Communications of the Association for Information Systems

Forthcoming Papers

Forthcoming papers have been accepted for publication at the Communications of the Association for Information Systems and are listed below in order of acceptance date. Copies of unedited manuscripts can either be obtained by clicking the manuscript title or contacting the corresponding authors listed below.

Note that the decision to provide a copy rests with the authors, not with the Communications of the Association for Information Systems.

The manuscripts listed here will undergo copyediting, typesetting, and review of the resulting proofs before they are published in their final form. During the production process errors may be discovered, which could affect the content. All legal disclaimers that apply to the Communications of the Association for Information Systems pertain. For a definitive version of the works listed here, please check for their appearance online at http://aisel.aisnet.org/cais/.

A Paradox Lens to Systems Development Project: The Case of the Agile Software Development

Iivari, Juhani (juhani.iivari@oulu.fi)


Research into organizations has concluded that organizational effectiveness is paradoxical, i.e. effective organizations must have attributes that are simultaneously contradictory, even mutually exclusive. Although systems development projects are temporary organizations, the paradox lens has largely been omitted in their context. This paper is an attempt to rectify the situation, focusing specifically on the Agile Software Development (ASD) approach as a timely systems development approach in practice. It identifies eleven interrelated and actable paradoxical tensions concerning priority, structure, and execution of systems development projects. Each tension imposes competing demands to projects. To address them requires human ingenuity and judgement. Systems development methods and approaches can aid in it. The paper shows that ASD comprises mechanisms for that purpose. It is largely due to the reflective nature of the ASD process, in which each retrospective assesses what went well in the previous sprint (iteration) and what could be improved in the next sprint. At the same time, ASD has built-in-flexibility that makes it possible to adapt the method-in-use when deemed necessary or reasonable.

Experiential Learning of Information Systems in Functional Contexts: The Digital Brand Strategy Project

Shankaranarayanan , G (gshankar@babson.edu)


Successful technology-based ventures and the notion of every company being a “digital” company has driven an increased interest in information technology even for students majoring in areas other than information systems. With the growing need for experiential learning, educators in business schools are challenged to identify effective delivery mechanisms to impart theoretical foundations and practical applications in functional contexts that are of interest to students. In this paper we describe the design and implementation of a project that fulfills the above needs and integrates information systems and marketing. We describe the motivation for this project, its learning objectives, its innovative design and implementation and provide an example of the project to illustrate its execution. While this project could be a standalone piece in an information systems course, the project is shown to be an effective way to communicate the application of information systems in a different functional context.

Evidence Quality, Transparency, and Translucency for Replication in Information Systems Survey Research

Palvia, Prashant (pcpalvia@uncg.edu)


Replicability is the driver of reality maintenance and the cornerstone of reliable development in science. Therefore, this research develops a framework for enhancing the current replicability of data collection practices in survey research in information systems. The framework is informed by the literature, benchmarks of various scientific associations, and a review of policies and best practices in leading business journals. The framework identifies practices for transparent data collection, translucent data and method sharing, and development of high-quality evidence. The paper analyzes 82 recently published survey research in nine IS journals as a sample that represents high quality IS research to identify the status of replicability and finds that none of the published papers provides enough details that are recommended for replication. The paper concludes with implications of the developed framework for researchers, journals, and scientific institutions and provides a general discussion on the role of each of these entities in the enhancement of IS research replicability.

Exploring the Use and Adoption of Workplace Automation through Metaphors: A Discourse Dynamics Analysis

Jackson, Stephen (Stephen.Jackson@uoit.ca)


Organizational metaphor represents an important field of study in information systems (IS). This article reviews previous work on organizational metaphor in IS research and builds on this work by proposing a discourse dynamics approach to metaphor as an alternative lens for conceptualizing and studying IS metaphor. This approach allows for a recasting of organizational metaphor from something which is commonly perceived as being detached from the subjects under investigation, a view fixed in much IS thinking, to treating metaphor as something which is a product of both language and mind, and is situational and can be deployed by individuals in flexible and dynamic ways. Drawing on in-depth focus group studies, the discourse dynamics approach is illustrated by the metaphors used by individuals in their accounts of workplace automation. The study not only raises new questions in relation to the theorizing and analysis of organizational metaphor in IS research, but also illustrates the usefulness of metaphor as a form of sense making to generate fresh insights into the implications surrounding the adoption and use of workplace automation which may remain unnoticed if more conventional methods are used.

