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/.

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.

Tutorial: A Descriptive Introduction to the Blockchain

Murray, Meg Coffin (mcmurray@kennesaw.edu)


The blockchain, introduced to support the bitcoin cryptocurrency, has risen to prominence as the technology that will transform how business transactions occur and assets are managed over the Internet. The blockchain is a decentralized system that provides a way to digitally record and securely store verifiable and immutable transactions, eliminating the need for trusted third-party intermediaries. While simplistically described as a decentralized ledger, the blockchain is a complex technology that integrates peer-to-peer networking, cryptography, and distributed consensus. This paper provides a foundational understanding of blockchain components, describes how a blockchain works, identifies use case examples from various industries, explores potentials and limitations, and speculates on the progressive adoption of the blockchain as a transformative technology.

A Value Sensitive Design Perspective of Cryptocurrencies: A Research Agenda

Subramanian, Hemang (hsubrama@fiu.edu)


Cryptocurrencies and their underlying blockchain technology are transforming numerous industries. Although there is an uptrend in the types of cryptocurrencies being created, this has not yet translated into mainstream adoption. Considering that there is often a trade-off between usability and values, in this paper we use value sensitive design principles to identify values that manifest among current and potential cryptocurrency adopters. Using Bitcoin as the context for this qualitative research study, we use grounded theory analytical techniques to discover manifested values among users and non-users. We develop the cryptocurrency value sensitive design framework to summarize our results. Our main contribution is a research agenda based on the cryptocurrency stakeholders’ underlying value system. This can help information systems scholars apply this value sensitive design perspective to their own cryptocurrency research.

Improving Usability of Social and Behavioral Sciences’ Evidence: A Call to Action for a National Infrastructure Project for Mining Our Knowledge

Larsen, Kai R. (kai.larsen@colorado.edu)


Over the last century, the social and behavioral sciences have accumulated a vast storehouse of knowledge with the potential to transform society and all its constituents. Unfortunately, this knowledge has accumulated in a form (e.g., journal articles) that makes it extremely difficult to search, categorize, analyze and integrate across studies due to the scale of publications. In this panel report from a National Science Foundation-funded workshop, we describe the social and behavioral sciences' knowledge management problem. We focus on a scale of knowledge that is too big for any one person or team to read and integrate, lack of a common language, lack of a common format for knowledge representation, lack of a means for automated analysis and summarization, and missing approaches for large-scale visualization of knowledge. We will then describe a required program of collaborative research between on one side, information systems, information science, and computer science (IICS) researchers, working together with social and behavioral science (SBS) researchers. Together, these teams would develop information system artifacts to address this problem that is common across scientific disciplines, but uniquely unaddressed in the social and behavioral sciences.

Addressing the Growing Need for Algorithmic Transparency

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


The use of personal data and algorithms for making recommendations and decisions is growing. There are concerns that this use is having a negative impact on individual privacy and poses a risk to individuals and society. In response, there are calls for greater algorithmic transparency; that is, for organizations to be more public and open about their use of personal data and algorithms. To better understand algorithmic transparency for this tutorial, we reviewed the literature and interviewed 10 experts. The study identified the factors that are influencing algorithmic transparency, the Association for Computing Machinery’s principles for ensuring that personal data and algorithms are used fairly, and recommendations for company best practices. The study also supports speculation about how personal data and algorithms may be used in the future and research opportunities.

What the History of Linux Says About the Future of Cryptocurrencies

Carvalho, Arthur (arthur.carvalho@miamioh.edu)


Since the meteoric rise of Bitcoin, hundreds of cryptocurrencies have been proposed and are now publicly traded. This naturally leads to the question: how are cryptocurrencies evolving over time? Drawing on the theory of polycentric information commons and historical similarities with another popular information commons, namely Linux, we make predictions regarding how the future of cryptocurrencies may look like. Specifically, we focus on four important historical similarities: 1) support from online hacker communities; 2) pursuit of freedom; 3) criticism about features and use; and 4) proliferation of forks. We then predict that: 1) cryptocurrencies will become more pragmatic, rather than ideological; 2) cryptocurrencies will become more diverse, not only in terms of the underlying technology, but also in terms of the intended audience; and 3) the core technology behind cryptocurrencies, called blockchain, will be successfully used beyond cryptocurrencies.

