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/.

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.

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.

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.

The Transformative Effect of the Internet of Things on Business and Society

Shim, J. P. (jpshim@gsu.edu)


This paper summarizes the discussion in a panel session on the Internet of Things (IoT) in the 2017 International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS) in Seoul, Korea. The panel aimed to explore a research agenda on IoT technology and its interaction with business and society. IoT refers to the ever-growing number of numerous physical devices that are being produced with software and location-based technologies, which are connected in a network and exchange data with each other. IoT has garnered significant attention in information systems due to its rapidly expanding market and demand by a wide range of stakeholders from consumers and businesses organizations to government agencies. The IoT may be the next industrial revolution, where automation of skills and tasks will be carried out by interconnected physical devices. In today’s hyper-connected economy, IoT can radically transform businesses and society, through increased transparency, optimized production processes, and decreased operating expenses. Overall, the panel identified a six-pronged IS research agenda for IoT that comprises IoT impact on business and society, IoT monetization and end-user services, IoT as Distributed Platforms, IoT and blockchain convergence, security concerns and solutions, and IoT and ethics. Finally, in Section 4, the paper concludes with a future direction for IoT.

Managing Ambidexterity in Startups Pursuing Digital Innovation

Müller, Sune (sdm@processinnovation.dk)


With the current pace of digital innovation, corporations and startups alike are experiencing the challenge of surviving in hypercompetitive environments. Accordingly, the management literature proposes “organizational ambidexterity”, the ability to balance exploitative and exploratory efforts, as a means of survival. Based on observations and interviews with startups and investors affiliated with the entrepreneurial educational program SCALEit, this study investigates how startups can manage ambidexterity in the pursuit of digital innovation. Our study concludes that startups conducting digital innovation manage to attain organizational ambidexterity through internal and external adaptation by combining and enacting competencies. The startups have access to a competency portfolio, consisting of eight core competencies, across organizational boundaries. These competencies are provided by the startup CEO, team members, and individuals in the ecosystem surrounding the startup, thus revealing a new perspective on how to achieve organizational ambidexterity through leveraging both internal and external competencies.

From Technology Revolution to Digital Revolution: An Interview with F. Warren McFarlan from the Harvard Business School

Milovich Jr., Michael (milovich@rowan.edu)


This paper records interviews between the author and F. Warren McFarlan, DBA. Dr. McFarlan is a senior scholar whose two attempts at retirement, in 2004 and again in 2009, were overridden by his passion to keep working in information systems (IS). His 50 years of knowledge is built on experience from companies in the United States and Asia, both large corporations and start-ups, as well as for-profits and nonprofits. Additionally, Dr. McFarlan has helped develop the minds of generations of business leaders through his work at the Harvard Business School (HBS). Through the years he has developed and taught IS case studies on companies ranging from Chase Manhattan Bank in financial services to Alibaba in e-commerce. Given Dr. McFarlan’s enduring work in technology, these interviews provide interesting insight into coursework development at HBS, the frequent redefinition of the digital native, the language of business versus that of IT, a management stance on IT, the management of IT projects, work on for-profit and nonprofit boards, and a view on China and IS.

Getting Information Systems Programs Classified as STEM: A US-Based Perspective from an AIS Task Force Study and Panel Discussion

Jones, Mary (mary.jones@unt.edu)


STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) is a designation for educational degree programs. Programs that have STEM designation have benefits associated with them that non-STEM programs do not. To be classified as STEM, a program must meet certain criteria. Programs within the natural sciences, engineering, and math departments often readily meet these criteria. Although programs such as information systems, information technology, and business intelligence have technology at their core, it is often difficult for these programs, especially in Colleges of Business, to meet the STEM defined criteria. This study provides an overview of STEM designation and insight into information systems and related degree programs that have received this designation based on findings from an AIS task force and an AMCIS panel discussion.

