As one of the five research streams of the Management Information Systems (MIS) discipline, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) was predicted to resurge in the post- millennium era. To date, however, few studies have either synthesized existing studies or drawn an overarching picture of this sub-discipline. This study delineates the intellectual development of HCI research in MIS by a multifaceted assessment of the published HCI articles over a period of 13 years (1990-2002) in seven prime MIS journals: MISQ, ISR, JMIS, Decision Sciences, Management Science, DATA BASE, and JAIS. Twenty-two specific questions are addressed to answer the following five general research questions about the HCI sub-discipline: (1) What constitutes its intellectual substance? (2) What relationships does it have with other disciplines? (3) What are its recent evolutions? (4) What are the patterns of publishing HCI studies in the primary MIS journals? And, (5) Who are its contributing members? We use classification approach to address these questions. Descriptive analyses, including co-occurrence and cross-facet analyses, depict the key relationships. Trend analyses demonstrate recent evolutions. We present a number of areas for future research, along with a discussion of potential future directions for the sub-discipline. This study should be of interest to researchers in this sub-discipline, in the MIS discipline, and in other related disciplines for future research, collaboration, publication, and education. It should also be of interest to doctoral students to identify potential research topics for dissertation research and to
In a recent issue of the Journal of the Association for Information Systems, Marakas, Johnson, and Clay (2007) presented an interesting and important discussion on formative versus reflective measurement, specifically related to the measurement of the computer self-efficacy (CSE) construct. However, we believe their recommendation to measure CSE constructs using formative indicators merits additional dialogue before being adopted by researchers. In the current study we discuss why the substantive theory underlying the CSE construct suggests that it is best measured using reflective indicators. We then provide empirical evidence demonstrating how the misspecification of existing CSE measures as formative can result in unstable estimates across varying endogenous variables and research contexts. Specifically, we demonstrate how formative indicator weights are dependent on the endogenous variable used to estimate them. Given that the strength of formative indicator weights is one metric used for determining indicator retention, and adding or dropping formative indicators can result in changes in the conceptual meaning of a construct, the use of formative measurement can result in the retention of different indicators and ultimately the measurement of different concepts across studies. As a result, the comparison of findings across studies over time becomes conceptually problematic and compromises our ability to replicate and extend research in a particular domain. We discuss not only the consequences of using formative versus reflective measures in CSE research but also the broader implications this choice has on research in other domains.
Sharing data between organizations is challenging because it is difficult to ensure that those consuming the data accurately interpret it. The promise of the next generation WWW, the semantic Web, is that semantics about shared data will be represented in ontologies and available for automatic and accurate machine processing of data. Thus, there is inter-organizational business value in developing applications that have ontology-based enterprise models at their core. In an ontology-based enterprise model, business rules and definitions are represented as formal axioms, which are applied to enterprise facts to automatically infer facts not explicitly represented. If the proposition to be inferred is a requirement from, say, ISO 9000 or Sarbanes-Oxley, inference constitutes a model-based proof of compliance. In this paper, we detail the development and application of the TOVE ISO 9000 Micro-Theory, a model of ISO 9000 developed using ontologies for quality management (measurement, traceability, and quality management system ontologies). In so doing, we demonstrate that when enterprise models are developed using ontologies, they can be leveraged to support business analytics problems - in particular, compliance evaluation - and are sharable.
This paper studies the country-level digital divide across successive generations of IT, providing detailed insights into the magnitude and changing nature of the divide. We examine a panel of 40 countries from 1985-2001, based on data from three distinct generations of IT: mainframes, personal computers, and the Internet. Using two measures of IT penetration, we conduct an empirical investigation of socio-economic factors driving the digital divide. We find that IT penetration is positively associated with national income for all three technology generations, and the association between penetration and income is stronger for countries with higher levels of IT penetration. We also examine other demographic and economic factors, going beyond income, and find significant differences in the nature of their effects across countries at different stages of IT adoption. Importantly, factors that previously may have been expanding the divide with earlier technologies are narrowing the gap as the Internet becomes the defining technology of the Information Age.
Although there has been a significant increase in networked communication and a growing interest in virtual organizing, to date researchers have yet to establish consistent terminology and have paid little attention to how specific characteristics of the electronic network influence social dynamics such as knowledge contribution. To address this gap, we develop a theoretical model and a set of propositions that explain knowledge contribution in voluntary, computer-mediated, very large and open networks focused on knowledge exchange around a specific practice. We base our model on theories of social networks and collective action to explain how a social network of volunteers sustains productive exchanges between individuals, such as the exchange of knowledge. We utilize the concept of a network of practice to illustrate how the macrostructural properties of the communication media, network size, access to the network, and mode of participation affect network dynamics and knowledge contribution. We then develop a model and a set of propositions to suggest that knowledge contribution within an electronic network of practice is dependent upon 1) the macrostructural properties of the network, 2) the structure of ties that create the network, 3) the relational quality of ties that develop between individuals and the network as a whole, 4) the use of social controls, and 5) the distribution of individual motivations and resources in the network. We further predict that knowledge contribution influences the distribution of individual motivations and resources, as well as serves to create and recreate network structure over time. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of our theory for current and future research.
