Emmanuelle Vaast

Professor, Information Systems; Associate Dean, Research
Emmanuelle Vaast
Contact Information
Email address: 
emmanuelle.vaast [at] mcgill.ca
Alternate email address: 
lijuan.xue2 [at] mcgill.ca

Bronfman Building, [Map]
1001 rue Sherbrooke Ouest
Montreal, Quebec
H3A 1G5


PhD, Ecole Polytechnique, France
MS, Université Paris 12, Ecole Centrale, France
MS, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan, France
MA, Université Paris Dauphine, France
MA, Sciences Po Paris, France

Information Systems

Emmanuelle Vaast is the Desautels 1 Chair in Digital Technology Management, Professor of Information Systems, and Associate Dean of Research at the Desautels Faculty of Management of McGill University. She teaches the core Information Systems course as well as Managing Information Technology (BCom), Technology and Innovation for Sustainability (BCom) and research methods (PhD. Program).

Emmanuelle Vaast is a Past Division Chair of the Organizational Communication and Information Systems (OCIS) division of the Academy of Management. She has served as Senior Editor at Information Systems Research.

Her research examines how social practices emerge and change with the implementation and use of new technologies and how these new practices are associated with organizational and change dynamics. She has in particular investigated the learning and knowledge dynamics taking place at different levels (communities and networks of practice, for instance) and the boundary spanning involved in these dynamics when new Information Systems get implemented and used.

Professor Vaast has been fascinated by the new practices and social and societal changes associated with social media such as blogs and microblogs. Some of the themes she has especially been interested in deal with the emergence of new organizational forms and with new dynamics associated with organizational and occupational identification, as well as the future of work.

Professor Vaast is interested in methodological issues. Most of her research so far has been qualitative, relying upon case-based evidence analyzed from an interpretive perspective. She has however become increasingly in the opportunities and challenges of combining qualitative and quantitative analysis of electronically-collected data.

A native of France, Professor Vaast earned an M.A. in Economics and Political Sciences from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques of Paris, an M.A. in International Economics from Dauphine University in Paris, and an M.Sc. in Management Sciences from Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan. She also holds a Ph.D. in Management Sciences from Ecole Polytechnique, Paris.


INSY 331 Mng&Organizing Digital Techno 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

INSY 455 Tech&Innov for Sustainability 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

MGMT 708 General Research Methods 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

Areas of expertise: 

Social media, Digital innovation, Future of work, Qualitative research, mixed methods, new forms of organizing and collective engagement

Tenured & Tenure Track
Research areas: 
Digital Innovation
Future of Work
Green IT & Innovation for Sustainability
Online Communities & Identity Dynamics
Social Media
Selected publications: 

Papers in Peer-Reviewed Journals (Selected)

Shaikh, M., Vaast, E., Forthcoming, Algorithmic interactions in open source, Information Systems Research.

Vaast, E., 2023, Strangers in the dark: Navigating opacity and transparency in open online career-related knowledge sharing, Organization Studies, 44(1), 29-52

Vaast, E., Pinsonneault, A., 2022, Dealing with the social media polycontextuality of work, Information Systems Research, 33(4), 1428-1451.

Vaast, E., Pinsonneault, A., 2021, When Digital Technologies Enable and Threaten Occupational Identity: The Delicate Balancing Act of Data Scientists, MIS Quarterly, 45(3), 1087-1112.

Pentland, B., Vaast, E., Ryan Wolf, J., 2021, Measuring and explaining process dynamics with digital trace data, MIS Quarterly, 45(2), 967-984.

Marabelli, M., Vaast, E., Jingyao, L., 2021, Preventing the digital scars of COVID-19, European Journal of Information Systems, 30(2), 176-192.

Vaast, E., 2020, A seat at the table and a room of their own: Interconnected processes of social media use at the intersection of gender and occupation, Organization Studies, 41(12, 1673-168

Ingram, C., Teigland, R., Vaast, E., 2019, Designed entrepreneurial legitimacy: the case of a Swedish crowdfunding platform, European Journal of Information Systems, 28(3), 318-335.

Vaast, E., Safadi, H., Lapointe, L., Negoita, B., 2017, Social media affordances for connective action – An investigation of microblogging use during the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, MIS Quarterly, 41(4), 1179-1205.

Leonardi, P., Vaast, E., 2017, Social Media and Their Affordances for Organizing: A Review and Agenda for Research,” Academy of Management Annals, 11(1), 150-188.

