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Journal of the Association for Information Systems


Theorizing the Multilevel Effects of Interruptions and the Role of Communication Technology
Shamel Addas, Alian Pinsonneault
Abstract
Our understanding of how interrupting the work of an individual affects group outcomes and the role of communication technologies (CT) in shaping these effects is limited. Drawing upon coordination theory and the literatures on computer-mediated communication and interruptions, this paper develops a multilevel theory of work interruptions. It suggests that interruptions that target individuals can also affect other group members through various ripple effects and a cross-level direct effect. We also discuss how the usage of five CT capabilities during interruption episodes can moderate the impact of interruptions at the individual and group levels. Our theoretical model draws attention to the importance of examining the individual-to-group processes to better understand the impact of interruptions in group environments. Additionally, by accounting for the role of the use of CT capabilities during interruption episodes, our work contributes to both the interruptions literature, which dedicates scant attention to the interrupting media, and to IS research on media use and media effects.


On the Optimal Fixed-Up-To Pricing for Information Services
Shinyi Wu, Paul Pavlou
Abstract
Fixed-Up-To (FUT) pricing allows consumers to purchase a fixed usage amount of an information service for a certain fixed price chosen from a menu of plans. In this study, we first derive an optimal analytical solution for FUT menu pricing without imposing the strong single-crossing assumption. Second, we illustrate the analytical solution by leveraging mixed integer nonlinear programming to derive an optimal FUT pricing scheme for information services. Third, we investigate when, and by how much, FUT pricing improves upon the commonly-used “flat rate” pricing. Our numerical results show that FUT pricing improves the service provider’s profits while enhancing social welfare when consumers face different maximum consumption level bounds. Notably, in terms of optimal pricing, our numerical results show that the consumers’ maximum consumption level bounds are more important than their utility functions. Most importantly, our results show that FUT pricing performs better than flat rate pricing under incomplete information. Finally, we empirically show that it is not necessary to treat over limit rates as a decision variable in terms of optimal FUT pricing since both FUT pricing and three-part tariffs are reasonable approximations of non-linear pricing in terms of both firm profits and social welfare. Theoretical and practical implications for the design of optimal FUT pricing toward enhancing firm profits, consumer surplus, and social welfare are discussed.


Designing for ICT-Enabled Openness in Bureaucratic Organizations: Problematizing, Shifting and Augmenting Boundary Work
Isam Faik, Mark Thompson, Geoff Walsham
Abstract
There is a growing focus on achieving ‘openness’ in the design and transformation of organizations, in which the enabling role of ICTs is considered increasingly central. However, bureaucratic organizations with rigid structures continue to face significant challenges in moving towards more open forms of organizing. In this paper, we contribute to our understanding of these challenges by building on existing conceptualizations of openness as a form of boundary work that transforms by challenging both internal and external organizational boundaries. In particular, we draw on a performative view derived from actor-network theory to analyze a case study of ICT-based administrative reforms in a judicial system. Building on our case analysis, we develop a typology of the various roles that ICTs can play in both enabling and constraining ongoing boundary work within the context of their implementation. We thus present a view of ICT-enabled open organizing as a process where ICTs contribute to problematizing, shifting, and augmenting ongoing boundary work. This view highlights the inherently equivocal nature of the role of ICTs in transformations towards higher levels of openness.


They’re All the Same!' Stereotypical Thinking and Systematic Errors in Users' Privacy-Related Judgments about Online Services
Jin P. Gerlach, Peter Buxmann, Tamara Dinev
Abstract
Given the ever-increasing volume of online services, it has become impractical for Internet users to study every company’s handling of information privacy separately and in detail. This challenges a central assumption held by most information privacy research to date—that users engage in deliberate information processing when forming their privacy-related beliefs about online services. In this research, we complement previous studies that emphasize the role of mental shortcuts when individuals assess how a service will handle their personal information. We investigate how a particular mental shortcut—users’ stereotypical thinking about providers’ handling of user information—can cause systematic judgment errors when individuals form their beliefs about an online service. In addition, we explore the effectiveness of counter-stereotypic privacy statements in preventing such judgment errors. Drawing on data collected at two points in time from a representative sample of smartphone users, we studied systematic errors caused by stereotypical thinking in the context of a mobile news app. We found evidence for stereotype-induced errors in users’ judgments regarding this provider, despite the presence of counter-stereotypic privacy statements. Our results further suggest that the tone of these statements makes a significant difference in mitigating the judgment errors caused by stereotypical thinking. Our findings contribute to emerging knowledge about the role of cognitive biases and systematic errors in the context of information privacy.


Information Systems as Representations: A Review of the Theory and Evidence
Jan Recker, Marta Indulska, Peter Green, Andrew Burton-Jones, Ron Weber
Abstract
Representation Theory proposes that the basic purpose of an information system (IS) is to faithfully represent certain real-world phenomena, allowing users to reason about these phenomena more cost-effectively than if they were observed directly. Over the past three decades, the theory has underpinned much research on conceptual modeling in IS analysis and design and increasingly research on other IS phenomena such as data quality, system alignment, IS security, and system use. The original theory has also inspired further development of its core premises and advances in methodological guidelines to improve its use and evaluation. Nonetheless, the theory has attracted repeated criticisms regarding its validity, relevance, usefulness, and robustness. Given the burgeoning literature on the theory over time, both positive and negative, the time is ripe for a narrative, developmental review. We review Representation Theory, examine how it has been used, and critically evaluate its contributions and limitations. Based on our findings, we articulate a set of recommendations for improving its application, development, testing, and evaluation.


