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/.

Overview of the Multilevel Research Perspective: Implications for Theory Building and Empirical Research

Zhang, Meng (m.zhang@qut.edu.au)


A multilevel perspective in information systems (IS) research promotes understanding phenomena simultaneously at multiple levels of analysis. In understanding and employing the multilevel perspective, researchers may face challenges in relation to the value contribution, the terminology, and the critical differences between multilevel and single-level research. To address the challenges, this tutorial synthesizes contemporary thinking on the multilevel perspective. In particular, we clarify the various value contributions of the multilevel perspective, offer a consistent terminology for conducting multilevel research, and present a holistic overview of the guidelines in relation to theoretical model specification, operationalization, and theoretical model testing. This tutorial provides researchers with a holistic understanding of the multilevel perspective, allowing researchers to develop a deeper appreciation of the nuanced assumptions underlying the perspective. Thus, this paper contributes by helping researchers to more effectively and more flexibly engage in multilevel research.

Magical Coder ‘We’: Enhancing Collaboration Transparency in Grounded Theory Method in Information Systems Research

Pekkola, Samuli (samuli.pekkola@tut.fi)


Grounded theory method (GTM) has become popular in the information systems (IS) field despite multiple interpretations and disputes about its use and usefulness. This paper analyzes how IS researchers collaborate during the GTM process and how they report on the research process. We analyze a sample of papers from the IS senior scholars’ basket of eight that use GTM as their research method to understand how collaboration in GTM is reported. We then draw from the previous literature and our own GTM research experiences to illustrate different alternatives of performing collaboration in GTM tasks, and their pros and cons in order to help other GTM researchers. We highlight potential issues arising from different epistemological and ontological stances and provide guidance and examples of how to avoid these issues and how to document the research process.

Deliberation in Mobile Messaging Application: A Case in Hong Kong

Au, Cheuk Hang (chau0481@uni.sydney.edu.au)


Considering the increasing penetration of Internet and mobile technologies, we can foresee that there are more online debates and political discussions, such as online deliberations in the future. However, prior research does not illustrate or provide empirical evidence to support a step-by-step guideline of online deliberation. To address the gaps, we have selected Project ThunderGo, an online deliberation campaign related to the 2016 Hong Kong Legislative Election, for a case study. Through analysing data obtained from their deliberation groups, the relevant news articles, and the election results, we established a 4-stage BEAR (Building/Engineering/Arriving/Reaching) model of online deliberation and provided some practical implications for future deliberation host. The model and implications are significant in articulating the role of ICT in addressing complicated and multi-facet social problems.

If Practice Makes Perfect, Where do we Stand?

Galletta, Dennis F. (galletta@pitt.edu)


The role of practitioners is one of the important early stepping stones in the development of the field of Information Systems. In the 1970s, IS researchers’ integration with practitioners was high, with SIM members receiving copies of the MIS Quarterly, practitioners funding the ICIS Doctoral Consortium, and submissions receiving at least one practitioner review. Today, however, the integration between practitioners and researchers appears more distant. Given that almost 50 years have passed since the field’s development, we believe it is important to reflect on the past, present, and future relationship of IS research and IS practice. Has the distance between academics and practitioners become too great? Is our relevance too low to expect practitioners to join AIS and attend our conferences? How might the integration be increased? The panelists have provided position statements regarding those issues.

Conflict and Development: A Headquarter Intervention View of IT Subsidiary Evolution

Jha, Ashish Kumar (ashish-kumar.jha@rennes-sb.com)


In this paper, we examine the impact of headquarter intervention on subsidiary evolution, specifically in the context of the Indian IT offshoring industry. We analyze the evolution of a subsidiary in the presence of a rare phenomenon – negative headquarter intervention. Such an evolution of a subsidiary has nuances and theoretical implications that cannot be fully explained by existing frameworks. Although headquarter intervention is a popular lens to study the relationship between a subsidiary and its headquarter, the lens has not been employed in extant research to examine the evolution of subsidiaries. In this paper, we present a generalized model of subsidiary evolution using the constructs of value potential, headquarter intervention, and headquarter control of the subsidiary. In line with the exploratory nature of our study, we conduct an in-depth case study of a multinational firm and its Indian subsidiary over a multi-year time period. We find that in the presence of high potential value in the subsidiary ecosystem, certain headquarter interventions can lead to a conflict between the headquarter and the subsidiary. Headquarter intervention, even with good intentions, if not aligned with interests and value of the subsidiary can negatively affect the growth of the subsidiary.

