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/.

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.

Monitoring Remote Employees at FinPro

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


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

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

Alter, Steven (alter@usfca.edu)


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

Sun, Zuan (zsun@whitworth.edu)


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

Motivation to Participate in Professional Development in Technologically Intensive Work Environments

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

Using ‘Panel Reports’ to Advance Scholarly Discourse: A Change in Editorial Policy and Guidelines for Authors of ‘Panel Reports’

Wessel, Lauri (wessel@europa-uni.de)


‘Panel reports’ reflect a particular category of submissions that can be made to the Communications of the Association for Information Systems (CAIS). As stated online, panel reports differ from traditional research papers in that “CAIS is open to publishing reports of panels, debates, symposia, workshops and similar events. Such reports have to clearly position the matter of discussion at the event, highlight the relevance of event and topic and outline the different views on the topic that emanated at the events.” (https://aisel.aisnet.org/cais/panel_reports.pdf). While this definition has persisted for some time and still holds true, it leaves room for interpretation what constitutes a contribution and how one knows that a particular paper has made enough of one. The purpose of this editorial is to provide interpretation and elaboration of these principles based on our collective experience with such reports.

Debate Section Editorial Note: Five Ethical Issues in the Big Data Analytics Age

Venable, John (John.Venable@cbs.curtin.edu.au)

Five Ethical Issues in the Big Data Analytics Age

Richardson, Sandra (srchdsn@memphis.edu)


The changes in technology that have allowed for unprecedented capturing, transmitting, storing, and analysis of data have created many opportunities for organizations and society through the emergence of big data analytics. However, in conjunction with the promises of big data analytics, are concerns about the ethical uses and application of the analysis of big data. In this debate, we develop a series of questions that researchers and practitioners should consider regarding privacy, accuracy, property, accessibility, and society, through illuminating inputs, processes, and outputs of big data analytics. Our aim is to begin a dialogue within the information systems discipline related to the ethical issues associated with big data analytics, and how, we, as IS researchers, teachers, and practitioners, can ensure responsible and appropriate use of data and its analysis, interpretation, and application.

Big Data Analytics: Ethical Dilemmas, Power Imbalances and Design Science Research

Myers, Michael (m.myers@auckland.ac.nz)

From PAPA to PAPAS and Beyond: Dealing with Ethics in Big Data, AI and other Emerging Technologies

Stahl, Bernd (bstahl@dmu.ac.uk)


The acronym PAPA, which stands for privacy, accuracy, property, and accessibility has long been part of the discussion of ethical issues in information systems. While all of the four constituent components remain relevant, technical progress and the integration of technology in organisations and society in the intervening almost 40 years call for a reconsideration of the acronym. In response to Richardson et al.’s proposal to add the term “society”, this paper suggests that an extension of the acronym in more than one dimension would be useful. This includes the dimension of stakeholder, which can be individuals, organisations or society. It could include the stage of systems use, including input, processing and output. The third dimension is the ethical issue, which still includes PAPA but can be supplemented with others, such as bias, power distribution and others. The paper therefore suggests that we not only need to extend PAPA to PAPAS but that we need to go beyond a list of ethical issues to capture the richness and complexity in which ethics and information systems interact.

Not Your PAPAS’ Problem— Users and Ethical Use Cases in the Big Data Analytics Age: A Rejoinder to Richardson, Petter, and Carter

Markus, Lynne (MLMARKUS@bentley.edu)


Richardson, Petter, and Carter have courageously challenged the IS field to address the ethical concerns surrounding the use of Big Data Analytics. We need to take up their challenge. However, embracing and educating ethical principles alone will not suffice to prevent abuses, because the problems involve multiple actors, and because value conflicts are inevitable. To accomplish the ambitious goals that Richardson et al. have set for us, IS scholars need to develop an extensive body of knowledge about the myriad and diverse circumstances—use cases, if you will—in which ethical concerns arise in the development, deployment, and use of Big Data Analytics.

CAIS Rebuttal for Five Ethical Issues in the Big Data Analytics Age by Richardson et al.

Loebbecke, Claudia (claudia.loebbecke@uni-koeln.de)


While applauding Richardson et al.’s (2019) efforts to draw attention to ethical considerations that arise in developing and deploying BDA-based systems, we provide a critique in the spirit of furthering discussion on these important themes. Our critique points to the distinction between BDA-based systems and AI-based systems; the extant, related IS literature concerning ethical issues; whether extending established frameworks may actually weaken the IS field’s contribution; privacy considerations; regulatory requirements, and ethical design considerations.

Does PAPAS Know Best? A Continuation and Call for Discussion

Richardson, Sandra (srchdsn@memphis.edu)


In this article, we consider the insights and ideas provided by the four responses provided to our original article, “Five Ethical Issues in the Big Data Analytics Age.” We discuss the opportunity we have as scholars to view ethics as an ongoing conversation and encourage other scholars to continue the discourse related to ethics as we consider advances in information systems.

The Routinization of Open Source Project Engagement: The Case of Open Source Risk Management Routines

Germonprez, Matt (germonprez@gmail.com)


As the organizational use of open source software increases, the routinization of open source project engagement is inevitable to manage new open source risks. We explore the Software Package Data Exchange (SPDX®) standard as a key open source product for routinizing the work of open source risk management. The development and subsequent adoption of SPDX raise the questions of how organizations participate in SPDX to routinize open source work to better integrate with their own open source risk management routines, how organizations make sense of SPDX when improving their own open source risk management routines, and how a community benefits from the experiential knowledge that is contributed back by organizational early-adopters. To explore these questions, we conducted a single-case, multicomponent field study, connecting with members of organizations that participated in the development of SPDX and later employed SPDX in their own organizations. The results of our research contribute to understanding the routinization of open source project engagement by observing organizational commitments to routinize aspects of open source risk management through communal interactions, organizationally specific interpretations, and deployments.