As authors of Information Systems (IS) Action Research (AR) studies attempt to report their results, the calls for AR research design, conduct, presentation, and evaluation guidelines must be answered to advance the maturation process of AR and move it into a more prominent position in mainstream publications. AR is a research approach that is most often associated with researchers who subscribe to an interpretive epistemology and collect qualitative data and is more common in Europe and Australia than in North America. To further IS AR, especially in North America, we offer ten recommendations based on a post-positivist synthesis of four dialectics: rigor/relevance, positivist/interpretive epistemology, quantitative/qualitative methodology, and confirmatory/disconfirmatory evidence. Any researcher may profit from developing his or her own synthesis of these four dialectics. Our synthesis reveals an innovative view of falsifiability, grounded theory methodology, triangulation, and recommendations for presentation of findings to a broad audience in mainstream research journals.
While there has been some research on coordination in FLOSS, such research has focused on coordination within a project or within a group. The area of cross-project coordination, where shared goals are tenuous or non-existent, has been under-researched. This paper explores the question of how multiple projects working on a single piece of existing software in the FLOSS environment can coordinate. Using the Ordering Systems lens, we examine this question via a cross-case analysis of four projects performed on the open source game Jagged Alliance 2 (JA2) in the forum Bear's Pit. Our main findings are that: (1) Ongoing cross-project ordering systems are influenced by the materiality of development artifacts. (2) The emergent trajectory of cross-project ordering systems is influenced by affordances that emerge from the interaction between the goals and desires of the project team building the development artifact, and the materiality of the development artifact. (3) When two parties need to coordinate in the ordering system, all or almost all coordination effort can be borne by a single party. Furthermore, over time, emergent FLOSS projects bear more coordination effort than stable, mature projects.
Home health care can enable shorter hospital stays, reduce re-hospitalization, and contribute to lowered out-of-hospital morbidity and mortality. However, recent changes in Medicare payments and regulations in the US have challenged home health care providers' business models. Against this backdrop, we draw on the dynamic capability perspective to examine how one home health care provider responded to this challenge over the period 2000-2009 by combining adaptive organization principles and information technology (IT) to transform its post-acute care delivery. The transformation leveraged the organization's existing dynamic capabilities; improved nursing practices; engaged physicians, nurses, managers, and patients; and implemented remote patient monitoring and other IT-enabled innovations. Integrating information systems and health services literatures, we identify the processes targeted by the transformation, analyze how the provider built adaptive care delivery capability enabled by IT, and demonstrate how the transformation led to improved clinical and financial outcomes. In addition, we offer new insights into the micro-foundations of dynamic capabilities by distinguishing between capabilities at the transactional and transformational levels, and explaining how different types of IT-enabled capabilities shaped, and were shaped by, the home health care provider's responses to environmental changes.
In this paper we consider what it means to be an informed IS researcher by focusing attention on theory adaptation in IS research. The basic question we seek to address is: "When one borrows theory from another discipline, what are the issues that one must consider?" After examining the role of theory in IS research, we focus on escalation theory applied to IS projects as an example. In doing so, we seek to generate increased awareness of the issues that one might consider when adapting theories from other domains to research in our field. This increased awareness may then translate to a more informed use of theories in IS. Following a self-reflexive tale of how and why escalation theory was adopted to IS research, we offer four recommendations for theory adaptation: (1) consider the fit between selected theory and phenomenon of interest, (2) consider the theory's historical context, (3) consider how the theory impacts the choice of research method, and (4) consider the contribution of theorizing to cumulative theory.
Finding information within websites is becoming an increasing challenge as the size and the complexity of websites soar. One possible solution is to adapt the view of the site to the task in hand. Although such a procedure is technically feasible, the effectiveness of such designs is yet to be tested. Assuming user scenarios that involve searches by browsing rather than structured queries, we build on models of searching in text to formulate a task representation of searches within websites. This task representation is used to model the effects of adapted websites on performance and satisfaction. We have, therefore, two main aims: (1) to propose a task representation of website searches, and (2) to use it to explore the effect of adaptive designs on performance and satisfaction.
This paper addresses the variance in findings across Group Support Systems (GSS) studies by suggesting an expanded consideration of organizational and contextual elements in Adaptive Structuration Theory (AST). We propose a model of structuring tactics at three levels of abstraction: the meeting level, activity level, and real time intervention level. We illustrate this model with three specific purposeful structuring tactics — agendas, design patterns, and micro-processes —and present related propositions. In addition to reviewing the more familiar tactics of agenda setting and group facilitation, we illustrate an approach to creating GSS value based on invoking particular social structures. We accomplish this through consideration of a design pattern language for collaboration processes drawn from the Collaboration Engineering literature. We conclude by discussing how this model of structuring tactics advances theory and practice in the GSS domain.
This study analyzes the mandatory FLOSS policies of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the initiatives associated with the adoption process. An expanded version of Gallivan's (2001) framework of contingent authority innovation describes the way new policies extended through the public structure of the country. Findings indicate that Venezuela's FLOSS migration process fuses the agendas of social inclusion, sovereignty, and freedom that the government is pursuing with the availability of a "Free Libre" technology. The present project specifically contributes to the literature that examines information and communication technology policies and their impact on developing countries. In addition, the theoretical expansion of Gallivan's framework can apply to other governmental technological adoptions where ideology and politics play critical roles.
