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/.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.