Understanding the Elephant: The Discourse Approach to Boundary Identification and Corpus Construction for Theory Review Articles
Kai R. Larsen, Dirk S. Hovorka, Alan R. Dennis, Jevin West
Abstract
The goal of a review article is to present the current state of knowledge in a research area. Two important initial steps in writing a review article are boundary identification (identifying a body of potentially relevant past research) and corpus construction (selecting research manuscripts to include in the review). We present a theory-as-discourse approach which a) creates a theory ecosystem of potentially relevant prior research using a citation-network approach to boundary identification; and b) identifies manuscripts for consideration using machine learning or random selection. We demonstrate an instantiation of the theory as discourse approach through a proof-of-concept, which we call the Automated Detection of Implicit Theory (ADIT) technique. ADIT improves performance over the conventional approach as practiced in past Technology Acceptance Model reviews (i.e., keyword search, sometimes manual citation chaining); it identifies a set of research manuscripts that is more comprehensive and at least as precise. Our analysis shows that the conventional approach failed to identify a majority of past research. Like the three blind men examining the elephant, the conventional approach distorts the totality of the phenomenon. ADIT also enables researchers to statistically estimate the number of relevant manuscripts which were excluded from the resulting review article, thus enabling an assessment of the review article’s representativeness.


Pricing or Advertising? A Game Theoretic Analysis of Online Retailing
Zhong Wen, Lihui Lin
Abstract
How should online retailers attract customers? Should they advertise intensively to direct online traffic, or should they simply price lower than their competitors? In this paper, we attempt to study these decisions firms face and how market characteristics affect the firms’ decisions and the market outcome. We develop a game-theoretic model of two firms choosing advertising levels and prices strategically. We find that only asymmetric equilibria exist, or etailers choose different strategies along both advertising and pricing dimensions. When the market mobility is low (i.e., the majority of buyers have high search cost), firms engage in fierce competition in advertising, and the firm choosing a higher advertising level also charges a higher price and earns higher profits. When the market mobility is high (i.e., the majority of buyers have zero search cost) or medium, one firm chooses to advertise intensely while the other may choose to charge a lower price and not to advertise at all; and in such cases either firm may make higher profits. We also compare the market outcome in our model with the case where firms do not have the option to advertise. We find that the option to advertise leads to higher expected prices for any given market composition, and that when the market mobility is high both etailers can make higher profits than without the option, even for the firm that advertises intensively and bears the extra cost. We further extend the model to consider etailers choosing advertising levels sequentially.


Doctor's Orders or Patient’s Preferences? Examining the Role of Physicians in Patients’ Privacy Decisions on Health Information Exchange Platforms
Niam Yaraghi, Ram Gopal, Ram Ramesh
Abstract
Health Information Exchange (HIE) platforms could increase the efficiency of health care services by enabling providers to instantly access the medical records of their patients. These benefits will not be realized unless patients disclose their information on HIE platforms. We examine actual privacy decisions made by patients on an HIE platform and study the influence of physicians’ recommendations on patients’ decisions and explore the process through which this effect takes place. By analyzing a unique data set consisting of the privacy decisions of 12,444 patients, we show that contrary to the common belief, patients do not merely follow the recommendation of physicians but rather carefully consider the risks and benefits of providing consent. We show that competition among medical providers do not hinder their participation in HIE efforts, but instead providers’ decision to ask for consent is primarily driven by the potential benefits of HIE for themselves and their patients.


Platform Leadership: Managing Boundaries for the Network Growth of Digital Platform
Carmen Leong, Shan L. Pan, Dorothy Leidner, Jinsong Huang
Abstract
This study aims to generate a systematic understanding of how digital platform firms can attain platform leadership. We explore the question by casting a boundary management lens over the complex network of interactions on a digital platform. Firms are faced with various boundaries – boundaries of efficiency, competence, power, identity and ties – and must carefully address tensions within diverse groups of actors with their own interests. An in-depth case study is conducted on China’s largest online ticketing firm, and two contributions for attaining platform leadership are established. First, we conceptualize the development of a digital platform as a set of technology-based boundary management mechanisms (functional multiplexing, scope expansion, community curation, actor empowerment and positional escalation) that includes a combination of boundary spanning, erecting and reinforcing. Second, we uncover the network dynamics of a digital platform by explicating the synergies and tensions of boundary management. Considering our novel findings, this study offers managerial and design guidelines for a digital platform by advocating an integrative view of boundary management. A multidimensional framework that includes five boundaries and four types of networks (dyadic, interconnected, intraconnected and external) is presented for future analysis of networks built on digital platforms.


I am your Fan. Bookmarked! Identification Building in Founder-led Online Communities
Niki Panteli, Anu Sivunen
Abstract
In this study, we present the findings from an inductive and interpretive case study of a founder-led online community (OC), exploring how members’ identification develops within the community over time. Using a longitudinal study of an OC that was founded by a reputable individual, it is shown that members were first attracted to the OC through their affective and cognitive identification with the founder; however, over time, they developed identification through social interactions with other members. The findings show that this transformation was enabled by the founder’s communication behavior, which not only led to inspired and engaged members but also to the emergence of new leaders who supported the identification process. The study contributes to the fields of founder-led OCs, identification and emergent leadership in the OC context.