TRIPBAM: creating digital value at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic

Pigni, Federico (federico.pigni@grenoble-em.com)


TRIPBAM pioneered automated clustered rate monitoring in the hotel industry. As the technology startup was readying for a successful exit that would reward founders, employees and investors for their success, the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The case chronicles TRIPBAM’s leadership’s fast reaction and discusses the strategic initiatives the firm put in place to set itself up for a return to growth post-crisis.

Managers’ Responses to Online Reviews for Improving Firm Performance: A Text Analytics Approach

Deng, Tianjie (Tianjie.Deng@Du.edu)


In the era of electronic word-of-mouth, firms are under the pressure to respond to online reviews strategically to maintain and enhance the reputation and financial viability. Guided by service recovery theory and affect theory, this study develops a framework that classifies management responses to seek actionable opportunities to improve firm performance. Using 37,896 managerial responses to online reviews for 390 hotels in three U.S cities, we employ text mining techniques such as sentiment analysis and topic modeling to develop an “AAAA” framework that classifies the responses into four categories: Acknowledgment, Account, Action, and Affect. We evaluate the effectiveness of this framework on subsequent reviews and hotel revenue. Among the management response characteristics, we find that Acknowledgment and Action are significantly associated with future review ratings. The relationships between these characteristics and hotel revenue can be further moderated by hotel class. This study provides implications on how to effectively utilize firm resources to manage responses to online consumer reviews toward increased financial performance.

Motivational Tiered Assessment: A New Grading Approach for Motivating Information Systems Students

Serva, Mark (servam@udel.edu)


Grades are meant to be a metric of a student's learning, and academia places a huge weight on them (Beatty, 2004). As a form of assessment, however, grades alone do not provide room for feedback and further student development. This paper offers a new direction to information systems (IS) programs to improve student motivation and the assessment of student learning—motivational tiered assessment (MTA)—that proposes to overcome these concerns. A tiered approach to learning allows students to choose the level of effort and commitment they want to apply, and assesses students’ competence based on the performance outcome they choose to achieve by meeting a specific set of pre-determined specifications and expectations. We first explain how MTA works. We then delineate how the new system differs from the points-based grading system, which is commonly used across academia. We conclude by presenting three class examples that illustrate the application of MTA across an information systems curriculum.

Information Systems Curriculum Analysis for the MaCuDE project

Lyytinen, Kalle (kalle@case.edu)

Writing A Teaching Case and Teaching Note: A Reference Guide

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


Writing a teaching case and teaching note are different from writing a research article. This guide explains what is involved in writing a good teaching case and accompanying teaching note. More specifically, it describes how to increase the teaching value of a case by linking it to pertinent concepts or theories, how to make a case more appealing to students through contextual nuances, and what to consider in writing a useful teaching note. Given the increased interest in writing teaching cases, this manuscript is a comprehensive update of an earlier CAIS paper written solely by the third author. It is our hope that this guide will help enable and not unduly constrain IS scholars who wish to bring realistic and helpful real life examples from our field to our students.

Effects of Item-ordering on Reproducibility in Information Systems Online Survey Research

Wilson, E. Vance (vancewilson@gmail.com)


Online survey applications offer a number of options for item administration, including approaches in which the order of item presentation is completely or partially randomized for each subject. Vendors claim individual randomization eliminates key sources of method bias that can impact reproducibility. Yet little empirical evidence exists to directly support this claim, and it is difficult to evaluate based on existing research because item-ordering methodologies are underreported and the reporting that does occur frequently is ambiguous. This paper investigates the effects of item-ordering on reproducibility in IS online survey research through a comprehensive comparison of five prominent item-ordering approaches: Individually randomized, static grouped-by-construct, static intermixed, individually randomized grouped-by-construct blocks containing static items, and static grouped-by-construct blocks containing individually-randomized items. We find significant, overarching differences among these approaches that can threaten reproducibility of research findings. These differences appear across the measures we studied, including item and construct means, reliability and construct validity statistics, serial effects, and subjects’ fatigue and frustration resulting from the survey-taking process. Our findings support a call for several key changes in reporting and use of item-ordering approaches that are especially relevant to IS online survey research.

Actions Lead to Results: How the Behaviors of Information Systems Professionals Influence the Success of Information Systems Departments

Karimikia, Hadi (hadi.karimikia@mu.ie)


The growing complexity of systems, the increasing intensity of their use, and the greater prominence of technology in supporting organizational activities has meant that information systems (IS) professionals in organizations have to go beyond offering routine task-related support when working with their non-IS colleagues. To be seen as being effective, IS professionals have to carry out empathic behaviors such as sharing their IT knowledge with their non-IS colleagues and taking the initiative to minimize inconveniences during IS projects. Drawing from the concept of organizational citizenship behavior, we develop a multilevel research model to examine how behaviors performed by IS professionals influence the effectiveness of IS departments. Using data from more than 1,000 respondents working in the global finance industry, the results of both cross-level and unit-level analyses support our arguments. The results deepen our understanding of the role of IS professionals as being intimately involved in supporting post-adoption IS use and digitally empowering business units, while also performing their traditional roles.