A software process innovation, such as software reuse, involves both technology and administration innovation. Following literature on organizational change, absorptive capacity, innovation assimilation stages, and software reuse, we develop a process model of the assimilation trajectory of an organization¡¯s innovation. The model postulates that actors at different organizational levels implement strategy, process, and culture changes in order for an organization to advance through the stages of innovation assimilation. The actions at these levels instill routines that establish the absorptive capacity for implementing future innovations. Case-study data collected from four software development sites ¨C two reporting failure in the reuse program, and two reporting success ¨C revealed that programs that implemented change at the strategy, process and culture levels scored higher on all paths in the model than non-successful programs. The right incentives help in the latter stages of innovation assimilation during which culture change by operational staff is important.
Online communities enable members to exchange messages, and rich content is generated in the wake of these contributions. Little research has systematically investigated how this content is utilized. In this paper we use the Heuristic-Systematic Model of information processing to explore the mechanisms by which the potential value of these information assets can be realized. We argue that the extent to which message content and heuristic cues influence the validity assessment process is moderated by two factors: how consistent the new information is with what is already known and the extent to which information-seeking members are actively searching for on-topic information to satisfy their specific information needs. Survey data collected from two online communities generally support the hypotheses derived from this model. This study demonstrates that community members process information from online communities in a highly contextual manner that may extend to the functionality of the technical tools provided by the online communities. It also suggests numerous opportunities for future research and potential ways that online communities might improve their information sharing.
While technology adoption is a major stream of research in information systems, few studies have examined the antecedents and consequences of mandatory adoption of technologies. To address this gap, we develop and test a model of mandatory citizen adoption of an e-government technology. Based on a framework that outlines the key stages associated with the launch of technology products, we identify various external factors as antecedents of four key technology adoption variables from the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT), i.e., performance expectancy, effort expectancy, social influence, and facilitating conditions, which ultimately impact citizen satisfaction. The four stages of technology launch and the salient antecedents in each stage are: market preparation stage - awareness; targeting stage - compatibility and self-efficacy; positioning stage - flexibility and avoidance of personal interaction; and execution stage - trust, convenience, and assistance. We test our model in a two-stage survey of 1,179 Hong Kong citizens, before and after they were issued a mandatory smart card to access e-government services. We find that the various factors tied to the different stages in launching the technology predict key technology adoption variables that, in turn, predict citizen satisfaction with e-government technology. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications for governments implementing technologies whose use by citizens is mandated.
The question of why a user adopts an information technology (IT) artifact has received ample research attention in the past few decades. Although recent adoption research has focused on investigating some of the relational and experiential aspects associated with adopting and using IT artifacts, the theories utilized have been static in nature. Furthermore, many have been based on traditional models like TAM and TPB, which focus on the utilitarian benefits that users accrue from their interactions with IT artifacts. Independently, recent research has paid much-needed attention to factors surrounding the use of IT artifacts. In this paper, we offer an overview of a theoretical model that connects these two interrelated processes. Starting with a survey of concepts related to social interactions, we present an argument in support of viewing IT artifacts as social actors, whose characteristics are manifested within the context of interactions. The proposed interaction-centric model highlights how the characteristics of an IT artifact, together with the user's internal system and other structuring factors, affect users' choices in terms of how to utilize the artifact. The nature of that utilization, subsequently, affects the beliefs users form about the artifact and the outcomes from using it. Furthermore, the model proposes that users will also form beliefs about their bond or relationship with the IT artifact. These beliefs do not refer to observations made in a single interaction, but rather concern users' mental representations of past interactions and outcomes. To facilitate the study of the relationship that develops from user-artifact interactions over time, the model describes how past interactions affect future ones. Specifically, it proposes that deciding how to utilize an IT artifact in subsequent interaction, consistent with theories of relationship development, is influenced by already held beliefs about the artifact and the relationship with it.
The development, adoption, and acceptance of eHealth systems that change and improve patient self-care have been promising, but the results have been mixed and the work mostly atheoretical. In this paper, we respond to this opportunity by developing and assessing an eHealth system for newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes patients. Study participants used the eHealth system for a 12-month period after diagnosis in an attempt to acquire an understanding about their diabetes, develop self-care activities (e.g., blood glucose testing), and improve their biomedical outcomes. Drawing upon theories and methods from information systems and upon the Precede-Proceed model of health promotion planning, we explored the double adoption of eHealth technology and its antecedents, self-care practices and their antecedents, and improvements in biomedical outcomes important to long-term diabetes health. Path model results indicate important implications for information systems, eHealth, and health promotion practice and research, which are discussed.
The emergence of infomediaries ?which allow online consumers to search for, and provide comparisons among, many online retailers ?is a prominent trend in e-commerce. However, little research has been done on consumer reactions to this new e-commerce tool. To explain why and how online shoppers adopt a new infomediary website, this study proposes a conceptual model with insights obtained from literatures on the technology acceptance model (TAM), the economics of intermediation, and transaction cost analysis (TCA). Infomediaries provide powerful search capabilities to online shoppers to provide them with a list of potential retailers (efficiency benefits), and then provide information to aid in selecting from this list of retailers (effectiveness benefits). Accordingly, the proposed model posits that infomediaries offer two major types of utilitarian benefits to online customers: namely, perceived efficiency and perceived effectiveness. In addition, the model predicts that one's willingness to adopt an infomediary is a function of his/her evaluation of the two types of utilitarian benefits of using the infomediary, which are in turn determined by the subjective interpretation of his/her e-commerce transaction environment. The model was tested using data collected from an online questionnaire administered to 367 online shoppers. Online shoppers?intention to use the infomediary was found to be a function of the two types of utilitarian benefits and perceived ease of use. In addition, our findings suggest that online shoppers who are low on asset specificity (e.g., consumers who have not made a high transaction-specific investment toward a specific online retailer) and who also are high on uncertainty (e.g., consumers who believe that online retailers in general are opportunistic) tend to appreciate the benefits of using an infomediary more than other online shoppers.
