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 be obtained by 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 Divergent and Convergent Production in Idea Evaluation: Implications for Designing Group Creativity Support Systems

Ulrich, Frank (mail@frankulrich.org)


Idea evaluation is necessary for most modern organizations to identify the value of novel ideas. However, current idea evaluation research and practice hinder creativity by primarily facilitating convergent production (narrowing down ideas to a few tangible solutions), whereas divergent production (the development of wildly creative and novel thoughts patterns) is discounted. In this article, this dominant view on idea evaluation is challenged by presenting a new theory coined as dynamic idea evaluation and exploring the theory through a Group Creativity Support System (GCSS) prototype. The GCSS prototype is designed as an idea portal that uses the knowledge created from the evaluation process to facilitate both convergent and divergent production. The GCSS is designed using an inductive and theory-building Design Science Research (DSR) approach and interpretively analyzed through an exploratory study in a Danish IS research department. Consequently, the GCSS demonstrates the ability to facilitate both divergent and convergent production during idea evaluation. Moreover, four design requirements and process architecture are added to help designers to build dynamic idea evaluation into this class of systems.

Pragmatizing the Normative Artifact: Design Science Research in Scandinavia and Beyond

Ågerfalk, Pär J. (par.agerfalk@im.uu.se)


This panel report analyses the discussion that unfolded during the panel “Design Science Research: A Scandinavian Approach?”, held at the 3rd Scandinavian Conference on Information Systems in Sigtuna, Sweden, August 2012. The Panel was chaired by the second author of this paper and included panelists: Tone Bratteteig, Shirley Gregor, Ola Henfridsson, Alan Hevner, Jan Pries-Heje, and Tuure Tuunanen. Three themes that highlight how the design of artifacts contributes to knowledge production emerged during the panel. The first theme addresses our responsibility, as a research community, to come up not only with descriptions of the world but also to try to change things into preferable states. The second theme emphasizes that knowledge production also happens through the design of artifacts. The third theme identifies an apparent pragmatic turn in our field.

Knowledge, Innovation, and Entrepreneurial Systems at HICSS

Jennex, Murray E. (mjennex@mail.sdsu.edu)


This paper presents an overview and history of the Knowledge, Innovation, and Entrepreneurial Systems (KIES) track as well as the knowledge and related systems research community at the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS). This community began as a task force examining organizational memory in HICSS-27. It has since evolved into a mini-track, then a research cluster and finally a full research track encompassing research Knowledge, Innovation, and Entrepreneurial Systems. The purpose of this paper is to acquaint knowledge system researchers with a research community that has leveraged the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS) to develop a rich history of high quality scholastic inquiry in the areas of knowledge system, knowledge management, innovation systems, entrepreneurial systems, organizational memory, and organizational learning research.

Political Satire and the Counter-framing of Public Sector IT Project Escalation

Cranefield, Jocelyn (jocelyn.cranefield@vuw.ac.nz)


Despite significant research into IT project failure, the frequency and impact of failure remains high. Attention has shifted to understanding and guiding de-escalation; reversal of failure. This major turnaround process that initially benefits from negative feedback on the status quo, and requires breaking of established frames and re-establishing of legitimacy with stakeholders (Pan & Pan, 2011). We consider the role of satire as a lens to challenge dominant frames and aid understanding of stakeholders during the shift towards de-escalation, based on analysis of portrayals by political cartoonists of high-profile troubled public-sector projects in New Zealand and Denmark. Drawing on the theories of technological frames of reference, legitimacy, and stakeholder salience, we show how cartoonists act as field-level evaluators of legitimacy, exposing and critiquing the normative framing of dysfunctionality. Through counter-framing, exaggeration and metaphor, they emphasize the urgency of claims of citizen-users while undermining the legitimacy of powerful stakeholders. We extract lessons for stakeholder management and communication during project turnaround, and suggest that satire could be a valuable addition to diagnostic and planning tools during de-escalation. The study identifies that sensitivity to framing of IT projects exists in the public realm, reinforcing calls for organizations to take institutional framing into account.

Growing Doctoral Education in Africa: The Story of an Online Course at ICT University in Cameroon

Syler, Rhonda (rhonda.syler@gmail.com)


Over the last decade, Africa as a continent has experienced steady economic growth. However, despite this sustained economic growth trend, quality of life issues still plague much of the continent. The complexity of these problems requires intellectual capabilities to develop workable and sustainable solutions. Thus, the facilitation of doctoral education in less developed countries (LDCs) is an important and worthwhile undertaking. This paper tells the tale of how a simple case of serendipitous opportunity to facilitate a doctoral research seminar for an African university became a catalyst in securing the participation of several leading scholars to contribute to the seminar and grow their interest in contributing to doctoral education in LDCs. The seminar garnered strong positive reactions from the students who were spread across Africa and among scholars who participated. We discuss the lessons we learned, with a view toward providing a template for the remote delivery of doctoral coursework in LDCs.