Preregistration of IS Research

Bogert, Eric (etbogert@uga.edu)


We introduce the concept of preregistration for experiments in information systems. Preregistration is a way to commit to analytic steps before collecting or observing data, thus mitigating any biases authors may have (consciously or not) towards reporting significant findings. We explain why preregistration matters, how to preregister a study, the benefits of preregistration, address common arguments against preregistration, and offer a call to action for authors to conduct more preregistered work in IS.

Leveraging Market Research Techniques in IS – A Review and Framework of Conjoint Analysis Studies in the IS Discipline

Naous, Dana (dana.naous@unil.ch)


With cloud and mobile computing, information systems (IS) evolve towards mass-market services. While user involvement is critical for IS success, the IS discipline lacks methods that allow integrating the "voice of the customer" in the case of mass-market services with individual and dispersed users. Conjoint analysis (CA), from marketing research, allows for understanding user preferences and measures user trade-offs for multiple product features simultaneously. While CA has gained popularity in the IS domain, the existing studies have mostly been one-time efforts and no cumulative research patterns have been observed. We argue that CA could have a significant impact on IS research (and practice) if it were fully developed and adopted as a method in IS. From reviewing 70 CA studies published between 1999 and 2019 in the IS field, we find that CA can be leveraged in the initial conceptualization, iterative design and evaluation of IS and their business models. We critically assess the methodological choices along the CA procedure to provide recommendations and guidance on "how" to leverage CA techniques in future IS research. We then synthesize our findings into a “Framework for Conjoint Analysis Studies in IS” that outlines “where” CA can be applied along the IS lifecycle.

Governing Intra-project Modular Interdependencies in ISD projects: A Control Theory Perspective

Sedera, Darshana (darshana.sedera@scu.edu.au)


Though information systems development (ISD) projects use modularization as an approach to better manage complex tasks by decomposing them into simpler intra-project modules, the modalities for managing such modularized ISD projects are not clearly established. Adopting a control theory perspective and leveraging a case study research approach, we unearth the underlying ‘control mechanisms’ leveraged for managing eight modularized ISD projects. Specifically, we explore the intra-project modular dependencies indicated in the projects’ business requirement documents supplemented with semi-structured interviews with project members to identify the corresponding control mechanisms. Results indicate that in scenarios of low levels of intra-project modular interdependencies, formal-outcome and formal-behavior are the preferred control mechanisms. However, specific situations related to flexible project practices and volatile client requirements may minimize the level of formal-outcome and formal-behavior control mechanisms in such projects. Low levels of interdependencies between intra-project modules minimize the need for informal-clan control, nonetheless informal-clan control mechanism may facilitate a better shared understanding of the project requirements among team members. Projects with high levels of interdependencies between intra-project modules have a high level of informal-clan control. However, there are situations where the projects with a high levels of intra-project modular interdependencies have a low level of informal-clan control, which are often the result of a time pressure. Projects with high levels of intra-project modular interdependencies may be governed through an enabling control style, when the projects are not well structured. Projects with low levels of intra-project modular interdependencies can be effectively governed through authoritative control style, except in the projects where the team members are assigned to multiple projects simultaneously. By leveraging control theory for examining the intra-project modular dependencies, we add to the ongoing discourse of control theory and ISD project governance.

How Should Mydbots Manage Innovations in Consumer Robotics?

Bose, Indranil (bose@iimcal.ac.in)


A Malaysia-based firm Mydbots entered the high-technology market with their digital innovations in the space of consumer robotics. The impending challenges for the firm were to make the technology ready for the market, to develop the consumers’ mindset for technology adoption, and to plan the vision and diffusion of future product innovation, thereby emerging as a leader in consumer robotics. The case expects the participants to critically analyze the firm’s background and the prevailing market conditions to propose a comprehensive approach that can help the firm convert its innovation vision to innovation diffusion in the high-technology space. The case study intends to initiate a meaningful discussion among the participants about how to manage robotic innovation in consumer markets by overcoming the associated technological and marketing challenges.

