Dr Emma Coleman

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Emma is a lecturer in Information Systems specialising in qualitative research methodology and philosophy, with further research interests in user resistance to IS, health and public sector IS, and mobile technologies. She is President of the AIS South African Chapter. She was conference chair for SACLA 2015, and was track chair for the ‘General Topics and Breakthrough Ideas’ track at ECIS 2014. She is International Liaison Officer (Africa) for ICIS 2016. Emma is the lead and founder of the Southern African IS Women’s Network. She is also a member of the AIS Special Interest Groups on Philosophy and Epistemology in Information Systems (SIGPHIL) and Social Inclusion (SIGSI) and the AIS Women’s Network College (AISWN). Emma presented at the SIGPHIL IS Theory workshop at ICIS 2012. She serves on the Editorial Advisory Board for the International Journal of Management and Applied Research. Her PhD work used Ciborra's hospitality metaphor as a theoretical lens for studying individual level responses to the introduction of mobile hand held devices to police officers in the UK, and the underlying emotions that help to shape these responses. The focus was on the ambiguous nature of the technology, situated within the wider context of the police and the nature of police work, and associated ambivalence from officers with regards to both the benefits and the purpose of the technology.

Research Interests

  • Research methods, theory and philosophy
  • IS perception and use in healthcare and in public sector, front-line contexts
  • Resistance to IS in mandatory and semi-mandatory use contexts
  • Reciprocal influence of IS on society and vice versa
  • The paradoxical nature of technology as both an enabler and constrainer
  • ICT4D, green IS and sustainability
  • Mobile technologies
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Social media


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