Challenges to Cybersecurity: Current State of Affairs

Sen, Ravi (rsen@mays.tamu.edu)


Despite the increasing investment in cybersecurity initiatives, incidents such as data breach, malware infections, and cyberattacks on cyber-physical systems show an upward trend. We identify the technical, economic, legal, and behavioral challenges that continue to obstruct any meaningful effort to achieve reasonable cybersecurity. We also summarize the current initiatives undertaken by various stakeholders and highlight the limitations of the same in fully addressing the challenges to cybersecurity.

Positive and Negative Psychological States in Self-Paced Technology Training

Gupta, Saurabh (sgupta7@kennesaw.edu)


Industry reports continue to highlight the importance and growth of e-learning across all aspects of time/place continuum. However, researcher, trainers and trainees all agree that such training has significantly higher levels of anxiety compared to traditional learning. Anxiety, thus, is one of the most important impediments in online learning, leading to a significant negative impact on training outcomes. On the other hand, researchers and practitioners have not focused on the positive psychological state of process satisfaction from the training process. This paper presents a research model that reframes the dominant theory in technology training, i.e. Socio-Cognitive Theory, and its impact on learning, including the impact of perceived anxiety and process satisfaction in a team-based self-paced online technology training context. Results of the empirical study presented in this paper show that verbal persuasion structures can reduce perceived anxiety, increase process satisfaction, and thus, improving training outcomes. It also shows that verbal persuasion has an indirect effect on outcomes rather than a direct effect as conceptualized by Socio-Cognitive Theory. Theoretical and practical implications for researchers, trainers and designers are presented.

AMCIS 2017 Panels Summary Report

Zhu, Hongwei (hongwei_zhu@uml.edu)


The Twenty-Third Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS’17) included nine panels. They were presented throughout the three days of the conference. In this report, we provide an overview of each panel and contact information of panel moderator so that readers can reach out to obtain additional information. Topics covered by the panels address a range of ongoing and emerging concerns of our field – one panel on IT security auditing, two on pedagogy, three on digital infrastructure, and another three on academic programs in analytics and information systems. We also discuss logistics of organizing panels; this will be helpful to future organizers of panels at AIS affiliated conferences.

Tool Support for Design Science Research: Towards a Software Ecosystem

Morana, Stefan (stefan.morana@kit.edu)


There is a rich body of knowledge on approaches, methods, and frameworks supporting researchers in conducting design science research (DSR) in the information systems (IS) field. There is also some consensus about the key elements of DSR projects—such as identifying problems, designing, implementing, evaluating, and abstracting knowledge about the design. Still, there are no commonly accepted sets of tools addressing the needs of DSR scholars who seek to structure, manage, and present their projects. This is problematic because the often complex and multi-faceted nature of DSR endeavors—involving various stakeholders such as researchers, developers, practitioners, and others—requires such support. But what do DSR scholars need to effectively and efficiently carry out their work? To seek answers to this question, we conducted an open workshop with DSR scholars at the 2017 DESRIST conference in Karlsruhe, Germany, which aimed to initiate a debate on (1) the categories of DSR support and (2) the more specific requirements. This article reports on the results from this workshop and identifies nine categories of requirements that fall into the three broad phases of pre-design, design, and post-design, and that are suitable to contribute to the establishment of a software ecosystem for supporting DSR endeavors.

Non-invasive Brain Stimulation as a Set of Research Tools in NeuroIS – Opportunities and Methodological Considerations

Dumont, Laurence (laurence.dumont.1@umontreal.ca)


NeuroIS is a growing field which builds on neuroscience to improve the understanding of human interaction with information technologies and information systems. Non-invasive investigation of causal relationships between brain activity patterns, cognitive processes, and behavior can be made through a series of tools gathered under the term non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) and have yet to be used in the NeuroIS community. This paper aims to present an introduction to NIBS, show how it can address caveats found in current research, describe the implementation of a NIBS protocol and assess what these tools can bring to the field of NeuroIS.

How do Machine Learning, Robotic Process Automation and Blockchains affect the Human Factor in Business Process Management?

