Department of Digitalization

Renowned Scholars Seminar Series

The renowned scholars seminar series is hosted at CBS by the Department of Digitalization and organized by Michel Avital. All seminars are held on Fridays 10:00-12:00 at Howitzvej 60, 5th floor (unless noted otherwise.) The seminars are open to all. Registration is not required but would be much appreciated. To sign up, please send an email to

Upcoming Seminars

The seminar series will resume following the summer break.


10:00-12:00 HOW 60. 5.23


Summer Break



Past Seminars

7 June 2024, Dezhi Wu, University of South Carolina

XAI-Driven Platform Design for Problem-solving: A Scaffolding Perspective
In this seminar, I will present a study in which we developed an artificial intelligence (AI)-based platform featuring an interactive chatbot to teach users how to solve a complex problem. Given the complexity of its algorithms, the Rubik’s Cube was chosen as a use case, an ideal application for AI strategies. Our AI algorithm employs macro-actions, which refer to a set of moves that are not transparent or usable to users as a black box. Inspired by scaffolding design methods, we integrated the principles of explainable AI (XAI) with cutting-edge conversational user interface designs to create a set of unique and visually engaging user interfaces, fostering active user engagement in the problem-solving process. Utilizing a mixed-methods approach, we conducted a user study that yielded valuable insights into the design and implementation of XAI-driven user interfaces. This study further provides design implications for customizing XAI user interfaces to enhance personalized user experiences.  

Dezhi Wu

24 May 2024, Monideepa Tarafdar, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Does Information Technology Enhance or Diminish Wellbeing? Views from the Dark and Bright Sides

The nature of the relationship between IT and wellbeing is contested. IS scholarship on technology and wellbeing has mirrored this tussle. Starting with utopian views, IT use has shown the promise of increased workplace productivity. However, traversing through the dystopian landscape of phenomena such as technostress and technology addiction, we have also encountered the adverse effects of technology. Now, we have come to realize that there can be a more balanced reality where both the positive and negative aspects co-exist. If it is true that IT makes demands of us, it is equally true that IT gives us the resources to cope with those demands. If techno-distress, as bad stress from IT, is real, so is techno-eustress, the good stress. Alongside the specter of email addiction also stands the possibility of active work engagement. Drawing out a balance between utopian and dystopian views of IT and wellbeing, I will make the case for a responsibility-focused perspective based on human primacy and agency.

monideepa tarafdar

22 March 2024, Dorothy E. Leidner, University of Virginia

Theory and Theorizing in Information Systems Research

This presentation will describe various perspectives of theory and of theorizing in IS research, drawing upon literature as well as my own experiences writing various theory papers.  I will draw heavily from two recent theorizing projects, one of which culminated in the CARE theory of dignity amid personal data digitalization and one of which is currently under first round revision at a major IS journal on the topic of online public shaming.  I will describe my thoughts on theorizing from literature as well as theorizing from empirical observation.

Dorothy Leidner

9 February 2024, Steve Sawyer, Syracuse University

Studying Work Online: Insights into Changes in Working Arrangements, Studying a Digital Platform, and Conducting Longitudinal Research

Drawing on four years of data from an ongoing, longitudinal, panel-based study, in this talk I will focus on the ways in which online labor platforms are reshaping work and working. This is both framed and motivated by three ongoing changes to the economy: (1) pervasive reliance on digital connectivity - and the shift from digital systems to digital infrastructures - that are reshaping both the structures of work and labor markets; (2) the shift to knowledge-based and cognitively-demanding work that relies on abstractions, technical skills, and collaborative problem-solving as the locus of economic value; and, (3) changes in expectations of employment from the career, to the job, to the project or task.  The discussion of findings will focus on the changes we are seeing in how online workers conceive their career trajectory, outline the realities of studying digital platforms (that are often disinterested in being studied), and reflect on some of the lessons learned from pursuing longitudinal research.