Measuring Mobile User Experience Instruments for Research and Practice

Wilson, Vance (vancewilson@gmail.com)


Users’ subjective evaluation of digital products, services, and software is a major focus in user experience (UX) research. In the domain of mobile computing, however, UX researchers are currently limited by a lack of multifaceted measures that can be applied to assess specific mobile device and software combinations. Measures that currently are available are constrained to producing single-score measures of usability, e.g., the well-known System Usability Scale and its variants, or to covering only a part of the mobile device-software user experience, e.g., the recently developed Mobile Application Usability instrument. This paper adds two multifaceted survey instruments to the toolkit of UX researchers and practitioners: The Mobile User Experience (MUX) instrument, a 15-item version tailored toward scholarly research, and the short-form sMUX, a six-item version intended for use in practical settings or other situations where survey length is constrained.

Does Technostress Inhibit Employee Innovation? Examining the Linear and Curvilinear Influence of Technostress Creators

Srivastava, Shirish (srivastava@hec.fr)


Despite the increasing quantum of research on technostress, three gaps are particularly noteworthy. First, though prior studies have described ‘technostress creators’ through the five dimensions —techno-overload, techno-invasion, techno-complexity, techno-insecurity, and techno-uncertainty, in an aggregated way, the individual influence of each of these technostress creators on job outcomes has not received adequate attention. Second, though past organizational research suggests a curvilinear relationship between job-stress and job-outcomes, it has not been examined if the stress-performance dynamics for the technostress context follows the organizational stress literature. Third, despite the emphasis on information and communication technology (ICT) enabled innovation in firms, the influence of technostress creators on ICT-enabled innovation has not been explored in-depth. Grounding our arguments in the control theory of occupational stress and conservation of resources (COR) theory, we first theorize the linear and curvilinear relationships for each of the five technostress creators with ICT-enabled employee innovation, and then test the hypothesized relationships through a survey of organizational employees who regularly use ICTs for professional tasks. The results offer a nuanced understanding about the nature of individual technostress creators and their relationships with ICT-enabled employee innovation. On the practical front, our research paves the way for more meaningful technostress management strategies within organizations.

Construction of Design Science Research Questions

Thuan, Nguyen Hoang (nhthuan@ctuet.edu.vn)


Posing research questions is a fundamental step to guide and direct knowledge development in research. In design science research (DSR), research questions are important to define the scope and the modes of inquiry, characterize the artifacts, and communicate the contributions. Despite the importance of research questions, there are few guidelines on how to construct suitable DSR research questions. We fill this gap by exploring ways of constructing DSR research questions and analyzing the research questions in a sample of 104 DSR publications. The results show that about two thirds of the analyzed DSR publications actually use research questions to link their problem statements to research approaches and that most of the questions are aimed at problem-solving. Based on our analysis, we derive a typology of DSR question formulation to provide guidelines and patterns that help researchers formulate research questions during their DSR projects’ duration.

The Impact of Multilevel Contextual Factors on IS Adoption at the Inter-Organizational Level

Kurnia, Sherah (sherahk@unimelb.edu.au)


Inter-organizational information systems (IOIS) offer many potential benefits to organizations. IOIS adoption has increased in the last decades, but there has been a high degree of IOIS adoption variances across different contexts. There are limited in-depth investigations into how contextual factors affect IOIS adoption variances at the inter-organizational (IO) level, particularly from a multilevel perspective. This paper proposes a novel multilevel framework to analyze what combinations of contextual factors at national, industry, IO, and organizational levels influence IOIS adoption variances at the IO level. We present an in-depth, exploratory case study of the Indonesian grocery industry that identified three IO configurations between manufacturers, distributors and retailers with IOIS adoption variances. We found that the combinations of multilevel contextual factors varied for each configuration, which resulted in a more nuanced and holistic understanding of the IOIS adoption variances observed at the IO level. We argue that our multilevel framework could help avoid contextual fallacy by encouraging scholars to examine the influence of higher-level factors on IOIS adoption variances at the IO level, and avoid atomistic fallacy resulting when scholars make the wrong assumption that IOIS adoption at the organizational level implies adoption at a higher level.