Mendling, Jan (jan.mendling@wu.ac.at)


This paper summarizes a panel discussion at the 15th International Conference on Business Process Management. The panel raises the question to which extent the emergence of recent technologies including machine learning, robotic process automation and blockchain will reduce the human factor in Business Process Management. The panel discussion took place on the 14th of September 2017 at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. Jan Mendling served as a chair; Gero Decker, Richard Hull, Hajo Reijers and Ingo Weber participated as panelists. The discussions emphasized the impact of emerging technologies on the task level and the coordination level. The major challenges identified by the panel relate to seven points: employment, technology acceptance, ethics, customer experience, job design, social integration, and regulation.

The TOGAF-Based Enterprise Architecture Practice: An Exploratory Case Study

Kotusev, Svyatoslav (kotusev@kotusev.com)


Enterprise architecture (EA) is a description of an enterprise from an integrated business and IT perspective used to improve business and IT alignment. Literature describes many different methodologies to organize an EA practice. However, these EA methodologies are typically adapted to the specific needs of organizations, rather than used directly “out-of-the-box”. As a result, actual EA practices often differ substantially from the original EA methodologies. Unsurprisingly, establishing a successful EA practice remains troublesome despite the existence of multiple detailed methodologies. However, the adaptation of EA methodologies in organizations has never been deliberately investigated. In this paper, based on an in-depth qualitative case study, I explore the adaptation of the most popular EA methodology, TOGAF, to address this gap. This paper (1) provides a holistic description of a TOGAF-based EA practice and (2) analyzes the adaptation of the TOGAF methodology in the studied organization. This study concludes that none of the TOGAF-specific recommendations proved useful in the studied EA practice. Supported by ample indirect evidence available in the existing EA literature, this study questions the value of TOGAF as a standard for EA practice. Moreover, the studied EA practice hardly resembles any established EA methodologies or theoretical conceptualizations of EA. Therefore, the EA practice described in this case study presents a new, largely unexplored empirical phenomenon. Although this study raises multiple “inconvenient” questions challenging the status quo in the EA discipline, it does not provide definite answers to most of these questions calling for further research on methodological aspects of an EA practice.

Live Biofeedback as a User Interface Design Element: A Review of the Literature

Lux, Ewa (ewa.lux@kit.edu)


With the advances in sensor technology and real-time processing of neurophysiological data, a growing body of academic literature explores how live biofeedback can be integrated into Information Systems for everyday use. While traditionally live biofeedback has been studied primarily in the clinical domain, the proliferation of affordable mobile sensor technology enables researchers and practitioners to consider live biofeedback as a user interface element in contexts such as decision support, education, and gaming. In order to establish the current state of research on live biofeedback, we conduct a literature review of studies on self and foreign live biofeedback based on neurophysiological data for healthy subjects in an Information Systems context. By integrating a body of highly fragmented work from Computer Science, Engineering and Technology, Information Systems, Medical Science, and Psychology, this paper synthesizes results from existing research, identifies knowledge gaps, and suggests directions for future research. In this vein, this review can serve as a reference guide for researchers and practitioners on how to integrate self and foreign live biofeedback into Information Systems for everyday use.

A New Influence Measure Based on Graph Centralities and Social Network Behavior Applied to Twitter Data

Boulet, Romain (romain.boulet@univ-lyon3.fr)


This article describes the use of graph theory to explore concepts of influence within socialized groups. When analyzing social networks, centrality indicators make it possible to assess the power of an individual. We discuss various centrality indicators, focusing on degree and betweenness. After observing a strong correlation between them, we propose defining new assessments based on a decorrelation method that we characterize from different mathematical perspectives (algebraic, probabilistic and statistical). This theoretical framework is applied to a network of tweets about the Uber vs Taxi conflict, which took place in June 2015 and for which we have detected different influential individuals.

The Trajectory of IT in Healthcare at HICSS: A Literature Review, Analysis, and Future Directions

Samhan, Bahae (bmsamha@ilstu.edu)


Evidence of the rapid implementation and adoption of information technology in the healthcare industry has been demonstrated extensively. Research in HIT have been a major component of the HICSS proceedings and demonstrate similar findings. Included in these findings are the many studies in HIT that were part of HICSS proceedings from 2008-2017. We reviewed the literature to better understand the work that has been done over the last ten years in HIT. This review revealed themes, methods, technology types, research populations, context, and emerged research gaps from the reviewed literature. With much change and development in the field of HIT and varying levels of adoption, this review was necessary to uncover, catalog, and analyze the research in HIT at HICSS in this ten-year period of time as well as provide future directions for research in the field.

