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/.

Exploring the Scientific Impact of Information Systems Design Science Research

Wagner, Gerit (gerit.wagner@wiwi.uni-regensburg.de)


While design science research is contending its position in the information systems community, there is a lack of transparency regarding the recent and impactful information systems design science research (IS-DSR) papers. This arguably poses challenges to an informed discourse and limits our ability to communicate progress achieved by IS-DSR. After providing a map of the impactful IS-DSR papers, we therefore develop a scientometric study to address the lack of insights into factors that affect the scientific impact of IS-DSR papers published in top IS journals. In this study, we focus on IS-specific, active research areas of IS-DSR and consider papers published in the AIS Senior Scholars' Basket of Journals between 2004 and 2014. Specifically, we develop a model that explores a set of factors that affect the scientific impact of IS-DSR papers. Our findings show that scientific impact is significantly explained by theorization and novelty. We discuss the implications of our work and derive recommendations intended to shape future knowledge creation in IS-DSR.

A Comment on the Practice of the Arellano-Bond/Blundell-Bond Generalized Method of Moments Estimator in IS Research

Youngsok, Bang (yb@yonsei.ac.kr)


As a quick econometric solution to handle potential endogeneity issues in panel data models, the Arellano-Bond/Blundell-Bond generalized method of moments (GMM) estimator is gaining popularity in IS research. Despite the sensitivity of this estimator to model specifications and estimation strategies, a noticeable number of IS studies employing this method fail to report the detailed model specifications, robustness check results with different model specifications and estimation strategies, or test statistics, which render their empirical results less credible. Using simulated data and real data, we empirically demonstrate that passing the commonly required tests, such as the m2 test and the Sargan-Hansen test, does not guarantee the validity of the estimate because the size and the statistical significance of the estimate can largely depend on the choice of estimation procedure and the moment restrictions that pass such required tests. We urge researchers not only to report the results of significant focal variables, but also to be explicit about the model specifications and estimation strategies, and to provide robustness checks with different model specifications, along with their complete test results.

AI Recruiting Tools at ShipIt2Me.com

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


Business interest in artificial intelligence (AI) is growing. The number of companies implementing AI-related technologies has increased over 2.5-fold over the past few years. Thus, an understanding of AI is imperative for current and future employees. This paper is a teaching case, based on a fictitious company, intended for use worldwide in information systems or business courses at the undergraduate or graduate level. In the case, students are introduced to ShipIt2Me.com (“ShipIt2Me”), a fictitious American e-commerce company, that developed an AI human resources recruiting tool to be used in hiring cloud computing talent. After candidates are identified using this tool, ShipIt2Me may possibly use AI-based video interview software to screen those candidates for soft skills. The teaching case provides an overview of AI concepts and the opportunity for students to examine the advantages and disadvantages of using AI tools in human resources recruiting.

How to Conduct Rigorous Supervised Machine Learning in Information Systems Research: The Supervised Machine Learning Reportcard

Kühl, Niklas (kuehl@kit.edu)


Within the last decade, the application of supervised machine learning (SML) has become increasingly popular in the field of information systems (IS) research. Although the choices among different data preprocessing techniques, as well as different algorithms and their individual implementations, are fundamental building blocks of SML results, their documentation—and therefore reproducibility—is inconsistent across published IS research papers. This may be quite understandable, since the goals and motivations for SML applications vary and since the field has been rapidly evolving within IS. For the IS research community, however, this poses a big challenge, because even with full access to the data neither a complete evaluation of the SML approaches nor a replication of the research results is possible. Therefore, this article aims to provide the IS community with guidelines for comprehensively and rigorously conducting, as well as documenting, SML research: First, we review the literature concerning steps and SML process frameworks to extract relevant problem characteristics and relevant choices to be made in the application of SML. Second, we integrate these into a comprehensive “Supervised Machine Learning Reportcard (SMLR)” as an artifact to be used in future SML endeavors. Third, we apply this reportcard to a set of 121 relevant articles published in renowned IS outlets between 2010 and 2018 and demonstrate how and where the documentation of current IS research articles can be improved. Thus, this work should contribute to a more complete and rigorous application and documentation of SML approaches, thereby enabling a deeper evaluation and reproducibility / replication of results in IS research.