Update Tutorial: Big Data Analytics: Concepts, Technology, and Applications

Watson, Hugh J. (hwatson@uga.edu)


The original paper on big data analytics was published by CAIS in Volume 34, Article 65, 2014. Since then, there have been significant advances in the technologies, applications, and impacts of big data analytics. While the original paper’s content remains accurate and relevant, there was a perceived need to provide an update on important, recent developments.

Opening the Black Box of Advisory Services in Information Technology Outsourcing: An Advisory Activity Model

Linden, Robert (robert.linden@wiso.uni-koeln.de)


Information technology outsourcing (ITO) is an important market phenomenon and research topic. Recently, the role of advisory services has been identified as a key driver for successful ITO engagements. This research paper investigates the constituent parts and activities of third-party advisory services in ITO engagements for the first time. We used an exploratory qualitative research approach and conducted 14 expert interviews with experienced industry practitioners. Within our data analysis, we identified 104 factors, which serve as the basis for a novel IT advisory activity model for ITO. We were able to identify common viewpoints of the advisor and matched them with findings from other research studies based on a literature review. Our model provides interesting insights into an important topic of ITO, the role of advisory services in client-vendor relationships. This study delivers a basis for further research about advisor’s influence on clients and vendors in the ITO context.

The Generation of Qualitative Data in Information Systems Research: The Diversity of Empirical Research Methods

Goldkuhl, Göran (goran.goldkuhl@liu.se)


This paper investigates the concept of data collection in information systems qualitative research. In this text, the term “data collection” is replaced by “data generation”, emphasizing that the researcher arranges situations that produce rich and meaningful data for further analysis. Data generation comprises activities such as searching for, focusing on, noting, selecting, extracting and capturing data. This paper analyzes and compares a repertoire of empirical research methods for the generation of qualitative data. It describes and visualizes (through a common data generation template) twelve research methods: Interviewing, questionnaire study, document study, artifact study, observation study, participant observation, intervention study, practice-based design study, lab-based design study, focus group study, test study, and self-reporting. These data generation methods are compared concerning 1) the role of the researcher in data generation, 2) the influence on everyday life reality of data generation, 3) the relationship to everyday life reality, 4) the addressed parts/mediators of everyday life reality, 5) the expected value of generated data and 6) possible shortcomings in generated data. As a basis for the inquiry on data generation, an ontological clarification (based on a practice-theoretical perspective) is made of the empirical landscape of information systems (the kinds of phenomena and sources of data that exist). A concluding discussion contains 1) analyses concerning relationships between data generation methods and compound research methods/strategies such as case study research, action research and design science research, and 2) the role of interpretation in data generation vs. data analysis.

MIS-understood: A Longitudinal Analysis of MIS Major Misperceptions

Annabi, Hala (hpannabi@uw.edu)


Low information system (IS) enrollment continues to present a threat to IS programs and pose a serious problem to companies in desperate need of IS professionals. Research attributes low enrollment and shortage of IS talent to misperceptions of the nature of IS programs, careers, and job prospects. Recent research (Akbulut-Bailey, 2012) suggests that enrollment is still low despite improved perceptions about the IS job market. This begs the question as to whether the misperceptions of IS careers and programs still exist and whether that is the main factor in why students do not pursue the IS field. Utilizing the case study method (Yin 1984), this paper provides a longitudinal view of the misperceptions of IS, how they have changed, and ways in which to meaningfully combat this problem.