Rabbit or Tortoise? Re-thinking Customer Acquisition at Dravya Bank

Vallurupalli, Vamsi (vallurupalliv13@email.iimcal.ac.in)


A prominent bank in India is swiftly and consistently losing market share for a high revenue product. Poor communication with the customers has been diagnosed as the underlying cause. The bank is contemplating whether to direct its resources towards analytics and digital advertising channels or continue and improve its current advertising techniques revolving around mass marketing initiatives and its large network of branches. The case expects participants to evaluate the costs and benefits of alternatives available to the bank and propose a comprehensive customer acquisition strategy to address the crisis. The case is written in the form of a role play, which can be enacted in the class to boost interest and involvement of participants.

Information Systems Research Themes: A Seventeen-Year Data-driven Temporal Analysis

Ahuja, Manju (manju.ahuja@louisville.edu)


Extending the research on our discipline’s identity, we examine evolution of the major research themes in four top IS journals— Management Information Systems Quarterly (MISQ), Information Systems Research (ISR), Journal of the Association for Information Systems (JAIS), and Journal of Management Information Systems (JMIS). By doing so, we answer Palvia et al.’s (2015) call to provide continuous updates to the research trends in IS because of the dynamism of this discipline. Second, building on Sidorova et al. (2008) we examine temporal trends in prominent research streams over the last seventeen years. Findings of our analysis show that as the IS research evolves over time, certain themes appear to endure the test of time, while others peak and trough. More importantly, our analysis identifies new emergent themes that have begun to gain prominence in IS research community. Further, our journal-specific analysis reveals the type of content that could be most desired by the top IS journals. This journal-specific analysis also allows the IS research community to discern the specific contributions and roles of our premier journals in the evolution of research themes over time.

Revisiting Turing’s Imitation Game: A Commentary on Replacing Teachers with Internet Devices

Sharma, Ravi S. (rs.sharma@canterbury.ac.nz)


The prevalence of poverty and inequalities has been of longstanding research interest. Much of this poverty has been attributable to a lack of opportunities for socio-economic growth and development. In this commentary, we conjecture that bridging knowledge disparities through mass education would reduce wealth and income disparities. The central postulate being explored investigates whether educating the under-privileged (who otherwise would have little access to education) through the use of an inexpensive tablet device would bring about access to digital content and social networks resulting in development opportunities for them. Lessons from the pathfinding One-Laptop-Per-Child (OLPC) initiative and several other field experiences are drawn. Through the adoption of a method of dialectic enquiry posed by Alan Turing in his seminal investigation into whether machines could replace people, we first pose arguments against our postulate and then consider the counter-points. Specifically, we address: What are the positive and negative effects of the BYOD approach to learning? How does the BYOD approach bridge knowledge disparities across the socio-economic divide? What is the impact of the BYOD approach on different forms of student engagement? Are the digitally, less connected therefore also less-literate? The article concludes with some thoughts on whether teachers should or could be replaced by content and devices.

ICIS 2017 Panel Report: Break Your Shackles! Emancipating Information Systems from the Tyranny of Peer Review

Chua, Cecil (aeh.chua@auckland.ac.nz)


The paper presents the report of a panel that debated the review process in the Information Systems discipline at ICIS 2017 in Seoul, Korea. The panel asks the fundamental question of whether the way reviewing is done in Information Systems (IS) needs a rethink. The panelists partnered with the audience to explore some reviewing limitations in Information Systems today and ways reviewing in the academic field might change to address some of its difficulties. The paper begins by exploring key concerns with modern reviewing. Arguments for and against three proposals as well as a panel audience vote on the issues are then presented. The three proposals are: (1) paying for reviews, (2) mandatory reviews, and (3) open reviews. We neither advocate for nor condemn these solutions, but rather use these solutions to illustrate what we believe are core underlying issues with IS reviewing. Specifically, we believe the key stumbling blocks to effective improvement of our review process are (a) a lack of empirical data on actual practice, (b) a lack of clear goals, and (c) an ignorance of the possible solutions to the review dilemma articulated by the wider literature.

