Laurie J. Kirsch

University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

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Publications (17)11.91 Total impact

  • Laurie J. Kirsch, Dong-Gil Ko, Mark H. Haney
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    ABSTRACT: Organizations are increasingly relying on team-based structures as work becomes more complex, nonroutine, and knowledge intensive. Teams comprised of individuals with diverse skills and expertise may be well suited to perform such work. However, as teams become more prevalent, organizations may struggle with ways to exercise control. Formal controls, with their focus on prespecified rules, performance targets, and hierarchical relationships, may be less effective in a teamwork environment than clan control, in which work-related behavior is motivated by shared norms and values, as well as a common vision, and individuals attempt to be accepted or "regular" members of a team. However, little is known about the antecedents of clan control. Much of the existing empirical research on the antecedents of control has been influenced by Ouchi's (Ouchi, W. G. 1977. The relationship between organizational structure and organizational control. Admin. Sci. Quart. 22 95–113) framework, which posits clan control is used when managers lack knowledge of means–ends relationships and are unable to measure outcomes. This paper adopts the view that clan control is a "people" or social process and argues that social capital, a construct that reflects connections and relationships among individuals, is a missing, key antecedent of clan control. In particular, we posit that the existence of social capital enables team members, as well as project managers, to facilitate clan control within a team, i.e., team-based clan control. A model is developed and hypotheses are tested using survey data collected from 95 information systems project teams. The results suggest that social capital assets are associated with team-based clan control. Recognizing that the project manager typically has a different level of organizational authority than team members, additional hypotheses are developed relating characteristics of the project manager to team-based clan control. The results of these tests suggest that team-based clan control is also dependent on the manager's knowledge of business processes and the application area, coupled with the extent to which he observes the behaviors of the project team. Thus, our results suggest that there are conditions under which team-based clan control is facilitated by the project team as a whole (including team members and project managers), as well as conditions under which team-based clan control is facilitated by project managers in their role as team leaders. Implications and suggestions for future work are discussed.
    Organization Science 01/2010; 21:469-489. · 4.34 Impact Factor
  • Sandra A. Slaughter, Mark H. Haney, Laurie J. Kirsch
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    ABSTRACT: It is well known that information systems and technology can facilitate innovation in organizations. For example, companies in the automotive industry are leveraging product lifecycle management systems and advanced information technologies such as automated product design and testing tools, digital simulation and visualization, knowledge repositories of best practices, and collaboration tools linking globally distributed design teams. These technologies are revolutionizing the automotive product development process, facilitating the development of novel products, significantly reducing product development time and eliminating inconsistencies in product design, creation, and production (Rosencrance 2002). Full Text at Springer, may require registration or fee
    International Federation for Information Processing Digital Library; Organizational Dynamics of Technology-Based Innovation: Diversifying the Research Agenda;. 01/2010;
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    ABSTRACT: Information security has become increasingly important to organizations. Despite the prevalence of technical security measures, individual employees remain the key link – and frequently the weakest link – in corporate defenses. When individuals choose to disregard security policies and procedures, the organization is at risk. How, then, can organizations motivate their employees to follow security guidelines? Using an organizational control lens, we build a model to explain individual information security precaution-taking behavior. Specific hypotheses are developed and tested using a field survey. We examine elements of control and introduce the concept of ‘mandatoriness,’ which we define as the degree to which individuals perceive that compliance with existing security policies and procedures is compulsory or expected by organizational management. We find that the acts of specifying policies and evaluating behaviors are effective in convincing individuals that security policies are mandatory. The perception of mandatoriness is effective in motivating individuals to take security precautions, thus if individuals believe that management watches, they will comply.European Journal of Information Systems (2009) 18, 151–164; doi:10.1057/ejis.2009.8; published online 31 March 2009
    European Journal of Information Systems 01/2009; · 1.56 Impact Factor
  • Sandeep Rustagi, William R. King, Laurie J. Kirsch
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    ABSTRACT: Client control over the vendor has been identified as a critical factor in successfully managing information technology outsourcing relationships. Though prior studies have suggested that “how much” control is exercised has significant ramifications for individuals and firms, relatively few studies have operationalized and studied this important concept. In this study, we define the amount of formal control as the variety of mechanisms used by a client to exercise control over a vendor and the extent to which the mechanisms are used. We use literature on transaction cost economics and organizational control to build a model of the antecedents of the amount of formal control. The study uses data from 138 client-vendor matched pairs working in eight large, long-term, ongoing outsourcing arrangements to test specific hypotheses. The results suggest that clients who have technical or relationship management knowledge, or have high levels of trust in their vendors, use formal control mechanisms to a lesser extent. On the other hand, task uncertainty was found to be positively associated with the amount of formal control, and the degree of core competency involved in the outsourced activity was not found to be related to the amount of formal control. These results are discussed, and implications for research and practice are drawn.
    Information Systems Research. 01/2008; 19:126-143.