Shaikh, M., Vaast, E., 2016, Folding and Unfolding: Balancing openness and transparency in open source communities, Information Systems Research, 27(4), 813-833.

De Vaujany, F-X, Vaast, E., 2016, Matters of visuality in legitimation practices: Dual iconographies in a meeting room, Organization, 23(5), 763-790

Whelan, E., Teigland, R., Vaast, E., Butler, B., 2016, Expanding the Horizons of Digital Social Networks: Mixing Big Trace Datasets with Qualitative Approaches, Information and Organization, 26(1-2), 1-12.

Vaast, E., Levina, N., 2015, Speaking as one, but not speaking up: Dealing with newly tainted work in an occupational online community, Information and Organization, 25(2), 73-98.

De Vaujany, F-X, Vaast E., 2014, If these walls could talk – How an organization came to embody the space it inhabits, Organization Science, 25(3), 713-731, May-June.

Vaast, E., Davidson, E., Mattson, T., 2013, Talking about technology: The emergence of new actors and new media in technology and innovation, MIS Quarterly, 37(4), 1069-1093, December.

Vaast, E., Kaganer, E., 2013, Social media affordances and governance in the workplace: An examination of organizational policies, Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, 19(1), 78-101, Fall.

Ferguson, J., Huysman, M., Soekijad, M., Vaast, E., 2013, A vision for development? Reflecting and engaging with peers to build development discourse, Information Systems Journal, 23(4), 307-328, July.

Vaast, E., Walsham, G., 2013, Grounded theorizing for electronically-mediated social contexts, European Journal of Information Systems, 22 (1), 9-25, January.

De Vaujany, F-X, Dominguez, C., Carton, S.2013, Vaast, E., Moving closer to the fabric of organizing visions: The case of a trade show, Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 22(1), 1-25, March.

Vaast, E., Walsham, G., 2009, Trans-situated learning: Supporting a network of practice with an information infrastructure, Information Systems Research, 20 (4), 547-564, December.

Davison, E., Vaast, E., 2009, Tech talk: A discourse-based analysis of tech-blogging, IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 52 (1), 40-60, March.

Levina, N., Vaast, E., 2008, Innovating or doing as told? Status differences and overlapping boundaries in offshore collaboration, MIS Quarterly, 32 (2), 307-332, June.

Vaast, E., 2007, Playing with masks: Fragmentation and continuity in the presentation of self in an occupational online forum, Information Technology and People, 20 (4), 334-351. December.

Vaast, E., 2007, Danger is in the eyes of the beholder: Representations of Information Security in the health care industry, Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 16(2), 130-152, June.

Vaast, E., 2007, What goes online comes offline: Knowledge Management System use in a soft bureaucracy, Organization Studies, 28(3), 283-306, 283-306, March.

Levina, N., Vaast, E., 2006, Turning a community into a market: A practice perspective on IT use in boundary-spanning, Journal of Management Information Systems, 22(4) 13-37, Spring.

Vaast, E., Levina, N., 2006, The multiple faces of codification – The organizational design of an IT department, Organization Science, 17 (2) 190-201, March-April.

Vaast, E., Schultze, U., Davidson, E., Pawlowski, S., Boland, R., 2006, Investigating the “Knowledge” in Knowledge Management: A social representations perspective, Communications of the Association for Information Systems, vol 17, article 15, 314-340, Feb.

Levina, N., Vaast, E., 2005, The emergence of boundary spanning competence in practice: Implications for IS implementation and use, MIS Quarterly, 29(2), June, 335-363.

Vaast, E., Walsham, G., 2005, Representations and actions: The transformation of work practices with IT use, Information and Organization, 15(1), 65-89, Jan.

Vaast, E., 2004, O brother, where are thou? From communities to networks of practice through intranet use, Management Communication Quarterly, 18(1), August, pp 5-44.


Books and Edited Volumes

De Vaujany, F-X, Mitev, N., Laniray, P., Vaast, E. (eds.), 2014 Materiality and Time: Historical perspectives on organizations, artefacts, and practices, October, ISBN 9781137432100, Palgrave –McMillan

Chapters in Books

1.     Vaast, E., Urquhart, C., 2017, Building grounded theory with social media data, in The Routledge companion to qualitative research in organization studies, Mir, R, Jain, S. (eds.), pp. 408-422.