Persuasion: An Analysis and Common Frame of Reference for IS Research

Slattery, Peter (peter.slattery@monash.edu)


Information Systems (IS) researchers persistently examine how Information and Communications Technology (ICT) changes attitudes and behaviors but rarely leverage the persuasion literature when doing so. The hesitance of IS researchers to leverage persuasion literature may be due to this literature’s well-documented complexity. This study aims to reduce the difficulty of understanding and applying persuasion theory within IS research. The study achieves this aim by developing a common frame of reference to help IS researchers to conceptualize persuasion and to conceptually differentiate persuasion from related concepts. In doing this, the study also comprehensively summarizes existing research and theory and provides a set of suggestions to guide future IS research into persuasion and behavior change.

Technology-Mediated Control: Case Examples and Research Directions for the Future of Organizational Control

Cram, W. Alec (wcram@bentley.edu)


This study explores the emerging topic of technology-mediated control (TMC), which refers to an organization’s use of digital technologies to influence workers to behave in a manner consistent with organizational objectives. The popular press is abound with examples of mobile apps, digital sensors, software algorithms, and other technologies that support, or automate, managerial control processes. Building on the rich history of research on organizational and information systems (IS) control, as well as ubiquitous technology, we explore how TMC approaches are increasingly replacing traditional, face-to-face control relationships. In particular, we analyze four illustrative case examples (UPS, Uber, Rationalizer, and Humanyze) to propose a detailed research agenda for future study in this important new topic area.

A Method for the Interpretive Synthesis of Qualitative Research Findings

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


In the world of qualitative research, there is a method for the interpretive assessment of a compiled body of qualitative studies on a specific topic. Known as “metasynthesis,” this technique has seen little application in business research, let alone in management information systems scholarship. However, because methods for qualitative inquiry are gaining more popularity in our field, this is a technique that holds great promise in supporting efforts toward theoretical generalization for qualitative researchers, going forward. This article presents a methodological tutorial on the nature and practice of the analytical synthesis of a body of qualitative research for purposes of theory development and explication.

A Knowledge Development Perspective on Literature Reviews: Validation of a new Typology in the IS Field

Schryen, Guido (guido.schryen@uni-paderborn.de)


Literature reviews (LRs) play an important role in the development of domain knowledge in all fields. Yet, we observe a lack of insights into the activities with which LRs actually develop knowledge. To address this important gap, we (1) derive knowledge building activities from the extant literature on LRs, (2) suggest a knowledge-based typology of LRs that complements existing typologies, and (3) apply the suggested typology in an empirical study that explores how LRs with different goals and methodologies have contributed to knowledge development. The analysis of 240 LRs published in 40 renowned IS journals between 2000 and 2014 allows us to draw a detailed picture of knowledge development achieved by one of the most important genres in the IS field. An overarching contribution of our work is to unify extant conceptualizations of LRs by clarifying and illustrating how LRs apply different methodologies in a range of knowledge building activities to achieve their goals with respect to theory.

Responding to Cybersecurity Challenges: Securing Vulnerable U.S. Emergency Alert Systems

Green, Andrew (agreen57@kennesaw.edu)


U.S. emergency alert systems (EASs) are part of the nation's critical infrastructure. These systems are built on aging platforms and suffer from a fragmented interconnected network of partnerships. Some EASs have an easily identifiable vulnerability - their management website is available via the Internet. Authorities must secure these systems quickly. Other concerns exist, primarily the lack of policies for reporting vulnerabilities. To begin an assessment of U.S. EASs, we used Shodan to evaluate the availability of these websites in six southeastern states. We found 18 such websites that were accessible via the Internet, only requiring user credentials to login to the system. Next, we searched for published policies on the reporting of vulnerabilities; we found no vulnerability disclosure policies for any of the systems identified. To identify, prioritize, and address EAS vulnerabilities, we present a list of technical and management strategies to reduce cybersecurity threats. We recommend integrated policies and procedures at all levels of the public-private-government partnerships, along with system resilience, as lines of defense against cybersecurity threats. By implementing these strategies, U.S. EASs will be positioned to update critical infrastructure, notify groups of emergencies, and ensure the distribution of valid and reliable information to the populations at risk.

Evaluating Online Complex Technology-Enabled Course Delivery: A Contextualized View of a Decomposed IS Success Model

Zhao, Yu (Audrey) (yzhao3@lamar.edu)


This article focuses on understanding the factors that are likely to impact the success of online delivery of courses involving complex technologies. For this study, SAP software was selected as the complex technology that students learn online and, a course management software, such as Blackboard, provided the online platform through which an SAP-enabled course was delivered to students. System quality, information quality, and service quality were the antecedent variables that were hypothesized to influence students’ perceived learning outcomes, satisfaction, and intention to continue the use of online learning. Grounded on the information systems (IS) success model, core constructs were decomposed into contextual factors. We conducted a survey of business students from four mid-sized state universities in the United States. The universities were members of the SAP university alliances, and the students had taken at least one online SAP-enabled course. We used structural equation modeling with partial least squares (PLS-SEM) for the data analysis. The findings indicate that system quality, information quality, and service (instructor) quality are all significant antecedents of student satisfaction; system quality and information quality are significant antecedents of perceived learning outcomes; and only system quality is a significant antecedent of students’ continued intention to use online learning.