The Impact of Goal-Congruent Feature Additions on Core IS Feature Use: When More is Less, Less is More
Felix Wortmann, Frederic Thiesse, Elgar Fleisch
Abstract
This research investigates the impact of feature additions on the use of an information system’s (IS) existing core features. Based on prior work in marketing and IS, we hypothesize conflicting effects on the usage of the system as a whole and the IS core due to the goal congruence of the two feature sets. In three consecutive empirical studies, we consider the example of a utilitarian consumer IS in the form of a mobile insurance app with additional weather-related functionality. The statistical results indicate that the goal-congruent feature addition exerts a positive influence on system use, whereas the impact on core IS use is negative. More specifically, we show that the latter effect can be explained by changes in the users’ perceptions of the usefulness and ease of use of the core features. From a theoretical perspective, our work goes beyond the predominant system view of technology acceptance and use by employing a more fine-grained, feature-oriented level of investigation, which opens several avenues for further research regarding the relationships between information systems and the features of which they consist. From a managerial perspective, the results help to characterize the detrimental effects that feature additions may have on IS usage. These consequences become particularly relevant when revenue, cost savings, or other benefits on the part of IS operators are linked only to a subset of the entire IS functionality, as in the case of several web portals or mobile apps.


Constraining Opportunism in Information Systems Consulting: A Three Nation Examination
Richard T. Watson, Gregory Dawson, Marie-Claude Boudreau, Yan Li, Ibrahim Al-Jabri, Hongyun Zhang, Wayne Huang
Abstract
Opportunism is often present in professional services, such as IS consulting, and organizations adopt various mechanisms to constrain it. Opportunism is prevalent in many societies, if not all, yet, researchers have generally ignored (1) the efficacy of constraint mechanisms for different circumstances and (2) the impact of national differences. This study examines the relative effectiveness of different constraint mechanisms for IS consultants in China, Saudi Arabia, and the United States, based on different levels of information asymmetry, tacit, and explicit knowledge. While there is support in all countries for the salience of these dimensions, there are distinctions in the effectiveness of different constraints between the countries. Generally, consulting clients in the United States believe that social constraints are more effective, while those in China and Saudi Arabia favor legal constraints. The findings suggest that these distinctions are a result of differences in the legal systems and the religious foundations for social norm formation.


How do Individuals Interpret Multiple Conceptual Models? A Theory of Combined Ontological Completeness and Overlap
Jan Recker, Peter Green
Abstract
When analyzing or designing information systems, users often work with multiple conceptual models because each model articulates a different, partial aspect of a real-world domain. However, the available research in this area has largely studied the use of single modeling artefacts only. We develop new theory about interpreting multiple conceptual models that details propositions for evaluation of individuals’ selection, understanding, and perceived usefulness of multiple conceptual models. We detail several implications of our theory development for empirical research on conceptual modeling. We also outline practical contributions for the design of conceptual models and for choosing models for systems analysis and design tasks. Finally, to stimulate research that builds on our theory, we illustrate procedures for enacting our theory and discuss a range of empirically relevant boundary conditions.


Integrating Cognition with an Affective Lens to Better Understand Information Security Policy Compliance
Dustin Ormond, Merrill Warkentin, Robert E. Crossler
Abstract
Information systems security behavioral research has primarily focused on individual cognitive processes and their impact on information security policy noncompliance. However, affective processes (operationalized by affective absorption and affective flow) may also significantly contribute to misuse or information security policy noncompliance. Our research study evaluated the impact of affective absorption (i.e. the trait or disposition to have one’s emotions drive decision making) and affective flow (i.e. a state of immersion with one’s emotions) on cognitive processes in the context of attitude toward and compliance with information security policies. Our conceptual model was evaluated using a laboratory research design. We found that individuals who were frustrated by work-related tasks experienced negative affective flow and violated information security policies. Furthermore, perceptions of organizational injustice increased negative affective flow. Our findings underscore the need for understanding affective processes as well as cognitive processes which may lead to a more holistic understanding regarding information security policy compliance.


An Analysis of the Evolving Intellectual Structure of Health Information Systems Research within the Information Systems (IS) Discipline
Langtao Chen, Aaron Baird, Detmar W. Straub
Abstract
The rapid evolution of health information systems (Health IS) research has led to many significant contributions. However, while the Health IS subset of information systems (IS) scholarship has considerably grown over the past two decades, this growth has led to questions regarding the current intellectual structure of this area of inquiry. In an effort to more fully understand how Health IS has contributed to the IS discipline, and what this may mean for future Health IS research in the IS domain, we conduct an in-depth evaluation of Health IS research published in mainstream IS journals. We apply citation analysis, latent semantic analysis (LSA), and social network analysis (SNA) to our dataset of Health IS articles in order to: (1) identify Health IS research themes and thematic shifts, (2) determine which Health IS research themes are cohesive (versus disparate), (3) identify which Health IS research themes are central (versus peripheral), (4) clarify networks of researchers (i.e., thought leaders) contributing to these research themes, and (5) provide insights into the connection of Health IS to its reference disciplines. Overall, we contribute a systematic description and explanation of the intellectual structure of the Health IS and highlight how the existing intellectual structure of Health IS provides opportunities for future research.


The Role of Evaluability Bias and the Fairness Effect in Escalation of Commitment to a Troubled Software Product Development Project
Jong Seok Lee, Mark Keil, Sangcheol Park
Abstract
New software product development entails considerable risks. One significant risk is that decision makers can become overly committed to a troubled software product development project (i.e., escalation of commitment). While prior research has identified factors that promote escalation in information technology projects, there has been little attempt to leverage the context of software product development which can include evaluating attributes of a software product under development and weighing a personal financial reward tied to a successful product launch. In this study, we conducted two experiments to investigate how evaluability bias concerning software attributes, and the fairness effect that arises from the relative amount of a personal financial reward, influence escalation of commitment to a troubled software product development project. Our findings suggest that escalation of commitment to a troubled software product development project is influenced by both evaluability bias, which affects the perceived attractiveness of a software product under development, and the fairness effect, which influences the perceived attractiveness of a personal financial reward tied to a successful product launch. This study contributes to both the information systems (IS) literature and the escalation literature by providing novel theoretical explanations as to why escalation occurs in the context of new software product development.