The Role of Knowledge Management in the Relationship between IT Capability and Interorganizational Performance – An Empirical Investigation

Stylianou, Antonis (astylian@uncc.edu)


Knowledge management capability (KMC) is an important link between IT and individual firm performance. We investigate this link in an interorganizational (IO) context – an increasingly important and yet substantially under-researched area. Based on a review and integration of the literature, we develop and test a comprehensive empirical conceptualization of KMC that includes knowledge creation, transfer, retention, and application. Survey data was collected from supply management professionals of one of the partner firms (either customer or supplier) in an IO relationship. The research hypotheses were tested using structural equation modeling. We find that the KMC of partner firms is positively associated with IO performance. We also find that IO information technology (IOIT) infrastructure capabilities facilitate KMC through the strength of IO relational capability. Partner interdependence is positively associated with IO relational capability and with KMC. Taking a knowledge management (KM) perspective, our research shows that relational capability and KMC are critical for IT to bring performance gains to IO partnerships. These insights have theoretical importance for understanding IT-enabled knowledge management in IO settings and practical significance for firms to effectively utilize their IOIT infrastructure.

User Satisfaction with Information Systems: A Comprehensive Model of Attribute-Level Satisfaction

Vaezi, Reza (svaezi@kennesaw.edu)


This study introduces and tests a comprehensive model of attribute-level satisfaction aimed at measuring user satisfaction with Information Systems (IS). Recognising that IS are complex ‘objects’ characterised by multiple subsystems, components, and attributes, this study draws on marketing research and attribute satisfaction theory to assess user satisfaction across three levels of abstraction. The model starts with assessing overall satisfaction as the most abstract level then moves to satisfaction with each of the major components of an Information System, that is, Information, System and Service satisfaction. This is followed by measuring user satisfaction with key attributes of each of the major IS components (e.g. information format, system reliability). The results provide a parsimonious yet practical model, along with associated measures, that is capable of assessing user satisfaction across multiple aspects of Information Systems (i.e. components and attributes) and different user interactions with the IS.

Design and Governance of mHealth Data Sharing

Vesselkov, Alexandr (alexandr.vesselkov@aalto.fi)


The proliferation of mobile health (mHealth), namely, mobile applications along with wearable and digital health devices, enables generating the growing amount of heterogeneous data. To increase the value of devices and apps through facilitating new data uses, mHealth companies often provide a web application programming interface (API) to their cloud data repositories, which enables third-party developers to access end users’ data upon receiving their consent. Managing such data sharing requires making design and governance decisions, which must allow maintaining the tradeoff between promoting generativity to facilitate complementors’ contributions and retaining control to prevent the undesirable platform use. However, despite the increasing pervasiveness of web data sharing platforms, their design and governance have not been sufficiently analyzed. By relying on boundary resource theory and analyzing the documentation of 21 web data sharing platforms, the paper identifies and elaborates 18 design and governance decisions that mHealth companies must make to manage data sharing, and discusses their role in maintaining the tradeoff between platform generativity and control.