In recent work, researchers have supplemented traditional IS adoption models with new constructs that capture users' relational, social, and emotional beliefs. These beliefs have given rise to questions regarding their antecedents and the nature of the user-artifact relationship. This paper sheds light on these questions by asserting that users perceive and respond to information technology (IT) artifacts as social partners and form perceptions about their social characteristics. Subsequently, users' perceptions of the similarity of these characteristics to their own affect evaluations of these artifacts. Within the context of online shopping and using an automated shopping assistant, our paper draws upon social psychology and human-computer interaction research in developing hypotheses regarding the effects of perceived personality similarity (PPS) and erceived decision process similarity (PDPS) on a number of beliefs (enjoyment, social presence, trust, ease of use, and usefulness). The results indicate that PDPS acts as an antecedent to these beliefs, while the effects of PPS are largely mediated by PDPS. Furthermore, the results reveal that the effects of perceived similarity, in general, exceed those of the effects of the individual assessments of the user's and the assistant's personalities and decision processes. These results have important implications for IS design. They highlight the importance of designing artifacts that can be matched to users' characteristics. They also underscore the importance of considering similarity perceptions rather than solely focusing on perceptions of the IT artifact's characteristics; a common approach in IS adoption research.
This study investigates factors that affect usage changes in mobile data services (MDS). First, we conducted an exploratory study based on 378 survey responses to learn about important decision factors of MDS usage. It revealed a discrepancy between the forces influencing usage increase and those of usage decrease. Based on the findings from the exploratory study and Hertzberg's two-factor theory, we postulated information quality as the motivator and system quality as the de-motivator of MDS usage. Then, we undertook a confirmative study on the respective roles of these factors in encouraging and discouraging the usage of MDS. We proposed a research model and empirically tested our hypotheses with partial least square (PLS) analysis based on 478 responses from MDS users. Information quality (as a motivator) was positively associated with MDS usage increase, but system quality (as a de-motivator) was not. Also, system quality was negatively associated with usage decrease, but information quality was not. Last, their association was partially moderated by the type of motivation for using MDS. Information quality had a stronger influence on MDS usage increase when the main motive was utilitarian rather than hedonic.
U-commerce represents "anytime, anywhere" commerce. U-commerce can provide a high level of personalization, which can bring significant benefits to customers. However, customers' privacy is a major concern and obstacle to the adoption of u-commerce. As customers' intention to adopt u-commerce is based on the aggregate effect of perceived benefits and risk exposure (e.g., privacy concerns), this research examines how personalization and context can impact on customers' perceived benefits and privacy concerns, and how this aggregated effect in turn affects u-commerce adoption intention.
Online product recommendation agents are becoming increasingly prevalent on a wide range of websites. These agents assist customers in reducing information overload, providing advice to find suitable products, and facilitating online decision-making. Consumer trust in recommendation agents is an integral factor influencing their successful adoption. However, the nature of trust in technological artifacts is still an under-investigated and not well understood topic. Online recommendation agents work on behalf of individual users (principals) by reflecting their specific needs and preferences. Trust issues associated with online recommendation agents are complicated. Users may be concerned about the competence of an agent to satisfy their needs as well as its integrity and benevolence in regard to acting on their behalf rather than on behalf of a web merchant or a manufacture. This study extends the interpersonal trust construct to trust in online recommendation agents and examines the nomological validity of trust in agents by testing an integrated Trust-TAM (Technology Acceptance Model). The results from a laboratory experiment confirm the nomological validity of trust in online recommendation agents. Consumers treat online recommendation agents as " social actors" and perceive human characteristics (e.g., benevolence and integrity) in computerized agents. Furthermore, the results confirm the validity of Trust-TAM to explain online recommendation acceptance and reveal the relative importance of consumers' initial trust vis-¨¤-vis other antecedents addressed by TAM (i.e. perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use). Both the usefulness of the agents as "tools" and consumers' trust in the agents as "virtual assistants" are important in consumers' intentions to adopt online recommendation agents.
Although more and more small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) use the Internet for business purposes, few of them have adopted the Internet as an online direct sales channel (ODSC). Among those that do use the ODSC, some end up abandoning it after adoption. This study explores a few critical factors underlying the initial adoption and continued use of online direct sales channels among SMEs. Synthesizing existing works, we construct an innovation adoption decision factors classification framework that classifies innovation decision factors into three dimensions: decision entity factors, decision object factors, and context factors. We then operationalize these factors in the context of SMEs' initial adoption and post-adoption continued use of online direct sales channels. We conduct a survey study on SMEs within the United States. The results demonstrate that an SME's initial adoption and post-adoption continued use of an ODSC involve different sets of decision factors. Furthermore, results demonstrate a learning effect within adopting firms that implies they perceive the relative advantage of ODSC differently in comparison to pre-adopters.