ICT Support for Refugees and Undocumented Immigrants

AbuJarour, Safa'a (safaa.abujarour@uni-potsdam.de)


Immigrant integration has risen to the top of the political agenda of leaders in Germany and the U.S. The information systems community has begun to research how information and communications technologies can assist immigrants and especially refugees, by seeking to better understand how to facilitate social inclusion processes. Migrants face the challenge of joining closed communities that are incapable of or afraid to integrate. We conducted a panel discussion at the Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS 2019) in Cancun, Mexico to introduce multiple viewpoints on the topic of immigration, specifically showing how technology can both support and prevent immigrants from succeeding in their quest. The panel aimed to stimulate a thoughtful and dynamic discussion on best practices and recommendations to enhance the discipline’s impact on alleviating the challenges that occur for immigrants in their host countries. In this panel report, we introduce the topic of ICT use for immigrants’ integration, and identify differences between Europe and North and Central America. We also discuss the usage of ICT by immigrants, in particular refugees, for connection, a sense of belonging, and maintaining their identity. We uncover the dark and bright sides of ICT usage by governments seeking to deter illegal immigration. Finally, we present recommendations for research and practice on how to best engage ICT to assist with all aspects of immigration.

How AIS can improve its contributions to the UN’s Sustainability Development Goals: A Framework for Scaling Collaborations and Evaluating Impact

Watson, Richard (rwatson@terry.uga.edu)


In June 2019, the Association for Information Systems’ (AIS) adopted a new approach to addressing global sustainability issues by establishing the AIS Sustainability Task Force (AIS STF). This initiative aimed to build on the outcomes of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG, 2000-2015) and to apply its findings to address the challenges of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG, 2016-2030). The challenges and outcomes from the UN sustainability programs with their potential relevance to IS in general and the AIS in particular are reviewed in this paper to inform and assist increased efforts to achieve positive impact on the global sustainability goals. The initial event, the AIS Sustainability Summit held at ICIS 2019, aimed to provide a forum for AIS groups and communities to share their current interests, plans, activities and experiences relevant to the UN’s MDG and SDG. The primary objective was to facilitate opportunities to scale AIS’ sustainability activities through multi-disciplinary collaboration across the AIS and its communities. Members of four AIS Special Interest Groups and the STF’s Education Workgroup presented exemplary projects at the Summit demonstrating applications of applied IS and research capabilities to address sustainability challenges. The Sustainability Summit’s secondary objective was to explore opportunities to achieve positive impact in addressing the UN SDG’s global challenges through the relevant applications of the knowledge, skills and capabilities of AIS members in collaboration with suitable organizations outside the AIS. Potential organizations include business, government and societal groups as well as UN bodies. The AIS STF’s aims, plans, outcomes and impact were presented and discussed. Analysis of the details and options for cross-organizational collaboration presented in the Sustainability Summit lead to a proposed framework for scaling contributions and evaluating impact. Finally, conclusions were drawn about the proposed activities, approaches and framework for the AIS to improve the scope and scale of its contributions in addressing the SDG. Of critical importance was to ensure that AIS’ proposed activities, contributions and impact were verifiable through an internationally recognized independent process. A model for the AIS to realize this requirement is proposed for evaluation in 2021.

What is e-Government? Introducing a Work System Framework for Understanding e-Government

Lindgren, Ida (ida.lindgren@liu.se)


In this paper, we take the need for a comprehensive overview of the e-Government field’s core subject matter as a point of departure. The aim of this paper is to present a comprehensive and distilled model that can help researchers (1) to enter the e-Government field; (2) to understand the main study focus of the field in a distilled way; and, (3) to guide reflections on further research within the field. Departing from Steven Alter’s Work Systems Theory, and particularly his Work Systems Framework (WSF), we introduce a framework for understanding e-Government work systems; labelled as the eGovWSF. We distil the basic core of e-Government work systems through an interpretative and hermeneutic approach, building on previous research and theorizations made within information systems and e-Government research. We unpack the eGovWSF into 12 main elements, discuss their role as internal, semi-external and external to the work system, and reflect on the connections between these elements. Thus, contributions include a conceptual discussion on the core subject matter of e-Government, as well as a critical discussion on the applicability of the framework and future research needs.