Information Systems Research: Making an Impact in a Publish-or-Perish World

Wiener, Martin (mwiener@bentley.edu)


This article reports on the panel discussion that took place at the 2017 European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS) in Guimarães, Portugal, on June 9, 2017. It focused on three central questions: (1) What does research impact mean for you? (2) What is your approach to making an impact with your research? and (3) What advice would you give to PhD students and early-career scholars? While the five panelists (Samir Chatterjee, Alan R. Dennis, Shirley Gregor, Magnus Mähring, and Peter Mertens) partly differ in their views on what impactful research is, and how to conduct such research, they seem to largely agree that assessing impact requires a multidimensional view, that impactful IS research requires a clear link to real-world problems (“grand challenges”), and that young scholars need to avoid the trap of confusing research gaps with research relevance. The overarching goal of the panel discussion, as well as of this report, is to initiate a discussion on the essential topic of research impact within the IS discipline and to contribute to the development of a more uniform, yet more diverse understanding and appreciation of different approaches to making an impact with IS research.

The Role of Accounting and Professional Associations in IT Security Auditing: An AMCIS Panel Report

Stafford, Thomas F. (stafford@latech.edu)


Information Systems Security is a critical area of inquiry and is closely allied with IT Audit skills from the Accounting discipline. While accounting scholars are well-schooled in IT Audit, information systems scholars interested in the security aspects of IT Audit are sometimes not as well informed about the process through which scholars and professionals become security and audit experts in order to be skilled in the process of assessing the quality of information security implementations. IT Audit knowledge enriches cybersecurity professors for both teaching and research. Individuals skilled in accounting, such as graduates from combined Accounting/Information Systems departments in business schools, are naturally oriented to industry certification groups and their professional certifications, but the mainstream of IT academics is not. The group of IT Audit and Security experts serving on this AMCIS panel inform IT Security researchers interested in the process of auditing on the values and procedures of the certification and training process with implications for understanding corporate IT Security performance as a function of auditing expertise represented at the highest levels of organizational decision making. Such certification provides valuable perspectives for the classroom and for research, and are useful for IT professors interested in all aspects of security.

Zoorate: Certifying Online Consumer Reviews to Create Value

Bartosiak, Marcin Lukasz (marcin.bartosiak@unipv.it)


Zoorate was born from the ambition of the cofounders to develop a web portal for aggregating product reviews. From the seeding concept of matching reviewers by affinity, their core product, Feedaty, had evolved into a full-fledged platform for aggregating and certifying consumer feedback. Specifically targeting online sellers and merchants, by 2017 Zoorate had signed up more than 1,000 customers, constantly growing its client base since the product launch. Supported by the strategic partnership and synergies with its shareholder 7Pixel Srl, the firm appeared to have finally set sail for success. However, several challenges lay ahead. The main competitors were becoming stronger internationally, increasingly challenging Feedaty’s value proposition. How should they efficiently grow their primary product, Feedaty? How should they deal with strong international competition beginning to gain traction in Italy? Should they continue to consolidate their Italian presence or expand abroad? These were difficult questions, the answer to which would ultimately determine the future of the startup they had built.

Sensemaking and Success in the Transition from Community Colleges to University IS/CS/CE Programs

Otondo, Robert (bob.otondo@msstate.edu)


Increasing the enrollment of women, minority, and other underrepresented populations in undergraduate information systems and computing programs is an important social issue. Our study explores ways of attracting and retaining community college transfer students – an important source of underrepresented students – by examining their sensemaking efforts as they transition to four-year universities. Using results of our qualitative study, we test sensemaking theory and develop recommendations for retaining community college transfer students in undergraduate information systems, computer science, and computer engineering programs.

Challenges in Learning Unified Modeling Language: From the Perspective of Diagrammatic Representation and Reasoning

Shen, Zixing (zixing.shen@dsu.edu)


Unified Modeling Language (UML) is widely taught in the Information Systems (IS) curriculum. In an effort to understand UML in IS education, this paper reports on an empirical study that taps into students’ learning of UML. The study uses a concept mapping technique to identify the challenges in learning UML notational elements. It reveals that some technical properties of UML diagrammatic representation, coupled with students’ cognitive attributes, hinder both perceptual and conceptual processes involved in searching, recognizing and inferring visual information, thus creating learning barriers. This paper also discusses how to facilitate perceptual and conceptual processes in instruction to overcome learning challenges. The study provides valuable insights for the IS educators, the UML academic community, and practitioners.