Technology adoption often occurs sequentially, so that later potential adopters can see the decisions (adopt or not adopt) of earlier potential adopters. In this paper we review the literature on observational learning, in which people use information gained by observing the behavior of others to inform their decisions, and note that little prior research has used an observational learning perspective to understand the adoption of information technology. Based on theory and previous literature, we suggest that observational learning is likely to be common in adoption decisions. We develop a model that extends existing observational learning models and use simulation to test the model. The results suggest that following the behavior of other similarly-situated decision makers can be a very useful strategy in adoption situations in which there is a great deal of uncertainty. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
We provide a framework and evidence to confront two questions: Does the location of an establishment shape its adoption of different complex Internet applications even when controlling for an industry's features? If location does matter, what features in an industry shape whether Internet adoption follows a pattern consistent with the urban leadership or global village hypotheses? Our findings show that both industry and location play a significant role in explaining the geographic variance in adoption. We also find that industries differ in their sensitivity to location. Information technology-using industries are more sensitive than are information technology-producing industries to the changes in costs and gross benefits affiliated with changes in location size. Moreover, industries with high labor costs and those that are geographically concentrated are more sensitive to changes in gross benefits that occur with increases in location size. Overall, our results provide evidence for an industrial digital divide.
This study integrates the literature on computer anxiety and communication apprehension to determine their joint impact upon individual attitudes toward using and use of computer mediated communication (CMC). We introduce the application-specific CMC anxiety, defined as an individual's level of fear or apprehension associated with actual or anticipated use of information technology to communicate with others. Furthermore, we advance a new nomological structure that positions CMC anxiety as a proximal mediating construct between the more general constructs of computer anxiety, communication apprehension, and CMC familiarity, and the dependent constructs of CMC attitudes and use. We develop and empirically test this nomological structure, finding that computer anxiety, oral communication apprehension, and CMC familiarity contribute to CMC anxiety, while written communication apprehension does not. CMC anxiety fully mediates the relationship between the general constructs and attitude toward using CMC. CMC anxiety explains 34% of the variance in attitudes, while attitudes, coupled with familiarity, explain 14% of the variance in CMC use.
Significant prior research has shown that facilitation is a critical part of GSS transition. This study examines an under-researched aspect of facilitation—its contributions to self-sustained GSS use among group members. Integrating insights from Adaptive Structuration Theory, experimental economics, and the Collaboration Engineering literature, we formalize interactions of group members in GSS transition as strategic interactions in a minimum-effort coordination game. The contributions of facilitation are interpreted as coordination mechanisms to help group members achieve and maintain an agreement on GSS use by reducing uncertainties in the coordination game. We implement the conjectured coordination mechanisms in a multi-agent simulator. The simulator offers insights into the separate and combined effects of common facilitation practices during the lifecycle of GSS transition. These insights can help the Collaboration Engineering community to identify and package the facilitation routines that are critical for group members to achieve self-sustained GSS use and understand how facilitation routines should be adapted to different stages of GSS transition lifecycle. Moreover, they indicate the value of the multi-agent approach in uncovering new insights and representing the issue of GSS transition with a new view.
We provide a background discussion of group support systems (GSS) research into aiding strategic management processes. GSS support for strategic management has been primarily focused on qualitative analysis and the communication processes surrounding strategic planning. While fully developed in common decision-support systems, powerful simulation modeling and quantitative analytical tools have been difficult to integrate into GSS system configurations because they require increased cognitive load and expert modeling support, a central problem now addressed by collaboration engineering. A conceptual and functional bridge is needed to integrate the qualitative and quantitative approaches, reduce cognitive load, and provide modeling support that does not require experts. Acar’s analytical causal mapping is introduced as a structured method for situational formulation and analysis of unstructured strategic problems. This form of causal mapping includes specific processes and analytical approaches offering cognitive modeling support for problem formulation. Its computational capabilities provide support for Systems Thinking approaches in a system easy to learn and use. Using the methodological template of the design science paradigm, we contribute a prototype system for the development and simulation of causal maps that uses RePast 2.0, a Java agent-based modeling (ABM) and simulation library.
With millions invested in knowledge management (KM), researchers and organizations are constantly investigating how firms can best organize their KM processes to reap instrumental benefits. Yet, most KM research, apart from being fragmented, overemphasizes knowledge creation and draws little attention to key intermediaries in the KM process. The paper captures the specificity of agents as key players binding knowledge creation and knowledge application. Specifically, the paper introduces a conceptual process model that views knowledge management as an agent-mediated series of knowledge transformations, envisioned as the agent-mediated knowledge-in-motion model. The proposed agent-mediated knowledge-in-motion (KiM) model embodies the cycle of knowledge creation and reuse. By tying agent-based research to knowledge creation and application, the paper describes how organizations can strategically employ human and software agents to enhance the creation, transfer, application, and dissemination of knowledge. In the process, the paper highlights specific roles and attributes of various agents in the KM process. Using the organization as the primary unit of analysis, the scope of the discussion surrounds the conceptualization of an agent-mediated knowledge management process where data is transformed into information, information to knowledge, knowledge to creativity, creativity to innovation, and finally, the diffusion of innovation into data- thus tying together a cycle of knowledge transitions from creation to reuse.