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    Yogesh Malhotra, Dennis F. Galletta, Laurie J. Kirsch
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    ABSTRACT: Information technology (IT) adoption research recognizes theoretical limitations in discerning if and when user behavior results from perceived external influences or from personal volition. A clear understanding of this issue requires a precise distinction between mandatory and volitional behaviors. Consistent with organismic integration theory (OIT), this study situates the locus of user motivations inside the user. Drawing upon an endogenous view of behaviors, this research makes three key contributions. First, it develops the theoretical basis for clearly discerning if and when behavior results from perceived external influences or from personal volition. Specifically, it examines how endogenous psychological feelings of autonomy, freedom, conflict, and external pressure can predict and explain user intentions. Second, it proposes that behavior may result from combinations of perceived external influences and personal volition. Recognizing how such "collections of motivations" together influence behavior advances our understanding beyond the "dichotomy" of extrinsic versus intrinsic motivations often adopted in prior research. Third, it proposes that some desired behaviors may be thwarted or impeded by a conflict between perceived external influences and personal volition. The theoretically grounded research model was empirically validated in a field study on Blackboard, a Web-based education platform at a large university. Data collected from a sample of 211 users were tested using structural equation models of initial system adoption and experienced use. Empirical support was found for the proposed model and related hypotheses. The results of this study advance our understanding about user motivations for adopting IT.
    J. of Management Information Systems. 01/2008; 25:267-299.
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    ABSTRACT: Firms often turn to supply chain software to streamline and standardize operations. A challenge is how to best utilize the data provided by the software. One approach is to import the data into Decision Support Systems (DSS) to build special-purposed decision aids. This paper presents an effective inventory management model for GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). The DSS effectively determines the safety stock level and the number of weeks forward coverage (WFC) for each SKU (Stock Keeping Unit). We discuss GSK's experiences relative to the literature on DSS design, implementation, and usage. This research shows implementing the proposed decision support system would provide GSK a distinct competitive advantage. However, careful implementation is necessary to fully realize the potential of the DSS.
    Decision Support Systems. 01/2008;
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    09/2007;
  • V. Sambamurthy, Laurie J. Kirsch
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    ABSTRACT: Despite more than 25 years of research on the processes and outcomes of information systems development in organizations, deficiencies exist in our knowledge about the effective management of complex systems development processes. Although individual studies have generated a wealth of findings, there is a need for a cumulative framework that facilitates interpretation of what has been learned and what needs to be learned about the process of information systems development. This paper reviews prior research on ISD processes and identifies the different types of contributions that have been made to our growing knowledge. More important, it generates a cumulative framework for understanding the process of ISD that could provide a valuable template for future research and practice.
    Decision Sciences 06/2007; 31(2):391 - 411. · 1.36 Impact Factor
  • Laurie J. Kirsch, Scott R. Boss
    Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2007, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, December 9-12, 2007; 01/2007
  • Laurie J. Kirsch, Sandra A. Slaughter, Mark H. Haney
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    ABSTRACT: It is well known that information systems and technology can facilitate innovation in organizations. For example, companies in the automotive industry are leveraging product lifecycle management systems and advanced information technologies such as automated product design and testing tools, digital simulation and visualization, knowledge repositories of best practices, and collaboration tools linking globally distributed design teams. These technologies are revolutionizing the automotive product development process, facilitating the development of novel products, significantly reducing product development time and eliminating inconsistencies in product design, creation, and production (Rosencrance 2002). Full Text at Springer, may require registration or fee
    International Federation for Information Processing Digital Library; Organizational Dynamics of Technology Based Innovation Diversifying the Research Agenda;. 01/2007;
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    Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2007, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, December 9-12, 2007; 01/2007
  • Laurie J. Kirsch, Mark H. Haney
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    ABSTRACT: A ‘common’ information system is one that is intended to satisfy the needs of multiple user groups within a firm for a particular functionality (e.g. one order entry system to be used by all divisions of a global firm). Such systems are often comprised of both core (or common) software modules, as well as local modules to support regional requirements. One of the most significant challenges for any information systems (IS) project is determining information requirements. The requirements determination process is especially difficult in this context in which common, global requirements must be forged from disparate, and potentially conflicting, local needs and priorities. This paper reports on case studies of two projects undertaken to globally deploy common systems, and it develops a model of the requirements determination process. The proposed model posits stakeholders engage in knowledge acquisition and negotiation processes in order to determine global requirements as well as to foster consensus and buy-in, on the part of the local regional stakeholders, to the global system. The findings also suggest that knowledge acquisition is a relatively structured, rational approach to learning about local needs and requirements, where stakeholders share an awareness of the corporate vision for global standards and agree on the need for a new system. Negotiation, in contrast, is less structured and more political, with different parties lobbying for their own interests as they endeavor to identify common requirements for the new global system. Finally, the results suggest that the requirements determination process is influenced by an articulated corporate vision for a global system, needs and priorities of the local regions, and the organizational roles and skills of key stakeholders. Implications of the results are drawn and suggestions for future research are offered.