The Role of Decision Rationality on Users’ Attitudes towards Utilitarian Mobile Service Usage

Xitong, Guo (xitongguo@hit.edu.cn)


The use of mobile information and communication technologies (mICTs) for utilitarian service delivery has been emphasized in different industries. Firms need to understand how users make routine and unexpected use decisions in order for their utilitarian mobile services (UMSs) to gain market acceptance. This study empirically tests a theoretical model examining how both the affective attitude and the cognitive attitude influence both routine and unexpected use of UMSs as well as the role of decision rationality in the process. We tested our model using two independent empirical studies. The results show that the affective attitude has a stronger effect than the cognitive attitude on routine use, while the cognitive attitude has a stronger effect than the affective attitude on the unexpected use of UMSs. Furthermore, decision rationality weakens the effects of the affective attitude on both routine use and unexpected use but strengthens the effects of the cognitive attitude on the routine use of UMSs. Our results advance knowledge on: 1) users’ behaviors when they are engaged in UMSs; 2) the effects of attitude components at different levels of decision rationality, and 3) the underlying mechanism of the mixed findings regarding the effects of both the affective and cognitive attitudes. These findings also provide insights for practitioners on how to promote their services among consumers.

Digital Transformation of the Italian Public Administration: A Case Study

Datta, Pratim (pdatta@kent.edu)


This case study looks at the digital transformation of the Italian Public Administration. With 60 million people, 8,000 municipalities and 23,000 local administrations, this case of digital transformation highlights how a digital renaissance is a preface for innovative disruption challenges. The Digital Transformation case uses Italy as the backdrop and Team Digitale, a team of talented individuals embarked on building public administration efficiencies and rebooting Italy’s digital innovation footprint, as the protagonist. Digital transformation is rarely, if ever, a technical solution. Instead, digital transformation is a socio-technical and socio-political solution, especially in large and complex democracies or companies with diverse, contending stakeholders. In the process, the case surfaces best practices and challenges faced when trying to tackle a mega-project across an entire economy. The case offers digital transformation recommendations, generalizable across any global democracy. This case surfaces best practices and challenges faced when trying to tackle a mega-project across an entire economy. The case study sheds light on how, contrary to private organizations, institutionalizing a disruptive innovation in a diverse democracy requires thinking within and beyond the box. This case study tackles a more difficult transformation of public administration is a large and fragmented democracy (akin to a large and decentralized multinational company). Both executives and policy makers will find considerable value from this case.

Microfoundations of Organizational Agility: A Socio-Technical Perspective

Crick, Charles (charlescrick@gmail.com)


To be agile, an organization needs to be able to quickly reconfigure its internal resources in order to respond to a change occurring in its environment. In this paper, we draw on the theories of organizational routines and technology affordances, to explicate the internal socio-technical “machinery” – the people, the processes and the technology - that in response to an external change, must be reconfigured and redirected to achieve the new organizational imperatives. The paper contributes a novel multi-level theory that recognizes behavior at the human individual (micro-) level as a causal factor in the macro-level phenomenon of agility. The theoretical model is illustrated and validated by case studies representing three large organizations that exist in dynamic business environments that demand agility. The research suggests that business processes within the organization evolve both by top-down design and by the bottom-up routinization of practice and further the tension between these is driven by the need for flexibility. By elucidating microfoundational mechanisms, the theory defines a stronger causality model for the explanation of organizational agility phenomena.

Demarginalizing Interdisciplinarity in IS Research: Interdisciplinary Research in Marginalization

Chughtai, Hameed (h.chughtai@soton.ac.uk)


This article reports on the 2nd Workshop of a World University Network (WUN) Research Development Funded project on “The trans-nationalization of Indigenous movements: The role of digital technologies” at the University of Southampton, UK. The workshop explored interdisciplinarity and how interdisciplinary collaboration can help us to study complex social phenomenon, such as the ways in which marginalized Indigenous communities use and shape digital technologies (such as social media) to enhance their cause. The workshop brought together scholars from diverse disciplines to engage in a critical debate. In addition to scholars from information systems, scholars from history, political science, geography, literature, arts, and anthropology came together to discuss the use of digital media by marginalized Indigenous communities. The workshop highlighted the need for more interdisciplinary research in the field and called for more critical approaches to bring such marginalized topics to the forefront of research in information systems. Three broad areas of inquiry are considered in this article: demarginalizing methodology for interdisciplinary research, interdisciplinary perspectives for demarginalization, and interdisciplinary contexts for demarginalization.

