 2014; AIS Electronic Library (AISeL), online.

Cecez-Kecmanovic D, Boell S, and Campbell J (2014) Materiality of Connectivity in the Networked Society: A Sociomaterial Perspective 25th Australasian Conference of Information Systems ACIS 2014; AUT University, New Zealand.

2013

Conference Proceedings

Boell S, Campbell J, Cecez-Kecmanovic D, and Cheng J (2013) Advantages, Challenges and Contradictions of the Transformative Nature of Telework: A Review of the Literature 19th Americas Conference on Information Systems AMCIS 2013; Association for Information Systems (AIS), Atlanta.

Campbell J, Boell S, Keating B, and Cecez-Kecmanovic D (2013) Temporal Aspects of Telework and its Impact on Work-Family Conflict 24th Australasian Conference on Information Systems (ACIS2013); RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.

2012

Journal Article

Wilson C, Boell S, Kennan M, and Willard P (2012) Fifty years of LIS education in Australia: Research productivity and visibility of LIS educators in higher education institutions Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, 53 (1), 49-68.

Book

Boell S (2012) Theorizing Information and Information Systems; University of NSW (UNSW), Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Conference Proceeding

Boell S, and Cecez-Kecmanovic D (2012) Conceptualizing Information Systems: From "Input-Processing-Output" Devices to Sociomaterial Apparatuses 20th European Conference on Information Systems, 2012 (ECIS 2012); Association for Information Systems (AIS), Barcelona, Spain.

Book Chapter

Wilson C, Kennan M, Boell S, and Willard P (2012) From Practice to Academia: 50 Years of LIS Education in Australia Library and Information Science Trends and Research: Asia-Oceania; Emerald Group Publishing Limited, United Kingdom, 15-45.

2011

Journal Article

Wilson C, Boell S, Kennan M, and Willard P (2011) Publications of Australian LIS academics in databases Australian Academic and Research Libraries, 42 (3), 211-230. [More Information]

Conference Proceedings

Boell S, and Cecez-Kecmanovic D (2011) Are Systematic Reviews Better, Less Biased and of Higher Quality? 19th European Conference on Information Systems; European Conference on Information Systems, Helsinki.

Boell S, and Cecez-Kecmanovic D (2011) Theorizing Information - From Signs to Sociomaterial Practices 22nd Australasian Conference on Information Systems (ACIS 2011): Identifying the Information Systems Discipline; Association for Information Systems (AIS), Sydney.

Wilson C, Boell S, Kennan M, and Willard P (2011) Discovering Australian LIS Research in Literature Reference Databases Research Applications in Library and Information Studies (RAILS) Conference 2011.

2010

Journal Articles

Boell S (2010) Informations und bibliothekswissenschaftliche Zeitschriften in Literaturdatenbanken Zeitschrift fur Bibliothekswesen und Bibliographie, 57 (1), 26-36.

Boell S, and Cecez-Kecmanovic D (2010) Literature reviews and the hermeneutic circle Australian Academic and Research Libraries, 41 (2), 129-144. [More Information]

Boell S, and Wilson C (2010) Journal Impact Factors for evaluating scientific performance: Use of h-like indicators Scientometrics, 82 (3), 613-626. [More Information]

Wilson C, Kennan M, Willard P, and Boell S (2010) Fifty years of LIS education in Australia: Academization of LIS educators in higher education institutions Library and Information Science Research, 32 (4), 246-257. [More Information]

Conference Proceedings

Boell S, and Cecez-Kecmanovic D (2010) Attributes of information 16th Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS 2010); Association for Information Systems (AIS), Atlanta.

Boell S, and Cecez-Kecmanovic D (2010) Systematic review and the hermeneutic circle of literature reviews Research Applications in Library and Information Studies (RAILS) Conference 2010.

2009

Journal Article

White H, Boell S, Yu H, Davis M, Wilson C, and Cole F (2009) Libcitations: A measure for comparative assessment of book publications in the humanities and social sciences Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 60 (6), 1083-1096. [More Information]

Conference Proceedings

Wilson C, Boell S, Kennan M, and Willard P (2009) Productivity of Australian LIS academics Research Applications in Library and Information Studies (RAILS) Conference 2009.

Wilson C, Willard P, Kennan M, and Boell S (2009) Charting the history of Australian LIS education from 19592008: Problems and issues arising from data sources Research Applications in Library and Information Studies (RAILS) Conference 2009.

2008

Journal Article

Boell S, Wilson C, and Cole F (2008) Usage of different Web Impact Factors for Ranking Australian Universities COLLNET journal of Scientometrics and Information Management, 2 (2), 57-70. [More Information]

Conference Proceedings

Boell S, and Wilson C (2008) Use of h-like indicators based on Journal Impact Factors for evaluating scientific performance: Australian cancer research case study 10th International Conference on Science and Technology Indicators..

Boell S, Wilson C, and Cole F (2008) A Webometric Analysis of Australian Universities using Staff and Size dependent Web Impact Factors (WIF) Fourth International Conference on Webometrics, Informetrics and Scientometrics & Ninth COLLNET Meeting; Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin, Institute for Library and Information Science (IBI), Berlin, Germany.

Reports

Welberry H, Edwards C, Weston A, Harvey C, Wilson C, Boell S, Lo M, and Bishop J (2008) Cancer research in New South Wales 2001-2006; Cancer Institute NSW, Sydney, 8-157.

Wilson C, Lo M, and Boell S (2008) Systematic review of the quantity and quality of cancer research publications in New South Wales: 2007 to 2009; Cancer Institute NSW, Sydney, 1-158.

2007

Book

Boell S (2007) A Scientometric Method to Analyze Scientific Journals as Exemplified by the Area of Information Science; Saarland University, Germany.

Report

Wilson C, Boell S, and Lo M (2007) Systematic review of the quantity and quality of cancer research publications in New South Wales: 1999 to 2006.

Selected grants

Recent Units Taught

  • INFS2001 IS for Performance Improvement

  • INFS5002 Digital Business Foundations