IT Adaptation Patterns to Enterprise-wide Systems

Wanchai, Paweena (wpaweena@kku.ac.th)


The introduction of enterprise-wide systems requires users to adjust to the simultaneous requirements of the new system and the changes associated with modified business processes; this adaptation often goes beyond conspicuous behavioral elements. Therefore, to investigate the underlying attributes that characterize user interaction with and adaptation to information technology (IT), we collected data from four organizations that had implemented enterprise-wide systems for at least three years prior to the commencement of fieldwork. By taking a grounded theory approach, we identify four distinct adaptation patterns: reluctant, compliant, faithful, and enthusiastic. These patterns are configurations of five interrelated attributes that users espouse in their interaction with enterprise-wide systems: attitude towards the system, approach to learning how to use the system, level of interaction with the system, exploration of system features, and stance towards changing work practices. We propose an emergent, substantive theory of IT adaptation patterns that explains the intricate interplay of individual, task, and organizational initiatives in shaping these adaptation patterns.

Grand Challenge Pursuits: Insights from a Multi-year DSR Project Stream

Paradice, David (dparadice@auburn.edu)


We review a 30-year period of systems design efforts focused primarily on the design, implementation, and validation of a DSS to support managerial problem formulation. We do so with intimate knowledge of the projects, having either been (1) directly involved in the projects ourselves, (2) directly involved as mentors to the principal researchers, or (3) indirectly involved as colleagues of the principal researchers and in near proximity of the studies when they occurred. We identify prelude projects that lead to the definition of a broadly defined objective: the grand challenge. Foundation projects refine the capabilities and concepts needed to achieve the grand challenge. Realization projects follow in which the grand challenge is achieved. We argue that a grand challenge perspective allows us to see more clearly how individual DSR efforts contribute to a cumulative body of knowledge while simultaneously providing a context for the evaluation of individual projects. A grand challenge perspective can also guide design science research.

Conceptualizing Workarounds: Meanings and Manifestations in Information Systems Research

Ejnefjäll, Thomas (thomas.ejnefjall@im.uu.se)


We conducted a review of papers in core IS outlets that defined or used the term workaround. In the analysis, we used Ogden and Richard’s triangle of reference as a theoretical framework to analyze the relationship between (1) the term workaround, (2) theories, definitions and use of the term, and (3) their empirical basis and empirical workaround behavior described in the papers. First, we summarize the existing theoretical insights regarding workarounds and investigate the number of studies, methods used and publication outlets. Second, we show that studies have defined and used the term workaround differently to the extent that the term is not always applied to the same empirical phenomena, thus questioning the validity of some theoretical insights. Third, we suggest a definition for workarounds that is inductively derived from empirical accounts of workaround behavior and therefore adequately describes common use of the term and makes it possible to distinguish workarounds from other similar phenomena.

Giving Voice to the Voiceless: The Use of Digital Technologies by Marginalized Groups

Ortiz, Jose (j.ortiz@auckland.ac.nz)


This paper reports on a workshop hosted at the Isenberg School of Management - University of Massachusetts Amherst in September 2018. The workshop title, “Giving Voice to the Voiceless: The Use of Digital Technologies by Marginalized Groups,” was organized to discuss how marginalized groups use digital technologies to raise their voices. At the workshop, a diverse group of scholars and Ph.D. students presented research projects and perspectives on the role of digital technologies on activist projects representing marginalized groups that have gained momentum in the last few years. The studies and viewpoints presented shed light on four areas in which IS research can expand our understanding of the use of digital technologies by marginalized groups to address societal challenges: 1) The Rise of Cyberactivism; 2) Resource Mobilization for Cyberactivism; 3) Cyberactivism by and with Marginalized Groups; and 4) Research Methods for Collaborations with Marginalized Groups.

The Building Process of Patient Trust in Health Information Exchange (HIE): The Impacts of Perceived Benefits, Perceived Transparency of Privacy Policy, and Familiarity

Esmaeilzadeh, Pouyan (pesmaeil@fiu.edu)