Champions of IS Innovations

Renken, Jaco (jaco.renken@manchester.ac.uk)


Champions have been studied in diverse settings and kinds of initiatives; a significant body of work is also growing steadily in the information systems field. However, there is still a lack of clarity about the distinctiveness of IS champions. Given the poor track record of IS project success and champions’ importance to that success, the paper argues that this lack of conceptual clarity about the uniqueness of IS champions constitutes a significant and urgent gap. In part, this gap exists because of inadequate consolidation of knowledge about IS champions thus far. In response, we follow a systematic literature review by approaching this gap from two viewpoints: a research process perspective whereby we investigate the approaches and practices followed in IS champion research; and a thematic perspective whereby we examine progress with the accumulation of knowledge about IS champions to date. Our findings culminate in three contributions: 1) Eight IS champion distinctive features are proposed using a classification scheme; 2) A refined definition of IS champions is offered which better reflects the distinctiveness of the champion role in IS innovation; 3) Findings from process and thematic perspectives are combined in an agenda to take IS champion research forward.

Opportunities and Challenges in Healthcare Information Systems Research: Caring for Patients with Chronic Conditions

Ho, Shuk Ying (susanna.ho@anu.edu.au)


To prepare for the 2030 “baby-boomer challenge”, some governments have begun to implement healthcare reforms over the past two decades. These reforms have led to healthcare information systems (ISs) evolving into a major research field in our discipline. This research field has increasing individual, organizational, and economic impact. Because of the 2030 “baby-boomer challenge”, the number of elderly individuals is increasing, and they may have chronic illnesses, such as eye problems and Alzheimer’s disease. The practical need for healthcare ISs supporting chronic care motivated us to conduct a literature synthesis and identify opportunities for healthcare IS research. Specifically, we present the chronic care model and analyze how academic discussions on healthcare ISs have been developed in our discipline to address the needs of patients with chronic illness. Further, we identify research gaps and discuss the research topics on healthcare ISs that can be extended and customized to support these patients. Our results stimulate and guide future research in the healthcare IS field. This paper has the potential to strengthen the body of knowledge on healthcare ISs.

ICT-enabled Refugee Integration: A Research Agenda

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


The recent phenomenon that has come to be known as the European refugee crisis is in reality a global problem. Accordingly, issues regarding refugee integration have become a central topic of debate worldwide. In this paper, we try to understand how refugees use information and communication technology (ICT) in different regions of the world to understand how ICT is supporting refugees’ desperate journey to safety, their stay in temporary settlement camps, and their post-settlement inclusion in host countries. With this goal in mind, we first conducted a series of interviews with Syrian refugees in Berlin, Germany to collect preliminary insights. Then, we organized panel discussions at two key information systems conferences (ICIS 2016 and ECIS 2017) involving participants from various countries. The panel discussions revealed seven key research themes: accessibility to information; availability of education and linguistic resources; admissibility to labor markets and entrepreneurship opportunities; communicability with home country; connectedness with local population; interactivity with host government; and volunteer coordination. We discuss how ICT might help to address issues related to each theme, present research questions relevant to each theme, and supply an illustration of how ICT has been employed to address an aspect of each theme. Insights gathered lead to: theoretical implications and future opportunities for research in the field of Information Systems; practical implications to be considered by different stakeholders interested in refugee integration; and social implications related to refugee crisis that cannot be ignored.

Critical Success Factors for Online Education: Longitudinal Results on Program Satisfaction

Urbaczewski, Andrew (andrew.urbaczewski@du.edu)


For the past 15-20 years, many researchers have investigated the differences (or lack thereof) between online and face-to-face (f2f) course delivery and student learning. Most of this body of research concerns an individual course, an individual faculty, or a particular technology or tool. However, we don’t yet know much about the factors that are critical for the success of an online degree program. Which factors have the greatest impact on student satisfaction with an online degree program? Data on seven potential critical success factors were collected from 2009 to 2014 to measure their impact on student satisfaction. The final model shows Course Conduct, Admissions, Curriculum, and Prior Experience with Online Courses at that same location to be significant predictors of program satisfaction.