Episodic Peripheral Contributors and Technical Dependencies in Open Source Software (OSS) Ecosystems

Moon, Eunyoung (eymoon@kaist.ac.kr)


Despite the fact that OSS contributors tend to eschew traditional organizational hierarchies, researchers have found that OSS contributors, in many cases, make tightly coupled system designs and successfully coordinate highly interdependent tasks. Although researchers have explained how OSS contributors make tightly coupled code contributions, the characteristics of those who make such contributions remain unknown. While previous studies consider an OSS project as a single, independent container, this study notes that OSS projects are not independent or standalone entities but are dependent on one another for reuse, creating complex networks of interdependencies known as “software ecosystems.” The analysis of OSS contributors who have made tightly coupled code contributions utilizes two lenses: the core-periphery lens and the habitual-episodic lens. Based on an investigation of three volunteer-driven OSS projects, OSS contributors who make tightly coupled code contributions are found to have different code contribution patterns. It is noteworthy that half of such contributors made no previous code contributions to the sampled projects but episodically authored patches (or pull requests) that increased software coupling. Based on further investigation, this study suggests a multiple-fluid-container view that accommodates software ecosystems in which multiple containers (multiple OSS projects) co-evolve, with each container (each OSS project) readily accessible.

Investigating the Relationship between Effectiveness of App Evolution and App Continuance Intention: An Empirical Study of the U.S. App Market

Liu, Yi (yiliu5@uiwtx.edu)


App evolution has been shown to continuously lead to app success from the developer perspective. However, few studies have explored app success from the user perspective, which limits our understanding of the role of app evolution in app success. Building on app evolution literature and the technology acceptance model (TAM), the authors investigate the influence of the effectiveness of app evolution on users’ perceived app usefulness and ease of use and their app continuance intention, which is a proxy of app success from the user perspective. Survey data were collected from 299 app users on both the Google Play and AppStore platforms in the U.S. The findings indicate that the effectiveness of strategic evolution and effectiveness of evolution speed directly affect a user’s perceived app usefulness, while effectiveness of operational evolution and effectiveness of evolution speed directly affect a user’s perceived app ease of use. In addition, perceived app usefulness and perceived app ease of use are two keys that lead to users’ app continuance intention. A user’s perceived app ease of use affects app continuance intention both directly and indirectly through perceived app usefulness. This study enhances our understanding of the relationship between effectiveness of app evolution and app continuance intention. This is especially important in helping app developers that are small firms or startups with limited resources understand how to retain app users. Limitations and directions for future research are also discussed.

The 4th Industrial Revolution Powered by the Integration of AI, Blockchain, and 5G

French, Aaron (afrenc20@kennesaw.edu)


The 21st century introduces the 4th Industrial Revolution describing an industrial paradigm shift that alters social, economic, and political environments simultaneously. This digital revolution is powered by innovative technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, and advanced mobile networks that seeks to dramatically impact the future direction of business and society. Each of these technologies provide a unique component that when integrated will establish a foundation to drive future innovation. In this paper, we summarize a 2019 Association for Information Systems Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS) panel session where researchers who specialize in each of presented technologies discussed new innovations and their integration shaping our future. This topic has significant implications to business and academia alike as revolutionary change is on the forefront shaping the social, economic, and political landscape.

Monitoring Remote Employees at FinPro

Sipior, Janice (janice.sipior@villanova.edu)


In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, governments across the world issued containment and mitigation restrictions to reduce the spread of the virus originating from Wuhan, China in December 2019. To sustain operations and ensure continuity, businesses moved to remote working for their employees. To better hold work-from-home employees accountable, monitoring software, including emotion recognition software, is being used by employers to track employee productivity and compliance with Information Security Policy, among other uses. This paper is a teaching case, based on a fictitious company inspired by the actual experiences of employees working at a global financial services provider, intended for use worldwide in information systems or business courses at the undergraduate or graduate level. In the case, students are introduced to Financial Professional Services, LLC (“FinPro”), a fictitious American firm that makes the decision to monitor remote employees. Both software that records and controls end user activity and emotion recognition software are implemented. The teaching case provides an overview of artificial intelligence and emotion recognition software, and the opportunity for students to examine the differing perspectives of employers and employees regarding monitoring.

Facets of Work: Enriching the Description, Analysis, Design, and Evaluation of Systems in Organizations

Alter, Steven (alter@usfca.edu)


This conceptual contribution introduces the idea of “facets of work” and explains how it can be applied to challenges in today’s IS discipline. The notion of facets of work emerged from earlier attempts to bring more knowledge and richer, more evocative ideas to SA&D. Focusing on facets of work during initial discussions of requirements could provide guidance without jumping prematurely to details, precision, and formal notation needed for producing testable software. The introduction explains the paper’s goal and organization. The next section defines facet of work, identifies underlying assumptions and criteria, and explains how 18 facets of work were identified. Three examples amplify the initial understanding of facets of work by showing how all 18 facets could be applied to specific situations. The next two sections discuss consolidating basic knowledge about facets of work, making that knowledge more accessible, and applying it in SA&D and in future research. The Appendix explains the disconnected steps that led to the current facets of work. It also presents six lengthy tables that each cover one aspect or another of the 18 facets. Some of those tables form the basis of the tools, methods, and future research mentioned in earlier in the paper.