In this paper, we present our conception of a Flexible Agent Society (FAS), an extension of the Contractual Agent Society (CAS) idea. Essentially, a FAS is a distributed information system modeling an agent society, providing agents with the ability to collaborate in order to meet certain common goals. In a FAS, unlike the CAS, the agents themselves have control over the workflow processes and multi-agent conversations that they need to execute in order to meet their common goals.
Interfaces now employ a variety of media-rich, social, and advanced decision-making components, including recommendation agents (RA) designed to assist users with their tasks. Social presence has been identified as a key consideration in website design to overcome the lack of warmth, social cues, and face-to-face interaction, but few studies have investigated the interface features that may increase social presence. Recent research on RAs has similarly acknowledged social presence as a key factor in the design of online RAs and in building trust in this technology, but there has been limited empirical work on the topic. In this study an experiment was conducted to explore how social technology cues, media capabilities, and individual differences influence social presence and trust in an RA. RA personality (extraversion), vividness (text, voice, and animation), and computer playfulness were found to influence social presence, with social presence serving in a mediating role and increasing user trust in the RA. Vividness also had a moderating effect on the relationship between RA extraversion and social presence such that increased levels of vividness strengthen this relationship.
Prior literature focuses on trust, while largely ignoring distrust, partly because of the assumption that an Information Technology (IT) design that builds trust in the IT will also prevent distrust-building. However, this assumption may not be true if trust-building processes and distrust-building processes in the context of IT usage are different. This paper proposes a two-process view of trust and distrust building, i.e., that trust-building and distrust-building processes are distinct and separate. In the context of recommendation agent (RA) usage in electronic commerce, a trust (distrust) process is defined as a customer’s favorable (unfavorable) interpretation of his or her interactions with an RA, resulting in a positive (negative) expectation that the RA can be relied upon for his or her shopping decisions. This study empirically tests a process theory rather than a variance theory. Variance theory research relies on logical arguments to explain and test the causality relationships among variables. Process theory research complements variance theory research by revealing and testing the mechanisms that constitute the processes by which certain variables influence others. In this processtracing study, we collected and analyzed the concurrent verbal protocols from 49 participants using two RAs. The results of our protocol analysis support the proposed two-process view. The pattern of trust-building processes in RA usage is systematically different from that of distrust-building processes, which may suggest that some RA features should be designed to increase trust, and others to decrease distrust. The findings also suggest that distrust deserves research attention on its own merit. In a complex relationship involving both trust building and distrust building, understanding both trust and distrust processes, rather than focusing on trust alone, can lead to a more accurate representation and improved management of that complex relationship.
This study develops a research model of how the technical, behavioral, and business capabilities of IT personnel are associated with IT infrastructure capabilities, and how the latter are associated with IT-dependent organizational agility, which is conceptualized as comprising IT-dependent system, information, and strategic agility. Analysis of cross-sectional data collected from 293 IT managers generally corroborates the hypothesized relationships, showing that the technical and behavioral capabilities of IT personnel have a positive effect on infrastructure capabilities. The analysis also provides evidence that the effect of infrastructure capabilities on IT-dependent strategic agility is direct, as well as mediated by IT-dependent system and information agility. The validity of the findings is strengthened by demonstrating that the hypothesized research model fits the data better than two alternative theoretically-anchored models describing different relationships between the same constructs. This study advances understanding of the interrelationships between two major subsets of IT capabilities, and their relationships with the agility afforded by IT.
Identifying causal relationships is an important aspect of scientific inquiry. Causal relationships help us to infer, predict, and plan. This research investigates the causal relationships between two constructs, perceived enjoyment ( PE) and perceived ease of use (PEOU), within the nomological net of user technology acceptance. PE has been theorized and empirically validated as either an antecedent or a consequence of PEOU. We believe that there are two reasons that account for this ambiguity the conceptual coupling of PE and PEOU and the limitations of covariance-based statistical methods. Accordingly, we approach this inconsistency by providing more theoretical reasoning and employing an alternative statistical method, namely Cohen's path analysis. Specifically, as suggested by previous research on the difference between utilitarian and hedonic systems, we propose the conditional dominance of causal directions. Empirical results from two studies using different technologies and user samples support the theoretical claim that the PE PEOU causal direction outweighs the PEOU PE direction for utilitarian systems. There are both theoretical and the methodical contributions of this research. The approach applied in this research can be generalized to study causal relationships between conceptually coupled variables, which otherwise may be overlooked by confirmatory methods. We encourage researchers to pay attention to causal directions in addition to causal connectedness.
In this commentary, I respond to Benbasat and Zmud¡¯s (2003) call for a new identity for the IS field. While agreeing with the need for change, I disagree with parts of their portrayal of our new identity and the means for achieving it. I first suggest that identity should be flexible and adaptable rather than inflexible and rigid. A flexible identity can be changed more easily when circumstances require. Second, I caution against promoting our own new identity too vigorously because self-promotion can produce the undesirable image of an insecure field concerned with its reputation. It would be better, in my opinion, to protect past accomplishments while responding to the pragmatic demands of immediate audiences through research that addresses their concerns. Third, we need to heed Benbasat and Zmud¡¯s advice to establish our identity without severing ties with contributing disciplines. Finally, IS should avoid the lure of a dominant paradigm. Despite its potentially galvanizing effect, a dominant paradigm threatens the rich diversity that has characterized IS research since its inception.