Providing Theoretical Foundations: Developing an Integrated Set of Guidelines for Theory Adaptation

Crossler, Robert E. (rob.crossler@wsu.edu)


The use of and contributions to theory are critical to the development and advancement of the information systems (IS) discipline. While few IS scholars create new theories, many borrow and adapt theories from other fields to study a variety of phenomena within the realm of IS. Over time, this has raised concerns among scholars as to the appropriateness and quality of theories adapted within the discipline. This is particularly troublesome when one considers conflicting results from many studies claiming to leverage the same theoretical foundation. We examine the issues surrounding theory adaptation in IS and provide a set of integrated theory adaptation guidelines to help scholars achieve successful and reliable adaptation of theory. We then provide an illustrated example of our adaptation guidelines using Protection Motivation Theory in an organizational information security setting.

A Ransomware Case for Use in the Classroom

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


Given the global growth in ransomware attacks, an understanding of the risks of ransomware and how to protect against it is imperative for future employees. This paper is a teaching case, based on an actual ransomware attack on a hospital, intended for use in an undergraduate or graduate course. Students are introduced to Wildcat Hospital, a fictitious 450-bed acute-care facility in a suburban location in the Northeastern United States. A ransomware attack hit Wildcat Hospital as the workday got underway. The Hospital's computers were infected with malware and a ransom of one bitcoin, a virtual currency that affords anonymity, was demanded to restore functionality of the information systems. The organizational response to the ransomware attack was led by the Chief Executive Officer and the Chief Information Officer. Links to two videos, a demo of a Locky ransomware attack in action and a National Broadcasting Company (NBC) TV network news report about a similar ransomware incident at another hospital, Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in California, U.S., are included to engage students.

Data Science Roles and the Types of Data Science Programs

Saltz, Jeffrey (jsaltz@syr.edu)


Data science, and the related field of analytics, is a growing discipline that integrates concepts across a range of domains, including computer science, information systems and statistics. While the number of data science programs continues to increase, there has been little discussion on how we should define this emerging educational field. With this in mind, during the Twenty-Third Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS’17), a panel discussion explored emerging questions regarding data science and analytics education. This paper reports on that panel discussion, which focused on questions such as what is a data science degree and what are the learning objectives within a data science program. The panel also debated if there should be different types of data science related programs (such as an applied data science program or a business analytics program) and if so, should there be a common core across the different variations of programs. The target audience for this report are information system educators who can gain a better understanding of current trends in data science / analytics education, as well other information system researchers who are interested in how data science/analytics might impact the broader field of information systems and management education.

Providing The Effects of the Quantification of Faculty Productivity: Perspectives from the Design Science Research Community

Tremblay, Monica C. (monica.tremblay@mason.wm.edu)


In recent years, efforts to assess faculty research productivity have become more focused on the measurable quantification of academic outcomes. For benchmarking academic performance, different ranking and rating lists have been developed that define what is regarded as high-quality research. While many scholars in IS consider lists such as the Senior Scholar’s Basket (SSB) to be good guidance, others who belong to less-mainstream groups of the discipline could perceive these lists as constraining. We analyze the perceived impact of the SSB on Information Systems (IS) academics working in Design Science Research (DSR), and in particular how it affected their research behavior. We found the DSR community felt a strong normative influence from the SSB. A content analysis of the SSB shows evidence that some of the journals in the SSB have become more accepting of DSR. We noted the emergence of papers in the SSB that outline the role of theory in DSR and describe DSR methodologies, indicating that the DSR community is rallying to describe what to expect from a DSR manuscript to the broader IS community, and to guide the DSR community on how to organize papers for publication in the SSB.

Promoting Domain-Specific Participation via Off-topic Forum Participation in Electronic Networks of Practice

Davidson, Thomas (tmattson@richmond.edu)


In this paper, we investigate how members’ participation in off-topic social forums in electronic networks of practice (eNoPs) influences their propensity to participate in the domain-specific forums. Currently, the literature offers two theoretical arguments that would predict opposing outcomes concerning the impact of off-topic participation on participating in the domain-specific forums. In this paper, we argue that investigating the network structure of the off-topic forum has the theoretical flexibility to reconcile these opposing theoretical arguments. We specifically hypothesize that the overall network structure of the off-topic forum (network cohesion as determined by the global clustering coefficient) moderates the impact of off-topic forum participation on participating in the domain-specific forums. We theorize that, given equal conditions, off-topic participation creates social bonds that positively affect domain-specific participation when the network structure of the off-topic forums is highly cohesive. Contrarily, however, we posit that off-topic forum participation becomes a noisy distraction when the network structure of the off-topic forum becomes less cohesive. We provide empirical support for these hypotheses via a ten-year longitudinal study of software developers’ participation in an eNoP. Our paper highlights new theoretical insights on the network effects in eNoPs, whereby network structures in one section of an eNoP (off-topic forums) have ramifications for behaviors in different sections of the eNoP (domain-specific forums).