Mapping Design Contributions in Information Systems Research: The Design Research Activity Framework

Maedche, Alexander (alexander.maedche@kit.edu)


Despite growing interest in design science research in information systems, our understanding of what constitutes a design contribution and the range of research activities that can produce design contributions remains limited. We propose the Design Research Activity (DRA) framework for classifying design contributions based on the type of statements used to express knowledge contributions and the nature of the researcher role that led to them. These dimensions combine to produce a DRA framework containing four quadrants: construction, manipulation, deployment, and elucidation. We use the framework in two ways. First, we classify design contributions published in the Journal of the Association for Information Systems (JAIS) from 2007 to 2019 and show that a broad range of design research across all four quadrants is published. Second, we show how our framework can be used to analyze the maturity of design-oriented knowledge in a specific field, as reflected in the degree of activity across the different quadrants. The DRA framework contributes by showing that design research encompasses both design science research approaches, as well as design-oriented behavioral research approaches. The framework is useful to authors and reviewers in assessing research with design implications, and to researchers for positioning as well as understanding design research as a journey through the four quadrants.

Information system quality judgment for continued use of e-government: Theorizing the role of positive and negative affect

Teo, Thompson (bizteosh@nus.edu.sg )


Affect and emotions play an important role in the formation of judgments. Yet the literature on technological judgments has primarily relied on the cognitive belief perspective. By segregating emotions into positive and negative affect, our study incorporates ‘affect’ in addition to ‘cognitions’ for understanding the drivers of IS quality perceptions, specifically e-government website quality. Grounding our discussion in the affect infusion model (AIM) and prospect theory, we examine the mechanisms through which positive and negative affect, infuse into IS quality judgments. We also theorize for the moderating role of both positive and negative affect on the relationships between cognitions and IS quality perceptions. The model, tested via a survey of e-government website users, supports a significant direct role of affect in judging IS quality. While negative affect significantly moderates the relationship between experienced usefulness and perceptions of the three IS quality measures—information quality, system quality, and service quality, positive affect does not moderate this relationship. Finally, the study theorizes for the differential role of affect on perceptions of the three IS quality measures, depending on their affect infusion potentials. The paper concludes with a discussion of theoretical and practical implications.

Mapping the Landscape of Health Information Exchange (HIE) Networks in the United States

Sun, Zuan (zsun@whitworth.edu)


Since the 1990s, there has been ongoing investment in the development of Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) in the United States. However, the diffusion of HIE innovation has been disappointingly slow. One explanation for this is that HIE innovation is affected by multiple stakeholder domains, with policy, technical, and social positions that can be at cross purposes to each other. Understanding the pace of diffusion must therefore account for structural differences in kinds of HIE networks, but there is a gap in existing research on this dilemma. In Information Systems (IS), research has focused on individual instantiations of HIEs. In the domain of health policy, research has summarized different forms of HIE networks without applying theoretical lenses to explore structural differences among them. Further, for HIE value research, there is no consensus on measurement criteria because of these divergent motivations for HIE instantiations. To that end, this paper has three objectives: first, to describe the current landscape of HIE networks in the United States from an organizational perspective; second, to propose a framework for future research to address structural differences among HIE networks; and third, to demonstrate how network type acts as a boundary condition for measuring exchange behaviors and outcomes.

Blockchain Won’t Kill the Banks: Why Disintermediation Doesn’t Work in International Trade Finance

Radszuwill, Sven (sven.radszuwill@uni-bayreuth.de)


In the financial services industry, blockchain is assumed to have significant impacts. From research and practice, we observe two main paradigms of how organizations interact with blockchain. First, organizations use blockchain to optimize existing processes (blockchain-based business process optimization – BPO). Second, organizations use blockchain to disrupt existing processes, foster disintermediation, and enable disruptive business models (blockchain-based business process disruption – BPD). However, scientific research that evaluates its de facto potential is scarce. We bridge this gap by following a design science research approach aiming at a blockchain-based business process re-engineering (BPRE) for a letter of credit that combines the advantages of BPO and BPD. We conduct three design cycles and develop three artefacts: a BPO, a BPD, and a BPRE approach. Our BPRE approach combines the advantages of partial disintermediation, i.e. increased efficiency and transparency, with the advantages of intermediaries, i.e. process flexibility, provision of liquidity and mediation of dispute.