Brute Force Sentence Pattern Extortion from Harmful Messages for Cyberbullying Detection
Michal Ptaszynski, Fumito Masui, Pawei Lempa, Yasutomo Kimura, Rafal Rzepka, Kenji Araki
Abstract
Cyberbullying, or humiliating people through the Internet, existed almost since the beginning of Internet communication. Recent introduction of smartphones and tablet computers caused cyberbullying to evolve into a serious social problem. In Japan, to deal with the problem, members of Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) read through the Web to spot cyberbullying entries. To help PTA members in their uphill task we propose a novel method for automatic detection of malicious Internet contents. The method is based on a combinatorial approach resembling brute force search algorithms with application to language classification. The method extracts sophisticated patterns from sentences and uses them in classification. The experiments performed on actual cyberbullying data showed advantage of our method to previous methods. Next, we implemented the method into an application for Android smartphones to automatically detect possible harmful content in messages. The method performed well under the Android environment, although it needs to be optimized for time efficiency to be used in practice.


Scientific Knowledge Communication in Professional Q&A Communities: Linguistic Devices as a Tool to Increase the Popularity and Perceived Professionality of Knowledge Contributions
Yicheng Zhang, Tian Lu, Chee Wei Phang, Chenghong Zhang
Abstract
With the emergence of professional question-and-answer (Q&A) communities, widespread dissemination of scientific knowledge has become more viable than ever before. However, contributors of scientific knowledge are confronted with the challenge of making their professional knowledge contributions popular, as non-expert readers may not appreciate their contributions given the massive and chaotic information on the Internet. In this study, we first show that, although nonexpert readers are similar to experts in their ability to evaluate the professionality of content contributed in such communities, a salient discrepancy exists between the content they favor and the content they perceive as professional. In line with studies that have suggested writing techniques play an important role in how expert content is received by laypersons, we investigated the effect of the use of linguistic devices on the perceived professionality and popularity of content contributions in Q&A communities. Based on both secondary data and a scenario-based survey, we uncovered specific linguistic devices that can increase content popularity without reducing perceived professionality. Additionally, we revealed linguistic devices that increase popularity at the expense of perceived professionality in this context. A laboratory experiment was conducted to more firmly establish the causal effects of the linguistic device use. The triangulated findings have important implications for both research and practice on communicating scientific knowledge in professional Q&A communities.


Harnessing Aspect-Based Sentiment Analysis: How are Tweets Associated with Forecast Accuracy?
Shuk Ying Ho, Stanley Ka Wai Choi, Fan Yang
Abstract
For firms in the consumer sector of the economy, tweets about service quality reflect consumer satisfaction, which determines firms’ future earnings. Our study responds to anecdotal evidence indicating that analysts have adopted opinion mining to scrutinize Twitter data to detect shifts in consumer behavior and to make earnings forecasts. If this anecdotal evidence is accurate, certain tweet characteristics may be associated with accuracy of earnings forecasts for these firms. Our study draws on the literature on consumer satisfaction and firm earnings to identify possible tweet characteristics and hypothesize their associative relationships with analyst forecast accuracy. We focus on tweets that reveal people’s opinions about a firm’s service quality. Five hypotheses are developed to examine how tweet characteristics are associated with analyst forecast accuracy. We use the airline industry as the study context, and extract tweets in relation to airlines’ service quality from publicly available Twitter data and analyst forecast data from the Institutional Brokers’ Estimate System Academic. We apply content analysis, followed by aspect-based sentiment analysis, to the downloaded tweets. Using regressions, we find that the breadth of coverage and the number of posters are associated positively with forecast accuracy. The valence of tweets differentiates their effects on forecast accuracy: negative tweets enhance forecast accuracy to a greater extent than do positive tweets. We do not detect any association between tweet subjectivity and analyst forecast accuracy. There is a marginal negative association between tweet dispersion and forecast accuracy. Theoretical and practical contributions are discussed..


Specialized Information Systems for the Digitally Disadvantaged
Florian Pethig, Julia Kroenung
Abstract
A number of specialized information systems for the digitally disadvantaged (SISD) have been developed to offset the limitations of people unable to participate in the information society. However, contributions from social identity theory and social markedness theory indicate that SISD can activate a stigmatized identity and thus be perceived unfavorably by their addressees. We identify two mechanisms by which functional limitations affect a digitally disadvantaged person’s adoption decision: (1) adoption decision as shaped through technology perceptions (i.e., perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, and perceived access barriers) and (2) adoption decision as shaped through marked status awareness (i.e., stigma consciousness). We test our contextualized research model on digitally disadvantaged users with physical and/or sensory disabilities. Results of our mediation analysis show that individuals who have most to gain from SISD use (i.e., those with high functional limitations) are doubly disadvantaged. They find it more challenging to use SISD and are also more sensitive to the fear of being marked as disadvantaged or vulnerable.