How to Generate More Value from IT: The Interplay of IT Investment, Decision-Making Structure, and Senior Management Involvement in IT Governance

Turedi, Serdar (sturedi@pnw.edu)


Information Technology (IT) represents a large portion of investment in an organization. Prior research has identified the linkage between IT investment and productivity. Numerous factors affect the value an organization can derive from its IT investment. However, extant literature understudies the impact of IT governance on business value of IT. In this study, we aim to fill this gap by investigating the effects of IT decision-making structure mechanisms and senior management’s IT governance involvement on the relationship between IT investment and organizational performance. This study builds on a novel framework that integrates two theories on IT in an organizational setting: strategic choice theory and contingency theory. Organization-level IT investment and IT governance practice data are pooled with other organization characteristics to investigate the moderating effects of IT governance practices. The empirical analyses reveal a positive moderating effect of IT decision-marking structure mechanisms on the IT investment–organization performance relationship. Nevertheless, the results indicate that senior management’s IT involvement has no significant effect on this relationship. This study shows the importance of IT governance for organizations to effectively leverage their IT investment.

Does Conventional Wisdom Apply? An Enterprise System Sourcing Decision for a Retail Business in Fiji

Casterella, Gretchen I. (gretchen.irwin@colostate.edu)


This case explores a critical enterprise system replacement decision faced by the directors of a family-owned and operated retail organization in Fiji, a developing country. The case asks students to assess the risks and potential rewards of enterprise sourcing alternatives for the Fijian retailer. The goal is to sensitize students to the organizational, environmental, and technological issues facing this business, such as unreliable and expensive electricity and broadband internet. Some of these issues are taken for granted by students who reside in developed countries, and thus, the case challenges them to consider a broader global context and question the conventional wisdom of solutions like cloud computing and ERP packaged software benefits for small- and medium-sized businesses.

A Historical Perspective on Information Systems: A Tool and Methodology for Studying the Evolution of Social Representations on Wikipedia

Gal, Uri (uri.gal@sydney.edu.au)


In recent years there has been a growing interest in developing historically-informed explanations of information systems. Several authors have suggested that doing so can help information systems scholars to examine shifts in the academic nature of our field, trace the origins of prominent information systems phenomena, and reflect on and critique their own work. To enable such inquiry, we draw on the theory of social representation to build an analytical tool, WikiGen, and develop a methodology for examining the evolution of collective knowledge on Wikipedia. We demonstrate the usefulness of the tool and methodology by applying it to an illustrative case study, the Wikipedia article Cloud Computing. After presenting the results of the analysis, we discuss the applicability of the tool and methodology, the contributions of our study, and possibilities for future research.

Social Influence and Willingness-to-Pay for Massively Multiplayer Online Games: An Empirical Examination of the Social Identity Theory

Setterstrom, Andrew J. (asetterstrom@niu.com)


The development and sale of massively multiplayer online games has emerged as a significant part of the 21st century entertainment industry. Yet, firms competing in this sector of the video game industry vary in their ability to generate revenue from their products. We contend that one of the primary factors determining which massively multiplayer online game individuals consume is social influence. Using the social identity theory for our theoretical underpinning, we argue that individuals are influenced by the identity provided through membership in important social groups. This research investigates the effects that two identity-related constructs, consumer-brand identification and social identity complexity, have on satisfaction and willingness-to-pay a subscription fee for a massively multiplayer online game. Our results suggest that social influence has a complex relationship with an individual’s willingness-to-pay. Consumer-brand identification and social identity complexity had significant direct relationships with willingness-to-pay, while consumer-brand identification had a significant indirect relationship with willingness-to-pay through satisfaction. Additionally, social identity complexity significantly moderated the relationship between consumer-brand identification and willingness-to-pay. Overall, our results provide support in favor of the social identity theory as an explanation of how social influence occurs for individuals that play massively multiplayer online games.

Does the Ability to Choose Matter? On the Relationship between Bring-Your-Own Behavior and IT Satisfaction

Kampling, Henrik (henrik.kampling@uni-siegen.de)


Organizational tasks are increasingly fulfilled using privately owned consumer technologies including private devices (e.g. smartphones) or private internet accounts (e.g. email accounts). A major reason for this type of bring your own behavior (BYOB) is a higher level of satisfaction. However, little research exists that theoretically explores and empirically tests this assumption. This study sheds light on this phenomenon by analyzing the effect of BYOB on IT satisfaction. Drawing from social cognitive theory, we propose choice self-efficacy as a new construct that intermediates between BYOB and IT satisfaction. Building upon results from survey data (n = 400), we provide new evidence that BYOB has a positive effect on IT satisfaction, whereby choice self-efficacy plays a vital element as it mediates this relationship. Since IT satisfaction is an important processor of technology use and performance, we derive important implications for future research on IT consumerization. Furthermore, we provide several conclusions for practitioners and discuss how to enhance IT satisfaction and choice self-efficacy.