In the context of exchange technologies, such as Health Information Exchanges (HIEs), existing technology acceptance theories should be expanded to consider not only the cognitive beliefs resulting in adoption behavior, but also the affect provoked by the sharing nature of the technology. Based on the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA), the technology adoption literature, and the trust literature, we theoretically explain and empirically test the impacts of perceived benefits, perceived transparency of privacy policy, and familiarity on cognitive trust and emotional trust in HIE. Moreover, we analyze the effects of cognitive trust and emotional trust on the intention to opt in to the HIE and willingness to disclose health information. An online survey was conducted using data from individuals who were aware of HIE through experiences with a (or multiple) provider participating in a regional consumer-mediated HIE network. SEM analysis results provide empirical support for the proposed model. Our findings indicate that when patients know more about HIE benefits, HIE sharing procedures, and privacy guidelines, then they feel more in control, more assured, and less at risk. Result also show that patient trust in HIE may take the forms of opt-in intentions to HIE and patients’ willingness to disclose personal health information which are exchanged through the HIE. The results of this research should be of interest to both academics and practitioners.

Integrating Construal Level Theory in the Design of Fear Appeals in IS Security Research

Orazi, Davide C. (davide.orazi@monash.edu)


Fear appeals are increasingly used to motivate users to engage in behaviors that protect information security. Though academic interest in the topic has been burgeoning, prior research has mainly focused on providing process evidence on how low and high threat security messages influence protective behaviors. According to protection motivation theory, however, the threat appraisal phase, in which the receiving audience evaluates whether a fear appeal is threatening or not, follows exposure to the fear appeal. Fear appeals can indeed be designed to manipulate several different dimensions, influencing both the threat and the coping appraisal phases leading to protection motivation. The general focus on low and high threat messages runs the risks of (1) foregoing key theoretical insights that can stem from specific message manipulations and (2) inadvertently introducing message confounds. To address this issue, we introduce construal level theory as the theoretical lens to design and identify potential confounds in fear appeal manipulations. We further discuss how construal level theory can be seamlessly integrated in InfoSec studies based on protection motivation theory. Our work has important theoretical and methodological implications for IS security researchers.

When Spheres Collide: A Refocused Research Framework for Personal Use of Technology at Work

Burleson, James (jburleso@calpoly.edu)


Continued advancement in technology and more flexible work arrangements have caused employees’ personal and work spheres to collide, increasing the prevalence of the personal use of technology at work. This leads to dilemmas for employees in determining how best to manage tasks throughout the day. Prior conceptualizations of “cyberloafing,” “cyberslacking,” “personal web use,” etc. from prior research classify the behavior as unnecessarily negative and often include constraints that are non-essential to defining the construct. In this paper, a refocused research framework is offered that utilizes novel insights drawn from the multitasking literature to guide researchers in addressing a central question: How can employees most effectively manage their personal use of technology at work? A variety of topics are addressed and research questions offered to properly align research and practice while re-initiating further investigations into this interesting phenomenon.

In or Out? Perceptions of Inclusion and Exclusion among AIS Members

Windeler, Jaime (jaime.windeler@uc.edu)


People want a sense of community, a benefit of membership in a professional association like the Association for Information Systems (AIS). When attempts to create a shared experience fall short and we feel excluded, we disengage and stop further attempts to participate. In this paper, we lay a foundation for individual and association inclusion practices in the AIS. First, we describe the current state of inclusion practices within the academy and within the AIS. Then, we describe findings from a survey of AIS members that measured perceptions of inclusion and exclusion, along with factors that cultivated these perceptions. This establishes a baseline against which we can measure future change. Our data yields key insights about diversity and inclusion in the AIS, including recommendations for all individuals in various roles and positions within the AIS.

AMCIS 2017 Panel Report: Experiences in Online Education

Ferran, Carlos (cferran@govst.edu)


In this AMCIS 2017 online education panel, five experienced business school professors from public and private institutions of different sizes in three different countries (U.S.A., Mexico, and Spain) discussed how online education (i.e., eLearning, Technology-Mediated Knowledge Transfer) takes place in their institutions. They presented low-budget and high-budget examples and described what they have found to be best practices in eLearning at both the institution and the instructor level. They also demonstrated that online education can be accomplished in many different ways and with varying budgets but that as long as it is based on solid educational principles and mastery of the technology, it can be as effective –if not more– as traditional face-to-face education. This report is based on their presentations and on additional information gathered from the literature.