Cloud Computing Adoption: A Literature Review on What Is New and What Still Needs to Be Addressed

Strahringer, Susanne (susanne.strahringer@tu-dresden.de )


Research on Cloud Computing (CC) recently emerged congruently with the technology’s importance for organizations at a fast pace. This makes it difficult for practitioners to obtain a consolidated overview of what determines CC adoption based on the numerous papers in this regard. Moreover, for further research in the field to add value, it is necessary to identify what still needs to be addressed. In this vein, we conducted a descriptive review of 39 papers, integrating the results of a previous review on 23 papers from 2014, to compare findings across studies. We identify 44 determinant factors that exhibit consistent directional influence on the dependent meta-variable “CC adoption”, extending previous literature reviews with regard to asset, client, and environmental characteristics. We then critically reviewed the research landscape to identify what is there, and what is not yet covered: Future research should specifically regard the adoption of Infrastructure-, Platform-, and Everything-as-a-Service, private, hybrid, and multi-cloud deployment, investigate vendor, solution, and individual characteristics, analyzing information systems, or the decision-maker.

ACM SIGMIS CPR Panel Report: Elephant in the Classroom: Should Information Systems Professors be More Techno-Savvy than Students? (And what would this mean for teaching in times of the COVID-19 crisis?)

Van Slyke, Craig (vanslyke@latech.edu)


Rapid advances in information and communication technologies present a challenge to Information Systems (IS) professors. Not only do these advances frequently make course materials out-of-date, but also IS professors may struggle to stay current with popular technology applications. In a sense, these forces lead to a paradox that students may be more techno-savvy than their professors, at least, in certain areas. Also, students may feel frustrated when techno-savvy professors cannot efficiently teach them in learning technologies. This paper synthesizes the panel titled “The Elephant in the Classroom: Do Information Systems Professors Need to be more Techno-Savvy than Students?” that was presented at the 55th ACM SIGMIS Computer and People Research Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. The discussants were Thomas Ferratt of the University of Dayton, Michael Gallivan of Georgia Institute of Technology, Yaojie Li of Columbus State University, Thomas Stafford of Louisiana Tech University, Mary Sumner of Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville, and Crag Van Slyke of Louisiana Tech University. The discussion is used to develop techno-savviness as a construct in the context of IS education, and to describe distinct types of techno-savviness.

Digital Transformation: Environmental Friend or Foe? Panel Discussion at the Australasian Conference on Information Systems 2019

Lokuge, Sachithra (ksplokuge@gmail.com)


The advent of digital technologies such as social media, mobile, analytics, cloud computing and internet-of-things has provided unique opportunities for organizations to engage in innovations that are affordable, easy-to-use, easy-to-learn and easy-to-implement. Transformations through such technologies often have positive impacts on business processes, products and services. As such, organizations have managed to increase productivity and efficiency, reduce cycle time and make substantial gains through digital transformation. Such transformations have also been positively associated with reducing harmful environmental impacts by providing organizations alternative ways of undertaking their business activities. However, in recent times, especially with an abundance of technologies being available at near-zero costs, questions regarding the potential negative impacts of digital transformation on the environment have arisen. The morass of the ubiquitous technologies around us necessitates the continuing creation of large data centers, that are increasing their capacity yielding a negative impact on the environment. Considering this dialectical contradiction, a panel was conducted at the Australasian Conference on Information Systems (ACIS) in Perth, Australia, in 2019. Its aim was to invigorate the dialogue regarding the impact of digital transformation on environmental sustainability and suggested some directions for future research in this area.

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.

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

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.

Forthcoming Papers: COVID Special Issue

Special Section: COVID-19, Learning, Pedagogy, and Educational Systems

Van Slyke, Craig (vanslyke@latech.edu)


In spring 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic affected the information systems higher education community (along with the rest of the world) profoundly. Institutions of higher education across the globe had to quickly shift to online courses – in some cases faculty had to transition their courses in a matter of days. The CAIS Special Section: COVID-19, Learning, Pedagogy, and Educational Systems was launched to facilitate the sharing of effective practices among information systems faculty, and to provide a forum for opinions regarding the long-term consequences of COVID-19 on information systems education.