Game of Platforms: Strategic Expansion into Rival (Online) Territory
Sagit Bar-Gill
Abstract
Online platforms, such as Google, Facebook, or Amazon, are constantly expanding their activities, while increasing the overlap in their service offering. This paper asks: Is expansion into rival platforms’ services profit-maximizing when users’ platform choices endogenously change with expansion? We model an expansion game between two online platforms, both incumbents in distinct service markets, providing their services for free to users, and earning ad-based revenues. Platforms decide whether or not to expand by adding the service already offered by the rival. Expansion is costly, and impacts users’ platform choice, namely, their choice of single- vs. multi-homing, which, in turn, affects platform prices and profits derived from the advertisers’ side of the market. We demonstrate that, in equilibrium, platforms may choose not to expand. Strategic "no expansion" decisions are due to the quantity and price effects of changes in the user partition due to expansion. We analyze the effects of expansion-driven changes in inter-platform compatibility, expansion costs, users’ probability of ad-engagement, switching costs, and intra-platform service complementarity and quality on the optimal expansion strategy. We derive an optimal expansion rule, incorporating these considerations, to guide managerial decision making regarding expansion into a rival’s “territory.”


Assortment Size and Performance of Online Sellers: An Inverted U-Shaped Relationship
Yumei He, Xunhua Guo, Guoqing Chen
Abstract
This paper investigates the role of assortment size in sellers’ performance in the ecommerce context, which is primarily characterized by lowered search costs and switching costs. In contrast to the findings in the literature, our theoretical analysis postulates an inverted U-shaped association, showing that performance of online sellers increases and then decreases as the assortment size enlarges. The nonlinear effect can be effectively explained by the interplay between the benefits from simultaneous consumer utility and the liabilities from competition-intensifying effect. Additionally, the optimal level of assortment size is lowered when the market density or product uncertainty is high. Using a dataset of 10,000 online sellers from a large ecommerce platform, our hypotheses concerning the inverted U-shaped curve and moderation effects of market density and product uncertainty are statistically supported. Our research contributes to the assortment literature by revealing the special effects of assortment size in the online retailing context. Our findings also provide practical implications for online sellers’ assortment planning and optimization under both general settings and specific conditions.


Generally Speaking, Context Matters: Making the Case for a Change from Universal to Particular ISP Compliance Research
Salvatore Aurigenma, Thomas Mattson
Abstract
The objective of our paper is to challenge conceptually and empirically the idea of general information security policy (ISP) compliance. Conceptually, we argue that general ISP compliance is an ill-defined concept that has minimal theoretical usefulness because ISP directed security actions vary considerably from threat-to-threat in terms of time, difficulty, diligence, knowledge, and effort. Yet, our senior IS scholar’s basket of journals has a strong preference to publish models where the authors speculate that their findings are generalizable across all (or many) threats and controls contained in an organization’s ISP. We present that compliance with mandatory threat specific security actions may require different (as opposed to similar) behavioral explanations, which makes constructing a universal model of ISP compliance problematic. Therefore, we argue that future ISP compliance literature will be more valuable if it focuses on the mechanisms, treatments, and behavioral antecedents associated with the required actions around specific threats instead of attempting to build a model that purportedly covers all (or many) threat specific security actions. To support this claim empirically, we conducted two studies comparing general and threat specific compliance intentions. Our data show that compliance intentions vary significantly across general compliance measures and multiple threat specific security measures or scenarios. These results indicate that it is problematic to generalize about behavioral antecedents from general compliance intentions to threat specific security compliance intentions, from one threat specific security action to other threat specific security actions, and from one threat specific security action to general compliance intentions.


The Sustainable Value of Open Government Data
Thorhildur Jetzek, Michel Avital, Niels Bjørn-Andersen
Abstract
Building on the promise of open data, government agencies support a continuously growing number of open data initiatives that are driven mainly by expectations of unprecedented value generation from an underutilized resource. Although data in general have undoubtedly become an essential resource for the economy, it has remained largely unclear how, or even whether, open data repositories generate any significant value. We addressed this void with a study that examines how sustainable value is generated from open data. Subsequently, we developed a model that explains how open data generate sustainable value through two underlying mechanisms. The first, the information sharing mechanism, explicates how open data are beneficial to forging informational content that creates value for society through increased transparency and improved decision making. The second, the market mechanism, explicates how open data are beneficial as a resource in products and services offered on the market, as well as how open data are used to make processes more efficient or to satisfy previously unmet needs. We tested and validated the model using PLS with secondary quantitative data from 76 countries. The study provides empirical support to the conjecture that openness of data as well as the digital governance and digital infrastructure in a country have a positive effect on the country’s level of sustainable value. Overall, the study provides empirical evidence in favor of nurturing open data culture and insights about the conditions that support turning it into sustainable value for the benefit of citizens, business organizations, and society at large.


Design Science Research in Doctoral Projects: an Analysis of Australian Theses
Aileen Cater-Steel, Mark Toleman, Mohammad Mehdi Rajaeian
Abstract
Design Science Research (DSR) has gained popularity with doctoral students. In the Information Systems (IS) discipline, DSR is distinctive in creating knowledge through the design of novel or innovative artifacts, and analyzing the artifacts’ use or performance. We present an analysis of 40 DSR doctoral theses completed in Australia for the period 2006-2017. Our purpose is to understand how DSR is applied by the IS community and one critical source of information is the work of doctoral candidates. How candidates are guided by the literature, the artifacts produced and their evaluation provide a window into this understanding. We selected the theses from the Australian national repository and analyzed their content. The findings suggest: 1) DSR is evolving and maturing in this cohort but most candidates fail to enunciate and understand the underlying philosophy of their research approach, 2) the use of relevant guidance is still developing, and 3) the capacity of candidates to theorize about their work remains a challenge, possibly due to problems of scoping DSR projects and the ensuing time constraints. In spite of their recognition/appreciation of the need for evaluation of the artifacts, the candidates’ comprehension that the designs also require evaluation is questionable. As in many other areas of IS research, nomenclature in DSR remains a problem and the whole IS community has a role to strive for consistency. This paper contributes towards our understanding of the challenges and advantages of DSR as a research approach for postgraduate studies and offers recommendations to the DSR community.