Social network analysis (SNA) offers a richer and more objective way of examining individual journal influence and relationships among journals than studies based on individual perceptions, since it avoids personal biases. This article demonstrates how SNA can be used to study the nature of the IS discipline, by presenting results from an exploratory SNA of 125 previously ranked journals from IS and allied disciplines. While many of the most prominent journals in the network are still associated with IS's foundational disciplines, we identify several IS journals that play important roles in disseminating information throughout different subcomponents of the network. We also identify related groups of journals based not only on patterns of information flow, but also on similarity in citation patterns. This enables us to identify the core set of journals that is important for "pure IS" research, as well as other subsets of journals that are important for specialty areas of interest. Overall, results indicate that the IS discipline is still somewhat fragmented and is still a net receiver, as opposed to a net provider, of information from allied disciplines. Like other forms of analysis, SNA is not entirely free from biases. However, these biases can be systematically researched in order to develop an improved, consistent tool with which to examine the IS field via citations among member journals. Thus, while many challenges remain in applying SNA techniques to the study of IS journals, the opportunity to track trends in the discipline over time, with a larger basket of journals, suggests a number of valuable future applications of SNA for understanding the IS publication system.
As information systems managers come under increasing pressure to improve the cost performance of information processing, outsourcing has become an important management strategy. Although information systems outsourcing is now a major industry, it is still a new decision problem for many managers. As managers gain more and more experience with IS outsourcing, satisfaction with vendor performance is becoming a major issue. Key to managing outsourcing relationships is the outsourcing contract. These contracts assign responsibilities and rewards for the parties. However, improperly or incompletely written contracts have lead to adverse problems. How then are managers to choose from a set of options that which is most appropriate for their firm? Outsourcing problems are complex and Journal of the Association for Information Systems 2 entail considerable implications for the strategy of the firm. Although many articles have appeared on outsourcing, few have extended the discussion beyond simple cost-benefit analysis. Contracts that encourage vendor performance and discourage under-performance are clearly of interest to managers. In this paper, an approach to analyzing incentive schemes and structuring outsourcing contracts for the mutual gain of the parties is presented. The approach provides managers with a strategy and techniques for analyzing some of the more subtle issues they may face when dealing with complex outsourcing decision problems.
Designing e-infrastructure is work conducted today with an eye toward long-term sustainability. Participants in such development projects find themselves caught with one foot in the demands of the present and the other in a desired future. In this paper we seek to capture participants' formulation of problems as they go about developing long-term information infrastructure. Drawing from cross-case ethnographic studies of four US e-infrastructure projects for the earth and environmental sciences (cyberinfrastructure), we trace nine tensions as they are framed and articulated by participants. To assist in understanding participants' orientations we abstract three concerns - motivating contribution, aligning end goals, and designing for use - which manifest themselves uniquely at each of the 'scales of infrastructure': institutionalization, the organization of work, and enacting technology. The concept of "the long now" helps us understand that participants seek to simultaneously address all three concerns in long-term development endeavors.
Traditionally, Systems Analysis and Design (SAD) research has focused on ways of working and ways of modeling. Design ecology - the task, organizational and political context surrounding design - is less well understood. In particular, relationships between design routines and products within ecologies have not received sufficient attention. In this paper, we theorize about design product and ecology relationships and deliberate on how design products - viewed as boundary objects - bridge functional knowledge and stakeholder power gaps across different social worlds. We identify four essential features of design boundary objects: capability to promote shared representation, capability to transform design knowledge, capability to mobilize for action, and capability to legitimize design knowledge. We show how these features help align, integrate, and transform heterogeneous technical and domain knowledge across social worlds as well as mobilize, coordinate, and align stakeholder power. We illustrate through an ethnography of a large aerospace laboratory how two design artifacts - early proto-architectures and project plans - shared these four features to coalesce design processes and propel successful movement of designs across social worlds. These artifacts resolved uncertainty associated with functional requirements and garnered political momentum to choose among design solutions. Altogether, the study highlights the importance of design boundary objects in multi-stakeholder designs and stresses the need to formulate sociology-based design theories on how knowledge is produced and consumed in complex SAD tasks.
This study is part of a program aimed at creating measures enabling a fairer and more complete assessment of a scholar's contribution to a field, thus bringing greater rationality and transparency to the promotion and tenure process. It finds current approaches toward the evaluation of research productivity to be simplistic, atheoretic, and biased toward reinforcing existing reputation and power structures. This study examines the use of the Hirsch family of indices, a robust and theoretically informed metric, as an addition to prior approaches to assessing the s of IS researchers. It finds that while the top tier journals are important indications of a scholar's impact, they are neither the only nor, indeed, the most important sources of scholarly influence. Other ranking studies, by narrowly bounding the venues included in those studies, distort the discourse and effectively privilege certain venues by declaring them to be more highly influential than warranted. The study identifies three different categories of scholars: those who publish primarily in North American journals, those who publish primarily in European journals, and a transnational set of authors who publish in both geographies. Excluding the transnational scholars, for the scholars who published in these journal sets during the period of this analysis, we find that North American scholars tend to be more influential than European scholars, on average. We attribute this difference to a difference in the publication culture of the different geographies. This study also suggests that the ose with relatively low influence. Therefore, to be a part of the top European scholar list requires a higher level of influence than to be a part of the top North American scholar list.