2.     Levina, N., Vaast, E. 2015. "Leveraging archival data from online communities for grounded process theorizing," in Handbook of Qualitative Organizational Research: Innovative Pathways and Methods.

3.     Levina N., Vaast, E. 2013, “A Field-of-Practice view of Boundary Spanning in and across Organizations: Transactive and Transformative Boundary Spanning Practices,” in Boundary Spanning in Organizations: Network, Influence and Conflict, edited by Langan-Fox J., Cooper L., NY: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.

4.     Vaast, E., 2007, “The presentation of self in a virtual but work-related environment: From Protagonists to Fools,” The International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP) Working Group 8.2 on Information Systems and Organizations and 9.5 on Virtuality and Society, Portland, OR, July 29-31.

5.     Vaast, E., 2005: Intranet use and the emergence of networks of practice, in Khosrow-Pour E. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Idea Group publishing.

6.     Vaast, E., 2004, The use of intranets: The missing link between Communities and Networks of practice ?  in Hildreth, P., Kimble, C., eds., Knowledge networks, Innovation through communities of practice, Idea Group publishing, ch 18, pp. 216 – 228.

7.     Vaast, E., Creplet, F., Dupouet, O., 2003, Episteme or practice? Differentiated communitarian structures in a biology laboratory, published in Communities and Technologies, Huysman, M., Wenger, W., Wulf, V. (eds.), Kluwer Academic Publishers.


Awards, honours, and fellowships: 
  • 2019, Keynote speaker, European Conference of Information Systems, Stockholm, Sweden (June). Sole Academic Keynote speaker. 
  • 2018-2021, 2022-2025: Desautels Faculty Scholar Award, recognizing excellence in research at the Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University.
  • 2018, Keynote speaker, Annual IS Department Conference, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, (November).
  • 2018, Keynote speaker, World University Network (WUN) Workshop on ICTs and the trans-nationalization of Indigenous social movements, University of Massachusetts, (September).
  • 2018, Best paper of 2017 Award at Academy of Management Annalsfor “Social Media and Their Affordances for Organizing: A Review and Agenda for Research.”
  • 2018, Keynote speaker, IS Division of Administrative Sciences Association of Canada (ASAC) conference, May, Toronto, ON.
  • 2017, Runner-up for best paper of 2016 award at Information Systems Research, for “Folding and Unfolding: Balancing openness and transparency in open source communities.”
  • 2017, Division Chair-elect, Academy of Management, Organizational Communication and Information Systems (OCIS) division
  • 2016, Senior Scholars Association for Information Systems (AIS) – Best 2015 Publication Award, for “Speaking as one, but not speaking up: Dealing with newly tainted work in an occupational online community,” Information & Organization.
  • 2016-2018, Desautels Faculty Fellow award, recognizing excellence in research
  • Best paper of year 2015 award, Information & Organization.
  • 2015-2018, Partnership Development grant, SSHRC, “An Impactful multidimensional partnership for social innovation and entrepreneurship: The social innovators’ integration lab,” (applicant).
  • 2015-2019, Insight Social Sciences and Humanities Research Grant, “Technology in action and institutional change: Crowdfunding for social enterprises,” (applicant and sole funding recipient).
  • 2013-2016: Insight Social Sciences and Humanities Research grant, Complex collaboration in communities of innovation (co-applicant).
  • Marcel Desautels Institute for Integrated Management Faculty Fellow 
  • 2010: Senior Scholars Association for Information Systems (AIS) – Best 2009 Publication Award, for Trans-situated learning: Supporting a network of practice with an information infrastructure, Information Systems Research, in coll. with Geoff Walsham, Cambridge U, 20 (4), 547-564.
  • 2010: Best Associate Editor at Information Systems Research.
  • 2010: Best paper award, track “Internet and Digital Economy”, 43rd Hawaii International Conference on Systems Sciences (HICSS), for Digital entrepreneurship and its sociomaterial enactment, in coll. with Elizabeth Davidson, Hawaii U.
  • 2008: Emerald Literati Network, 2008 Award for excellence: Highly commended paper awarded to: Playing with masks: Fragmentation and continuity in the presentation of self in an occupational online forum, Information Technology and People, 2007, 20 (4), Dec., 334-351
  • 2007: Runner-up for best reviewer, MIS Quarterly.
  • 2006: Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Best reviewer Award, Organizational Communication and Information Systems (OCIS) Division


Back to top