Mobile Health (mHealth) Channel Preference: An Integrated Perspective of Approach-Avoidance Beliefs and Regulatory Focus
Liwei Chen, Aaron Baird, Arun Rai
Abstract
The mobile health (mHealth) channel has been suggested to be effective in assisting with chronic disease management. However, little is known about the mHealth channel preferences of consumers who may be vulnerable to chronic disease. Integrating the lens of approach-avoidance beliefs with regulatory focus theory, we: 1) focus on mHealth channel preference (CHANNEL) as our dependent variable, 2) identify perceived mHealth usefulness (PU) as an approach belief and perceived mHealth risk (RISK) as an avoidance belief, and 3) develop hypotheses pertaining to the how the regulatory focus of the individual (operationalized as perceived vulnerability to chronic disease, VULN) moderates the impacts of PU and RISK on CHANNEL. Based on analyses using structural equation modeling (SEM) of survey data collected from 954 individuals in the U.S., we find that, compared to a promotion regulatory focus (low VULN), a prevention regulatory focus (high VULN) amplifies the effect of RISK on CHANNEL and suppresses the effect of PU on CHANNEL. We discuss the implications of our findings for theory, practice, and future research related to mHealth channel preferences.


Measuring Risk From IT Initiatives Using Implied Volatility
Dawei (David) Zhang, Barrie R. Nault
Abstract
We propose an under-recognized measure to capture changes in firm risk from information technology (IT) announcements: implied volatility (IV) from a firm’s exchange-traded options. An IV is obtained from a priced stock option and represents the option market’s expectation of the firm’s average stock return volatility over the remaining duration of the option. Using the change in IV around IT announcements, we can directly assess changes in IT-induced firm risk. IVs are straightforward to obtain, and are forward-looking based on option market investors’ estimates of future stock return volatility. They do not rely on historical volatility that is confounded with other events. In addition, options have different expiration dates–each with an IV–allowing us to distinguish between short- and long-term risk. We show how a change in IV can be employed to assess changes in short- and long-term firm risk from IT announcements, and demonstrate this methodological innovation empirically using a set of IT announcements that have been utilized in previous studies.


Medical Crowdsourcing: Harnessing the “Wisdom of the Crowd” to Solve Medical Mysteries
Indika Dissanayake, Sridhar P. Nerur, Rahul Singh, Yang W. Lee
Abstract
Medical crowdsourcing offers hope to patients who suffer from complex health conditions that are difficult to diagnose. Such platforms empower patients to harness the “wisdom of the crowd” by providing access to a vast pool of diverse medical knowledge. Greater participation in crowdsourcing increases the likelihood of evolving a correct solution. However, more participation also leads to increased “noise”, which makes identifying the most likely solution from a broader pool of recommendations (i.e., diagnostic suggestions) difficult. The challenge for medical crowdsourcing platforms is to increase participation of both patients and solution providers, while simultaneously increasing the efficacy and accuracy of solutions. The primary objectives of this study are to: a) investigate means to enhance the solution pool by increasing participation of solution providers referred to as “medical detectives”; and b) explore ways to select the most likely diagnosis from a set of alternative solutions. Specifically, we assessed the impact of objective factors (e.g., rewards and duration of undetected chronic illness) and inferred factors (e.g., emotional tones and perceived quality of the case) on the number of detectives who participated in the case. We then used multiple evaluation methods (e.g., text clustering and prediction market) and pooled knowledge related to detectives’ diagnoses to determine the most likely solution. Our results suggest that using multiple methods for evaluation of recommendations leads to better predictions. Furthermore, cases with higher perceived quality and more negative emotional tones (e.g., sadness, fear, and anger) attract more detectives. Our findings have strong implications for research and practice.


Beautiful is Good and Good is Reputable: Multi-Attribute Charity Website Evaluation and Reputation Formation Under the Halo Effect
Dong-Heon Kwak, K. Ramamurthy, Derek Nazareth
Abstract
The halo effect has been extensively used to understand how people make judgments about quality of an object. Also, the halo effect has been known to occur when people evaluate multi-attribute objects. Although websites consist of multiple dimensions and multiple attributes, prior research in information systems has not paid much attention on how people evaluate multi-attribute websites and the types of salient halos that exist in their evaluation. Furthermore, there is little research that has investigated the formation of initial reputation toward an unknown object under the halo effect. Based on these two research gaps, the purposes of this study are to identify if there is evidence of salient halos in evaluating multi-attributes websites and to theorize initial reputation formation. To accomplish these research objectives, we introduce a framework for classifying halos based on attributes and dimensions. Also, this study employs charity websites as a multi-attribute donation channel consisting of three attributes of information content quality (mission information, financial information, and donation assistance information) and four attributes of system quality (navigability, download speed, visual aesthetics, and security). Based on the proposed framework, this study proposes four types of halos that are relevant to charity website evaluation —collective halo (attribute-to-attribute), aesthetics halo (attribute-to-dimension), reciprocal quality halo (dimension-to-dimension), and quality halo (dimension-to-dimension). The results of structural equation modeling and other analyses show evidence of the various proposed halos.