Cyberespionage Goes Mobile: FastTrans Company Attacked

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


The use of mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, in the workplace continues to increase. The capabilities of these devices, when illegally exploited, make them a target of choice for espionage activities. Thus, an understanding of mobile espionage and how to protect against it is imperative for current and future employees. This paper is a teaching case, based on two fictitious self-driving car competitors, intended for use worldwide in information systems or business courses at the undergraduate or graduate level. In the case, students are introduced to FastTransportation Company, Ltd. (“FastTrans”), a fictitious American multinational car manufacturing company, who suspects its rival Wheelz Corporation, a leading ride-hailing company, of stealing and using trade secrets from its self-driving car division. As the stakes are high in the development of self-driving cars, Wheelz is suspected of engaging in corporate mobile espionage to steal FastTrans’ core technology underlying their patented self-driving navigation system.

Impacts of IT User Behavior: Observations Through A New Lens

Beaudry, Anne (anne.beaudry@concordia.ca)


Despite the progress made by research on acceptance and resistance, there remains a need to further clarify into what behaviors they translate and what their impacts are, beyond face value. Extant literature on user acceptance and resistance led us to develop a framework in which we map user behaviors in light of their conformity/non-conformity to organizational intent. Mapping the literature in this framework revealed mixed study results on impacts of IT user behaviors. Overall, we suggest that the impacts of user behaviors should be understood in light of organizational intent, which is generally embodied through their IT terms of use. This new lens allows for making sense of the contradictions in extant research results and articulating a more nuanced account of IT use impacts. To conclude, we propose three research avenues that we deem can add much value to the current state of knowledge, namely 1) exploring how acceptance and resistance IT user behaviors relate to conformity/non-conformity with IT terms of use and delving in their impacts; 2) explaining the sometimes paradoxical impacts of conforming/non-conforming IT user behaviors and 3) investigating the role of individual and organizational agency in relation with IT terms of use.

Theory-Based Taxonomy of Feedback Application Design for Electricity Conservation: A User-Centric Approach

Albizri, Abdullah (albizria@montclair.edu)


Electricity consumption feedback applications are considered one of the critical technologies in alleviating the increasing trends of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Following the design science paradigm, this paper examines the design taxonomy of electricity consumption feedback applications. We relied on an integrative theoretical framework and literature review to propose a comprehensive taxonomy for salient design elements of electricity consumption feedback applications. Using a survey method, we collected data from general public to evaluate preferences for and relative importance of the design elements. We found that there is a preferred set of design elements for the feedback applications. Our results could serve as a basis to evaluate the design of existing electricity consumption feedback applications and to help in studying the influence of design elements on beliefs and behaviors related to individuals’ electricity conservation.

Status Quo, Critical Reflection and Road Ahead of Digital Nudging in Information Systems Research - A Discussion with Markus Weinmann and Alexey Voinov

Meske, Christian (christian.meske@fu-berlin.de)


Research on Digital Nudging has become increasingly popular in the Information Systems (IS) community. This paper presents an overview of the current progress, a critical reflection and an outlook to further research regarding Digital Nudging in IS. For this purpose, we conducted a comprehensive literature review as well as an interview with Markus Weinmann from Rotterdam School of Management at Erasmus University, one of the first scholars who introduced Digital Nudging to the IS community, and Alexey Voinov, director of the Centre on Persuasive Systems for Wise Adaptive Living at University of Technology Sydney. The findings uncover a gap between what we know about what constitutes Digital Nudging and how consequent requirements can actually be put into practice. In this context, the original concept of Nudging bears inherent challenges, e.g. regarding the focus on the individuals’ welfare, which hence also apply to Digital Nudging. Moreover, we need a better understanding of how Nudging in digital choice environments differs from that in the offline world. To further distinguish itself from other disciplines that already tested various nudges in many different domains, Digital Nudging Research in IS may benefit from a strong Design Science perspective, going beyond the test of effectiveness and providing specific design principles for the different types of digital nudges.