    The Journal of Strategic Information Systems. 01/2006;
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    Sandra Slaughter, Laurie J. Kirsch
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    ABSTRACT: Because of challenges often experienced when deploying software, many firms have embarked on software process improvement (SPI) initiatives. Critical to the success of these initiatives is the transfer of knowledge across individuals who occupy a range of roles in various organizational units involved in software production. Prior research suggests that a portfolio of different mechanisms, employed frequently, can be required for effective knowledge transfer. However, little research exists that examines under what situations differing portfolios of mechanisms are selected. Further, it is not clear how effective different portfolio designs are. In this study, we conceptualize knowledge transfer portfolios in terms of their composition (the types of mechanisms used) and their intensity (the frequency with which the mechanisms are utilized). We hypothesize the influence of organizational design decisions on the composition and intensity of knowledge transfer portfolios for SPI. We then posit how the composition and intensity of knowledge transfer portfolios affect performance improvement. Our findings indicate that a more intense portfolio of knowledge transfer mechanisms is used when the source and recipient are proximate, when they are in a hierarchical relationship, or when they work in different units. Further, a source and recipient select direction-based portfolios when they are farther apart, in a hierarchical relationship, or work in different units. In terms of performance, our results reveal that the fit between the composition and intensity of the knowledge transfer portfolio influences the recipient's performance improvement. At lower levels of intensity direction-based portfolios are more effective, while at higher levels of intensity routine-based portfolios yield the highest performance improvement. We discuss the implications of our findings for researchers and for managers who want to promote knowledge transfer to improve software processes in their organizations.
    Information Systems Research. 01/2006; 17:301-320.
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    Dong-Gil Ko, Laurie J. Kirsch, William R. King
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    ABSTRACT: Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and other complex information systems represent critical organizational resources. For such systems, firms typically use consultants to aid in the implementation process. Client firms expect consultants to transfer their implementation knowledge to their employees so that they can contribute to successful implementations and learn to maintain the systems independent of the consultants. This study examines the antecedents of knowledge transfer in the context of such an interfirm complex information systems implementation environment. Drawing from the knowledge transfer, information systems, and communication literatures, an integrated theoretical model is developed that posits that knowledge transfer is influenced by knowledge-related, motivational, and communication-related factors. Data were collected from consultant-and-client matched-pair samples from 96 ERP implementation projects. Unlike most prior studies, a behavioral measure of knowledge transfer that incorporates the application of knowledge was used. The analysis suggests that all three groups of factors influence knowledge transfer, and provides support for 9 of the 13 hypotheses. The analysis also confirms two mediating relationships. These results (1) adapt prior research, primarily done in non-IS contexts, to the ERP implementation context, (2) enhance prior findings by confirming the significance of an antecedent that has previously shown mixed results, and (3) incorporate new IS-related constructs and measures in developing an integrated model that should be broadly applicable to the interfirm IS implementation context and other IS situations. Managerial and research implications are discussed.
    MIS Quarterly 01/2005; 29:59-85. · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    Laurie J. Kirsch
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    ABSTRACT: In today's competitive environment, an increasing number of firms are buildingcommon information systems, which will be deployed globally, to support their strategic globalization initiatives. These systems are designed to meet the requirements of a diverse set of stakeholders with different business needs, priorities, and objectives. One managerial tool for addressing and reconciling such differences is control, which encompasses all attempts to motivate individuals to act in a manner that is consistent with organizational objectives. This paper examines two research questions. How do stakeholders exercise control during different phases of large IS projects? Why do control choices change across project phases? Results of two case studies suggest control is exercised differently for each phase. During the initial phase of a project, control is exercised as "collective sensemaking," in which both IS and business stakeholders utilize mostly informal mechanisms of control. During development, "technical winnowing" of mechanisms occurs such that control is vested primarily in IS managers, who structure hierarchical relationships with subordinates and who rely extensively on formal control mechanisms. Both IS and business stakeholders employ formal and informal mechanisms during implementation to exercise control as "collaborative coordinating." The results also suggest that changes in control choices from one project phase to another are triggered by factors in the project, stakeholder, and global contexts. As factors change across phases, so too do control choices. Further, problems that surface in one project phase trigger changes to controls in subsequent phases. These findings are integrated into a model of the dynamics of control. Implications of these results are drawn, and directions for future research are suggested.
    Information Systems Research. 01/2004; 15:374-395.
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    ABSTRACT: Increasingly, business clients are actively leading information systems (IS) projects, often in collaboration with IS professionals, and they are exercising a greater degree of project control. Control is defined as all attempts to motivate individuals to achieve desired objectives, and it can be exercised via formal and informal modes. Much of the previous research investigating the choice of control mode has focused on direct reporting relationships between IS project leaders and their superiors in a hierarchical setting. However, the client-IS relationships may take on a variety of forms, including both hierarchical and lateral settings. Moreover, prior research has found that the knowledge of the systems development process is a key antecedent of control, yet clients are unlikely to be as knowledgeable as IS professionals about this process. It is therefore unclear whether prior findings will generalize to the client-IS pair, and the goal of this research is to examine the exercise of control across this relationship. Data were gathered from a questionnaire survey of 69 pairs of clients and IS project leaders. The results are largely consistent with prior research on the antecedents of formal control modes, but they shed new insight on the choice of informal control modes.
    Management Science. 01/2002; 48(4):484-498.