Not Your Typical Leader? How Perceptions of CIOs Compare to Other Members of the Top Management Team

Gonzalez, Paola A (paola.gonzalez@dal.ca)


This paper examines perceptual profiles of Chief Information Officers (CIO) relative to other members of the Top Management Team (TMT). The profile of CIOs reveals that they are perceived as less authoritative and less socially adept, important traits for strategic leadership. CIOs are also perceived to have less in common with successful business leaders than either CFOs or CMOs. These findings highlight important differences in the way that CIOs are perceived relative to their top management team colleagues and shed light on a possible reason for some of the challenges that CIOs frequently face in organizations.

Motivation to Participate in Professional Development in Technologically Intensive Work Environments

Klaus, Tim (tim.klaus@tamucc.edu)


Maintaining professional competency in an environment of rapid technological innovation may seem to be an insurmountable task, where new technologies often become obsolete before technology professionals are able to master them. Although research has established that challenging work assignments affect professional motivation, research has also established that overly-challenging work assignments are de-motivating. Of particular interest are the calls for research to examine the relationship between the Technical Updating Climate (TUC), and learning motivation in the context of professional development activity. Data were collected from 174 IT professionals, who are exemplars of professionals working in such environments. Evidence was found to support the ability of Locus of Control, Self-efficacy, and Technical Updating Climate to predict 43% of variation in the IT professional’s motivation to participate in professional development. The research model proposed by this study has demonstrated a strong ability to explain motivation to engage in professional development in technologically intensive work contexts. Furthermore, the Technical Updating Climate was successfully operationalized and validated as both an instance of positive climate, and as an organizational climate.

Digital Innovation and Business Process Management: Opportunities and Challenges as Perceived by Practitioners

vom Brocke, Jan (jan.vom.brocke@uni.li )


This report summarizes a large-scale online workshop series focusing on the connection between digital innovation and business process management (BPM). The motivation behind our format was to complement the primarily conceptual claims in this field of research with in-depth insights from organizational practice. The format covered four consecutive one-hour workshops, each involving an average number of 120 practitioners and several academics. Each workshop shed light on specific aspects that appear important in the context of digital innovation and BPM. We collected data by means of discussions during the sessions, as well as from two surveys completed respectively before and after the workshop. Based on our findings, we identify three research directions to advance research on the intersection of digital innovation and BPM. We suggest (1) exploring the role of BPM in digital innovation, (2) scoping digital innovation activities within BPM projects, and (3) aligning organizational structures to support BPM-driven digital innovation activities. We point to several concrete avenues for future empirical research in this field.

COVID-19 and Caregiving IS Researchers: In the same storm, but not in the same boat

Van Osch, Wietske (Wietske.van-osch@hec.ca)


In early 2020, reports emerged about the negative effects of COVID-19 on the productivity of female researchers who were taking care of their families during the pandemic, while male researchers spent their time in lockdown2 writing more papers and increasing their productivity. We wondered if the pandemic was affecting caregivers (mostly female) in the Information Systems (IS) discipline in the same way. If it was, we hoped to be able to suggest what actions caregivers might take in response. As an approximate way of distinguishing caregivers from non-caregivers in our analysis, we used gender. The results of our analysis are mixed, but they do suggest that COVID-19 has had some negative impacts on IS researchers who are caregivers. We offer several recommendations to caregiving IS researchers for mitigating the effects of the pandemic on their professional lives.

Overdue Diligence: Questioning the Promise, Not the Premise, of Analytics

Andriole, Stephen John (stephen.andriole@villanova.edu)


The number of emerging business technologies seems endless – with endless possibilities about the impact they will have on business performance. Who doesn’t want more competitiveness and profitability? If a new technology – like big data analytics – can deliver superior perform-ance, why not invest in data scientists, algorithms and centers of excellence? Not so fast: the Gartner Group reports that over 85% of big data analytics projects fail (Gartner, 2017). A recent McKinsey survey found that only 8 percent of respondents have been able to scale analytics beyond limited and isolated cases (Fleming, et al., 2018). A root cause analysis explains why so many analytics projects fail. We discovered at least six baskets of problems that threaten analytics projects: data, modeling, tools, talent, management and culture. The path to least damages exists. It’s as much a corporate mirror as it is a due diligence checklist. It‘s a diagnostic tool that lists organizational ailments, symptoms and diagnostic questions. It’s everyone’s chance to diagnose a company’s chances for analytics success – or understand why there’s little or no hope.