Against Theory: With Apologies to Feyerabend
Rudy Hirschheim
Abstract
In his seminal book “Against Method”, Feyerabend (1975) takes issue with scientists’ preoccupation with method. This paper takes a similar stand but instead of ‘method’ it focuses on ‘theory’. For Feyerabend, it was scientists and scholars unhealthy obsession with method; in this paper, it is the Information Systems field’s fixation with theory and the problems this causes. The paper examines where the theory focus came from, why it has been so widely adopted, what the deleterious consequences of this focus are, and some recommendations on the field could move forward. Along the way paper delivers a cautionary tale of what might happen to the field if it simply continues down the same path without changing course. This essay is, fundamentally, meant to spark debate, in the same vein as Feyerabend’s book was.


The Mediating Role of Psychological Empowerment in Information Security Compliance Intention
Gurpreet Dhillon, Yurita Yakimin Abdul Talib, Winnie Picoto
Abstract
The issue of employee noncompliance with information security policies is universal. Non-compliance increases the possibility of invasive information security threats, which result in compromising organizational assets. Although research has empirically revealed a relationship between structural empowerment and employee intention to comply with the information security policy, the mediating role of psychological empowerment in the relationship has received limited attention. This study conceptualizes the role of psychological empowerment as a mediator between structural empowerment and intention to comply with information security policy. It suggests that empowerment work structures, which include information security education, training, and awareness (SETA), access to information security strategic goals, and participation in information security decision making all increase employee feeling of being psychologically empowered, which consequently leads to positive intention to comply with information security policy.


A Framework for Validating Information Systems Research Based on a Pluralist Account of Truth and Correctness
John Mingers, Craig Standing
Abstract
Research in information systems includes a range of approaches which make varied contributions in terms of knowledge, understanding, or practical developments. In these days of “fake news” and spurious internet content, scholarly research needs to be able to demonstrate its validity – are its finding true, or its recommendations correct? We argue that there are fundamental validation criteria that can be applied to all research approaches despite their apparent diversity and conflict. These stem from current views of the nature of truth, and the related but wider concept correctness, within philosophy. There has been much debate about the nature of truth – is it correspondence, coherence, consensual or pragmatic? Current debates revolve around the idea of a pluralist view of truth – that there are different forms of truth depending on the context or domain. Related to truth is the wider concept of correctness – propositions may be true but correctness can also be applied to actions, performances or behavior for which truth is not appropriate. We develop a framework for research validity and apply it to a range of research forms including positivist, interpretive, design science, critical and action-oriented. The benefits are: i) a greater and more explicit focus on validity criteria will produce better research; ii) having a single framework can provide some commonality between what at times seem conflicting approaches to research; iii) having criteria made explicit should encourage debate and further development. The framework is applied to a variety of empirical papers employing varied research approaches.


How Paternalistic Leadership Influences IT Security Policy Compliance: The Mediating Role of Social Bond
Gengzhong Feng, Jiawen Zhu, Nengmin Wang, Huigang Liang
Abstract
Leadership plays an important role in changing employees’ behavior in general. This paper aims to investigate the relationship between Paternalistic Leadership and employees’ Information Security Policy (ISP) Compliance. Social Bond Theory is adopted as the theoretical lens to explain how Paternalistic Leadership influences ISP Compliance via the formation of Social Bond. We developed a research model and tested it by 314 pair-wise data from employees and their supervisors in organizations. The results show that all three dimensions of Paternalistic Leadership – Benevolence, Morality and Authoritarianism – positively influence employees’ ISP compliance. Social Bond partially mediates the effects of Benevolence and Morality on Compliance Intention. Overall, this paper reveals the positive effect of Paternalistic Leadership in improving ISP Compliance and the mediating role of Social Bond in explaining the impact of Paternalistic Leadership on ISP Compliance. In addition, the mediation effect of Social Bond suggests that the non-IT related routine behavior of leaders can also affect employees’ ISP compliance by forming social bond with employees.


The Role of Basic Human Values in Knowledge Sharing: How Values Shape the Post-Adoptive Use of Electronic Knowledge Repositories
Stefan Tams, Alina Maria Dulipovici, Jason B. Thatcher, Kevin Craig, Mark Srite
Abstract
A growing body of literature examines how to elicit knowledge contributions to electronic knowledge repositories (EKRs) with the goal of helping organizations increase implementation benefits. While this literature has explained in detail the initial EKR adoption by knowledge contributors, it has not yet examined the drivers of post-adoptive EKR usage for contributing knowledge. It is post-adoptive EKR usage, such as innovative feature use, that holds the potential to result in richer contributions to EKRs. To aid understanding of how to unlock the benefits of EKRs for organizations, this study examines the impact of basic human values on one type of post-adoptive behavior that goes well beyond basic usage: trying to innovate with EKR features. We develop a research model that integrates human values and trying to innovate with an EKR, suggesting that such human values as an emphasis of independent thought and action can lead to trying to innovate by increasing the frequency of EKR usage. Data collected from 233 knowledge workers supported the model. Our findings shed light on how to encourage innovative EKR usage, and they underscore the importance of human values for the success of knowledge management initiatives.


Can secure behaviors be contagious? A two-stage investigation of the influence of herd behavior on security decisions
Ali Vedadi, Merrill Warkentin
Abstract
IT users often make information security-related decisions in complex and multidimensional environments, which could lead to phenomena like behavioral anomalies. For instance, under uncertain circumstances, users may discount their own limited information about a security technology and make their adoption decisions based on what the majority of users’ decisions are in this regard. In this context, imitation can become a legitimate and rational strategy for making security-related decisions. Current behavioral security theories generally assume that users possess sufficient information about security technologies before making security-related decisions. This theory assumption limits our understanding of how security decisions are made in various real-world circumstances. Our research is focused on security behaviors under uncertain circumstances. We investigate how providing popularity information can trigger herd behavior and can subsequently influence security behaviors. We also provide insights into security-related decisions that are influenced by herd mentality and whether they persist over time. Additionally, we conceptualize and operationalize two constructs that can be used in future research to better examine post-adoption security behaviors. The findings of this multi-stage experiment show that in uncertain circumstances, when users are aware of the widespread use of a certain security technology, they develop a significantly higher intention to engage in protection-motivated behaviors. Furthermore, the results show that at the post-adoption stage, users rely more heavily on their own information about their continuous use of security technologies and put less emphasis the herd-related factors.