Examining Exploitability Risk of Vulnerabilities: A Hazard Model

Roumani, Yaman (yamanroumani@oakland.edu)


With the increasing number and severity of security incidents and exploits, information technology (IT) vendors, security managers, and consumers are placing more emphasis on security. Yet, fixing the sheer volume of vulnerabilities remains a challenge as IT vendors race against attackers to evaluate system vulnerabilities, prioritize them, and issue security patches before being exploited. In this study, we posit that IT vendors can prioritize which vulnerabilities should be patched first by assessing their exploitability risk. Specifically, we identify the most likely vulnerabilities to be exploited using vulnerability-related attributes and vulnerability types. We employ survival analysis and test our models using historical data of vulnerabilities and exploits compiled between 2007 and 2016. Our results indicate that IT vendors benefit the most from fixing vulnerabilities that are remotely exploitable, have low complexity level, require no authentication, and affect confidentiality, integrity, and availability components. Furthermore, our findings suggest that IT vendors can mitigate the risk of exploit-related attacks by remedying code injection vulnerabilities followed by buffer overflow and numeric error vulnerabilities.

Design for Empowerment: Empowering Sri Lankan Farmers through Mobile-based Information System

Ginige, Tamara (t.ginige@gmail.com)


We have developed a Mobile-based Information System (MBIS) to empower users to improve their livelihood activities. First, we had to develop an empowerment framework, due to lack of one, that underpinned the development of the MBIS. This research originated to solve an agriculture over-production problem in Sri Lanka where farmers are trapped in a poverty cycle. They are unable to make informed decisions due to lack of access to timely, context-based actionable information to achieve a good revenue. Some essential information such as current level of production had to be generated in real-time by capturing farmers’ decisions such as what and how much to grow. This required active farmer engagement where farmers needed to be empowered through the MBIS to make informed decisions. The evaluation of the impact of the MBIS showed a statistically significant positive change in empowerment levels of farmers through measurement of self-efficacy, sense of control and motivation before and after use of the application. This mobile-based system has since been adopted in India and Sri Lanka by commercial organizations, in Africa to mitigate hidden hunger and in Australia to develop Digital Health applications to manage chronic diseases, indicating the wide adoptability of the approach.

Decision-Making Processes in Community-based Free/Libre Open Source Software Development Teams with Internal Governance: An Extension to Decision-Making Theory

Eseryel, U. Yeliz (yeliz@eseryel.com)


Community-based FLOSS teams with internal governance are an extreme example of distributed teams, prominent in software development. At the core of distributed team success is team decision-making and execution. However, in the case of FLOSS teams, the lack of formal organizational structures to guide practices and the reliance on asynchronous communication might be expected to make decision making problematic. Despite these challenges many FLOSS teams are effective. There is a paucity of research in how organizations make IS development decisions in general, and the research in FLOSS decision- making models is particularly limited. Decision-making literature in FLOSS teams has focused on the distribution of decision-making power. Therefore, it is not clear which decision-making theories fit the FLOSS context best, or whether novel decision-making models are required. We adopted a process-based perspective to analyze decision-making in five community-based FLOSS teams. We identified five different decision-making processes, indicating FLOSS teams use multiple processes when making decisions. Decision-making behaviors were stable across projects despite different type of knowledge required. We help fill the literature gap about which FLOSS decision mechanisms can be explained using classical decision-making theories. Practically, community and company leaders can use knowledge of these decision processes to develop infrastructure that fits FLOSS decision-making processes.

The Internet of Things: Multi-Faceted Research Perspectives

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


Living beyond the hype, the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow and has clearly emerged as a leading-edge topic in information systems. As the IoT moves beyond novel technologies and exploratory sandbox initiatives to ubiquitous technologies and full production, understanding the phenomenon surrounding IoT challenges and issues has become even more important. In this paper, we explore the critical issues and challenges currently facing IoT adoption and implementation with the goal of identifying areas in need of further study. Specifically, the paper discusses IoT from several key perspectives including IoT connectivity, platforms and 5G, IoT analytics, IoT privacy, security, and litigation risks, IoT business value and monetization, and human interaction with IoT and design considerations Finally, through identifying the current state of IoT and IoT research, the paper identifies potential areas of contribution and future directions for IoT research.

A Guide for Purposive Sampling on Twitter

Sibona, Christopher (sibonac@uncw.edu)


The primary goal of this article is to demonstrate how to use Twitter for conducting behavioral research and to guide researchers who might benefit from using this social media platform to effectively recruit survey participants. We begin by discussing the advantages of using Twitter for survey recruitment, including respondent anonymity, purposive sampling to find respondents who are engaged in a topic of interest, ability to reach respondents quickly to investigate ephemeral events, and advantages in replicating subject populations in recruitment. We offer a guide that illustrates the mechanics of using Twitter for subject recruitment and present a successful case study offering a real-world example of how this technique was used to recruit survey participants. We provide solutions for common issues researchers might encounter when using Twitter for subject recruitment, including nonresponse due to failure to deliver timely responses to tweets, initial unwillingness to participate, and appropriate screening of potential respondents based on their tweets.