Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems


Welcome to the summer issue of the 33rd volume of the Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems (SJIS). As is customary at the turn of the year, there have been changes to the editorial board: Henri Pirkkalainen replaced Arto Ojala as the member representing Finland, and Polyxeni Vassilakopoulou is now editor-in-chief. We would like to thank Arto for his services to the journal and to welcome Henri to the team.

This issue of the journal is very rich featuring seven research articles, a reflection note and a workshop report.

One of the seven research articles along with the reflection note constitute a special section focused on smart cities. The reflection note is authored by Malin Granath, Karin Axelsson and Ulf Melin who prepared and handled the call for papers on Smart Cities, Regions and Societies. In this note, they reflect upon how Information Systems Research can contribute to smart city research and what additional value a Scandinavian perspective can bring. Furthermore, they are also reflecting on how a Scandinavian perspective on smart city research can contribute to Information Systems Research in general. The research article that is part of the special section on smart cities is entitled “IoT Triggers: How municipalities are transforming to smarter cities through IoT use” and is authored by Ott Velsberg, Katrin Jonsson, Ulrika H. Westergren and Ted Saarikko. The article explores the use of Internet of Things (IoT) in municipalities. The research is based on an interview study of 337 municipalities in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway and Sweden and shows that the public sector is in its early stages of exploring IoT, revealing application areas within the smart city sphere where new value has been created. The authors explain that such transformational changes necessitate the support and commitment from stakeholders and a pronounced understanding of the value new and emerging technologies create.

The Scandinavian Journal of IS continually seeks and cultivates synergies with the annual Scandinavian Conference on IS (SCIS). We aim to invite and publish one or two high-quality SCIS articles in SJIS through a fast-track process, and we publish reflection notes by SCIS participants and SCIS related material that is of interest to our community. In this issue, we have included a report from the SCIS workshop “How to Teach Empirical Research Methods in Information Systems?”, which was prepared by Babak Farshchian, Elena Parmiggiani, Tangni Cunningham Dahl-Jørgensen and Farzana Quayyum. The aim of the workshop was to create a community of practice among supervisors and teachers of research methods in IS. This issue also includes two articles that have been fast-tracked from SCIS. These manuscripts went through the usual double-blind review process, and the authors improved and extended the original SCIS submissions based on comments provided by our editorial board and the reviewers. In the first of these two articles, which is entitled “Digital leaders and the transformation of the IT function”, Jostein Engesmo and Niki Panteli examine how digital transformation influences the IT organizational structure and leadership in pre-digital organizations. The study is based on a series of interviews with digital leaders in the UK and Scandinavia and led to the identification of four different leadership configurations for digital transformation initiatives. The article has theoretical and practical implications for the management of digital transformation and the IT function. The second article originating from the SCIS fast-tracking process, is entitled “Platformizing the Organization through Decoupling and Recoupling: A longitudinal Case Study of a Government Agency”. In this article, Kathrine Vestues and Knut Rolland investigate the relationship between platformization and digital innovation in organizations. The study is based on longitudinal empirical data from a Norwegian government agency. The authors identified decoupling processes through which existing legacy systems are discontinued and recoupling processes that enable novel recombinations of knowledge and skills. They provide insights about platformization by theorizing how decoupling and recoupling processes interact. This article was accepted before Knut´s sudden death this February. It is sad that a promising scholar leaves us way too early. He will be missed by the Scandinavian IS community and by all IS scholars who research digital platforms and large-scale information systems for collaboration where he has been actively contributing with his work.

In addition to the contributions from SCIS, this issue also includes four regular articles. In the article “Toward an understanding of big data analytics and competitive performance”, Frank Danielsen, Dag Olsen and Vetle Augustin Framnes advance our understanding of how big data analytics can promote competitive performance. They present a model of the relationships between big data analytics capabilities, dynamic capabilities, operational capabilities and competitive performance which was empirically evaluated with the use of data from a survey among large companies in the Nordic countries. The second regular research article is entitled “Competing Concerns on Emerging Welfare Technologies: A Review of Eight Prevailing Debates in Current Literature” and is authored by Jon Aaen. It presents a comprehensive review of extant literature on the implementation of welfare technologies. The analysis of literature revealed eight competing concerns contributing a better understanding of the complexities that managers and policy-makers must address in order to implement innovative welfare technologies at scale. The third regular article is entitled “Three Stages of Consumers’ Multi-Stage Dichotomic Switching Process: Pre-Switch, Switch, and Post-Switch” and is authored by Jussi Nykänen, Virpi K. Tuunainen, Tuure Tuunanen and Fiona Nah. The research presented examines why and how consumers switch mobile phones and proposes a framework grounded on decision-making and motivational theories. Empirically, the article draws on the findings from a multinational qualitative survey on consumers’ mobile phone switching process. The study contributes to IS research by demonstrating how consumers’ reasons for initiating a switching process and selecting a replacement may differ based on an interplay between cognitive and affective elements. Finally, the last regular research article is entitled: “Wickedness in Designing IT for Integration Work: A Phenomenological Account” and is authored by Amir Haj-Bolouri. In this article, phenomenology is used for studying, describing, and understanding how to tackle situational wickedness in design-oriented Information Systems research. Specifically, the research reported relates to the design of information technologies for integration work, identifies four interrelated wicked problems and suggests implications for design.

We hope that you find this issue interesting. We look forward to receiving your manuscripts with a view to publishing them in the Scandinavian IS community’s own journal—the Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems.

Polyxeni Vassilakopoulou, Katrin Jonsson, Sune Dueholm Müller and Henri Pirkkalainen



IoT Triggers. How municipalities are transforming to smarter cities through IoT use
Ott Velsberg, Katrin Jonsson, Ulrika H. Westergren, and Ted Saarikko


How to Teach Empirical Research Methods in Information Systems? Report from a SCIS/IRIS 2019 Workshop
Babak A. Farshchian, Elena Parmiggiani, Tangni Cunningham Dahl-Jørgensen, and Farzana Quayyum


Toward an Understanding of Big Data Analytics and Competitive Performance
Frank Danielsen, D Olsen, and Vetle Augustin Framnes

Reflection Note