Through Whose Eyes? The Critical Concept of Researcher Perspective
Roger Clarke, Robert Davison
Abstract
In this article, we explore the notion of ‘researcher perspective’, by which we mean the viewpoint from which the researcher observes phenomena in any specific research context. Inevitably, the adoption of a particular viewpoint means that the researcher privileges the interests of one or more stakeholders, while downplaying the interests of other stakeholders. Preliminary empirical analysis of a corpus of 659 articles published in three separate years in AIS Basket of 8 journals, undertaken in preparation for the present paper, revealed that around 90% of articles a) adopted a single-perspective approach, b) were committed solely to the interests of the entity central to the research design, and c) considered only economic aspects of the phenomena investigated in the research. Taken together, these three characteristics are unhealthy for the discipline and likely to lead to the neglect of important research opportunities. We suggest that the principle of triangulation be applied not only to data sources and research methods, but also to researcher perspectives, and that a consequent broadening of the IS discipline's scope is essential. We conclude the article with prescriptive recommendations for the practice of research that is relevant to multiple stakeholders.


Why we cannot resist our smartphones: Investigating compulsive use of mobile SNS from a stimulus-response-reinforcement perspective
Chuang Wang, Matthew K.O. Lee
Abstract
Compulsive smartphone use has drawn extensive social attention due to serious and even fatal outcomes. However, there has been little theory-driven research systematically investigating the mechanism of compulsive behavior in the use of smartphones. Although a significant line of literature exists in the area of personal-computer based technology addiction, the mechanism underpinning compulsive smartphone use differs significantly because the specific and unique characteristics of smartphones (e.g., high mobility, instant connection, and ubiquitous access) have given rise to a fundamentally different usage context with new usage behavioral patterns. Motivated to comprehensively theorize this issue, we first define compulsive behavior in the use of smartphone, mobile SNS in particular, and then extend stimulus-response-reinforcement framework to investigate the theoretical network of compulsive use of mobile SNS. An online survey data from 368 active mobile SNS users in China are used to empirically test and validate the proposed model and hypotheses. The results indicate that both positive (e.g., gratification and positive affect) and negative reinforcements (e.g., withdrawal and negative affect), as well as compensatory component (e.g., emotional relief), evoke the feeling of urge that further leads to compulsive use of mobile SNS. The positive effects of interactivity as an incentive stimulus on those reinforcements and compulsive mobile SNS use are also found to be significant.


A Field Based View on Gender in the Information Systems Discipline: Preliminary Evidence and an Agenda for Change
Eleanor Loiacono, Babita Gupta, Iaroslava (Gloria) Dutchak, Jason B. Thatcher
Abstract
Gender disparities are an often-cited concern about the information technology (IT) workforce in general, and technology focused professions, such as Information Systems, in particular. These worries have been underscored by evidence from practice, with low rates of participation by women in the IT workforce, and exacerbated by more recent events in Silicon Valley, with many male leaders and professionals suggesting women lack an aptitude for technical work. Motivated by events in practice, and recent events in our own discipline, this editorial considers how gender shapes the careers of women and men in Information Systems academe, in relation to their employing institutions and to the Association for Information Systems (AIS). Based on a survey of 279 AIS members, we draw insights into whether women and men feel equitably treated in terms of support, job satisfaction, opportunities for career advancement, quality of mentoring, and sexual harassment within their interactions in the AIS and at their employing university. We found that women and men report different experiences in the workplace, in the professional association, and in their opportunities for advancement in their careers. Given evidence of gender differences and sexual harassment, we offer an agenda for change within the AIS and call to action to aim for gender equity within the Information Systems community.


Value Co-creation for Service Innovation: Examining the Relationships between Service Innovativeness, Customer Participation, and Mobile App Performance
Hua (Jonathan) Ye, Atreyi Kankanhalli
Abstract
Service innovation is critical to firms' competitive advantage and thus, firms desire to make their services more and more innovative. However, the relationship between a new service’s innovativeness and its performance is unclear. Conflicting findings and related literature suggest that service innovativeness is multi-dimensional and its impact on performance could be non-linear. Yet, there has been limited research on these aspects, both theoretically and empirically. Further, customers play an important role in service innovation, but prior research has mainly considered them as inputs to value creation, which may not capture their precise role. Motivated thus, and drawing on the service-dominant (S-D) logic, we propose two dimensions of service innovativeness, novelty and intensity, which influence new service performance differentially, and posit that customers are a part of the value co-creation process affecting new service performance. Consequently, we develop a model linking service innovativeness dimensions and customer participation to new service performance. The model was tested using a panel dataset of 234 mobile apps over 14 months. The results indicate important asymmetries in the impacts of novelty and intensity on mobile app performance. As proposed, novelty shows a curvilinear (negative quadratic) relationship, whereas intensity shows a positive linear relationship with mobile app performance. Furthermore, customer participation has a positive impact on mobile app performance, as well as positively moderating both the effects of intensity and novelty on mobile app performance. The implications for research and practice are discussed.