This paper presents a comprehensive framework for describing the diffusion of the Internet in a country. It incorporates insights gained from in-depth studies of about 25 countries undertaken since 1997. The framework characterizes diffusion using six dimensions, defining them in detail, and examines how the six dimensions relate to underlying bodies of theory from the national systems of innovation and diffusion of innovations approaches. It addresses how to apply the framework in practice, highlighting Internet diffusion determinants. This framework is useful for business stakeholders wanting to make use of and invest in the Internet, for policy makers debating how to positively (or negatively) influence its use and development, and for researchers studying the large-scale diffusion of complex, interrelated technologies.
This paper guides the theoretical development of future research on interorganizational systems (IOS). We first assess past IOS research by reviewing and summarizing the findings of 51 empirical studies of IOS published in 11 IS journals between 1990 and 2003. This literature addresses three primary issues: (1) factors influencing organizational decisions to adopt IOS; (2) the impact of IOS on governance over economic transactions; and (3) the organizational consequences of IOS adoption. From our assessment of the findings and theoretical approaches taken in past research, we offer three recommendations for future research. First, the theoretical foundations of IOS research during this period are diverse, representing 17 different yet complementary theories. We recommend that researchers continue to diversify their theoretical approaches in order to address new research challenges. Second, we recommend that IOS researchers move beyond mere descriptions of IOS artifacts by engaging with IOS artifacts on theoretical grounds. Third, we identify and describe new theoretical directions for future IOS research in each of the main issue areas.
This research proposes that technological artifacts are perceived as social actors, and that users can attribute personality and behavioral traits to them. These formed perceptions interact with the user’s own characteristics to construct an evaluation of the similarity between the user and the technological artifact. Such perceptions of similarity are important because individuals tend to more positively evaluate others, in this case technological artifacts, to whom they are more similar. Using an automated shopping assistant as one type of technological artifact, we investigate two types of perceived similarity between the customer and the artifact: perceived personality similarity and perceived behavioral similarity. We then investigate how design characteristics drive a customer’s perceptions of these similarities and, importantly, the bases for those design characteristics. Decisional guidance and speech act theory provide the basis for personality manifestation, while normative versus heuristic-based decision rules provide the basis for behavioral manifestation. We apply these design bases in an experiment. The results demonstrate that IT design characteristics can be used to manifest desired personalities and behaviors in a technological artifact. Moreover, these manifestations of personality and behavior interact with the customer’s own personality and behaviors to create matching perceptions of personality and behavioral similarity between the customer and the artifact. This study emphasizes the need to consider technological artifacts as social actors and describes the specific ways in which technology design can manifest social attributes. In doing so, we show that it is possible to match the social attributes of a technological artifact with those of the user.
The electronic commerce assurance market has been estimated to be potentially worth $11 billion. To date the focus of assurance services has largely been on web commerce (and therefore business to consumer) related services, leaving the business-to-business (B2B or B-to-B) electronic commerce market relatively untapped. Yet, with Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) being mandated by large companies and government agencies, small- to medium-sized firms have struggled to acquire and implement this technology with little understanding of this new age of electronic commerce. As the ubiquitous Internet allows more firms to become EDI-capable, there is an imminent need for having some independent means for assuring the quality of B2B electronic commerce and related business practices. This need is not only crucial for smaller trading partners, but is essential to the success of larger firms who want to realize reduced cycle times, improved customer service and a greater return on their technology investments by electronically controlling the entire value-chain. This paper proposes a framework for delivering B2B electronic commerce assurance services and discusses some potential implications for such services.
Information Infrastructures typically evolve in an incremental fashion, through partly planned and unplanned processes. A significant mechanism of growth is when previously unconnected systems are integrated, facilitating the transition from networking to inter-networking. Conversely, failure to integrate systems contributes to the lack of evolution of the infrastructure. Integration seems crucial for evolving infrastructures; however, there is little consensus on what it entails, as can be seen when different connotations of ‘integration” are unpacked. In contrast to the dominant view of integration as a largely technical concern, our focus is on how political and institutional interests are embedded in efforts to achieve integration. More specifically, we explore strategies for institutional integration that take into account uneven distribution of political influence. The paper builds on empirical material from our ongoing (2001 – 2008) involvement with the problem of fragmented information systems in the health care sector in India. The case is seen from the perspective of one small actor offering free, open-source software that is already being used in several other developing countries. Choosing to focus on a small actor highlights the asymmetric power relations among the actors; our actor has no other option than to seek to align with bigger and more influential actors. We analyse the strategies, the configurable politics, and the outcomes of the distinct configurations that emerge from this form of asymmetric integration.
The application of text mining in organizations is growing. Text classification, an important type of text mining problem, is characterized by a large attribute space and entails an efficient and effective attribute selection procedure. There are two general attribute selection approaches: the filter approach and the wrapper approach. While the wrapper approach is potentially more effective in finding the best attribute subset, it is cost-prohibitive in most text classification applications. In this paper, we propose a hybrid attribute selection approach that is both efficient and effective for text classification problems. We apply the proposed approach to detect and prevent Internet abuse in the workplace, which is becoming a major problem in modern organizations. The empirical evaluations we conducted using a variety of classification algorithms, indexing schemes, and attribute selection methods demonstrate the utility of the proposed approach. We found that combining the filter and wrapper approaches not only boosts the accuracies of text classifiers but also brings down the computational costs significantly.