The “Theoretical Lens” Concept: We all Know What it Means, but do we all Know the Same Thing?

Niederman, Fred (niederfa@slu.edu)


The term “theoretical lens” has been growing in usage in the context of business and social science research, particularly in the information systems discipline. In this paper we question what the term really means by examining it on several dimensions within the context of its actual use. In particular we consider (1) where it is used in each article; (2) what do the “lenses” consist of (3) the IS domain of the article where it is applied; (4) the research method used in the article where it is applied; (5) and which underlying conceptualizations are actually used. We do this by examining the full set of actual uses in the IS journal where the term is found most frequently, European Journal of Information Systems. We conclude by discussing a number of further questions raised by these observations, suggesting deeper issues about better and less advantageous uses of theoretical lenses in IS research and what this might imply for the field.

Social Networks among Students, Peer TAs, and Instructors and Their Impacts on Student Learning in the Blended Environment: A Model Development and Testing

Dang, Yan (yan.dang@nau.edu)


Because of its flexibility and effectiveness, blended learning has become popular in higher education. Previous studies have discussed and presented various methods and cases that can be used and leveraged in blended courses. Other studies have described and examined the technology and/or systems that are used to support blended learning. However, no research has been seen to examine student learning from the social network perspective. Compared with traditional, face-to-face instruction, blended learning incorporates a great portion of online activities. Thus, less frequency of interactions among students, teaching assistants (if any), and instructors can be expected. Therefore, it would be of interest and importance to examine whether and how (if any) social networks among students, peer teaching assistants, and instructors could influence student learning in the blended environment. To do this, we developed and tested a research model with a large sample size of 699 students who took a blended class. The results indicated that all three types of networks (including student-student networks, student-peer TA networks, and student-instructor networks) significantly influenced both social presence and interaction, which in turned had significant impacts on learning climate and perceived academic performance.

Institutionalizing Information Systems for Universal Health Coverage in Primary Health Care and the Need for New Forms of Institutional Work

Nielsen, Petter (pnielsen@ifi.uio.no)


Achieving that all people can use health services of sufficient quality without being exposed to financial hardship, i.e. Universal Health Coverage, is an urgent priority of global health, and to measure progress towards this, countries need to build robust supporting Health Information Systems. Because Universal Health Coverage must be rooted in Primary Health Care, Universal Health Coverage Health Information Systems also need to be sensitively anchored within the existing routine Health Information Systems. This represents a non-trivial challenge, which we study through an empirical analysis of an Indian state's effort to implement a Universal Health Coverage Health Information System within primary care. Using a theoretical lens informed by institutional theory, we seek to answer the question of “what kind of change is required to develop institutions that support the use of new technologies and associated work processes entailed by Universal Health Coverage?” We identify the contradictions that emerge when the new system clashes with what traditionally exists, and we formulate implications in terms of design of systems, work processes and institutions to support implementation. Our paper contributes by building an understanding of inherent complexities in Universal Health Coverage Health Information System design and implementation, and by providing system design guidelines.

Leveraging Customer Integration Experience: A Review of Influencing Factors and Implications

Füller, Kathrin (kathrin.fueller@tum.de)


There has been an ever-increasing trend to co-create innovations with customers in online communities, idea competitions, or crowdsourcing initiatives. Yet, many customer integration methods fail to attract sufficient customer participation and engagement. We draw on previous research to identify customers’ experience as an important determinant of the success of the whole customer integration initiative. However, the notion of experience has rarely been applied in the context of customer integration. We conduct a cross-disciplinary literature review to identify the factors that constitute a positive customer integration experience and the implications of the customer integration experience. Based on 141 papers from marketing, technology and innovation management, information systems, human-computer interaction, and psychology research, we derive a classification of influencing factors and implications of customer integration experience. Our review provides a framework that integrates 22 conceptually different influencing factors, 15 implications, and their interrelatedness based on motivation-hygiene theory. The framework sheds light on the current state of research on customer integration experience and identifies possibilities for future research.