Steven Sawyer

19 January 2024, Mikael Wiberg, Umeå University

Theorizing Emerging Human-Machine Relations in the Age of the Third Wave of Artificial Intelligence

In this talk, I will discuss the “Third Wave of Artificial Intelligence,” including the future of work from the viewpoint of how this technology might be a substitute for human labor and its potential in terms of automation. The talk will be based on a journal paper discussing this as two extremes—a scale ranging from full automation (no interaction) to no automation (full interaction). I will present a model we have developed which enables us to examine how different interactive systems combine automation and interaction in various ways. Based on this examination, I will discuss ways of theorizing the relationship between humans and machines, especially in the context of knowledge work and the emergence of generative AI.

Mikael Wiberg

17 November 2023, Jason Bennett Thatcher, Temple University

IS Behavioral Research: From the Center to the Periphery? A Confessional Tale and Conversation

The seminar will offer a confessional analysis of Dr. Jason Bennett Thatcher’s experiences as a behavioral information systems (IS) researcher to stimulate a conversation about changing trends in IS research and their implications for the discipline's legitimacy.  He will argue that the shift from behavioral work at the center of the field in the late 1990s to being just one of many themes in an emerging, sometimes discordant, bricolage of the IS discipline in the 2020s not only poses identity challenges for behavioral IS researchers, but signals the need for a broader conversation about how to weave a coherent story about the identity of the IS discipline for audiences in academia and practice.


13 October 2023, François-Xavier de Vaujany, Université Paris Dauphine-PSL

Managerial Apocalypses: When Digital Management Keeps Unveiling the World

With World War II management has become mainly a digital process that keeps unveiling and revealing the world, what is and more and more, what’s next. Management has become a representational technique. From a set of archives related to the US American mobilization during the war and beyond, de Vaujany explores the encounter between digitality and management. He explores how digitality, both as a technique and a new semiosis, has equipped managers in search of greater control and predictability with the tools they needed. His work shows the reconfiguration of management at stake in the 40s and 50s, and a move from calculative to narrative logics. Contemporary management is henceforth made of incompleting events, voids and moments of waiting. In contrast to most theories of management describing a world of fullness and completeness, digital management is what keeps consuming the world through interruptions, voids and holes used to win a war against ghostly enemies.

François-Xavier de Vaujany

12 May 2023, Dirk Hovorka, University of Sydney

Trajectories, Enactments, Speculations

The future is a contested space. It is always about to arrive, but never quite does. Through our enactment of theories, categories, and designs, we seek to create a better future. Our methods of observation and analysis enable backward-looking explanations of the trajectories between the past and the present.  Surprisingly, IS research rarely considers the future as an inhabited, abundant world. I argue that futures are a contested concept, and within this uncertainty we find space for scientific speculation, observation and choice. To avoid sleepwalking into futures we neither desire nor understand, we can reframe our relationship to futures through speculative forays, experimentation, and design. We can imagine worlds as a site of inquiry to test theory, create novel concepts, and reflect on how values and morals will evolve. We cannot direct futures, but we can work within the imaginaries and expectations of technological and cultural conditions that will underpin futures. In this way, we can begin to envision how the world, and our science, could be otherwise.

Dirk Hovorka

14 April 2023, Kalle Lyytinen, Case Western Reserve University

Foundations of Digital Strategy: A Prolegomena

This talk clarifies why and how digital strategy differs from industrial strategy. I argue that the difference is more significant than replacing analog information with digital information (digitizing) across industrial organizations and related effects on strategy execution. To articulate the true nature of the difference, I review the specific ontological status of digital material and objects in industrial operations and related conditions for strategy formulation. I recognize the unique semiotic quality of digital objects and apply the idea of von Neumann architecture to demonstrate that digital strategy uses as leverage points a three-pronged, largely orthogonal processes of embedding- a process of interlacing elements of one activity/innovation domain to that of another. The three types of embedding necessary for digital strategy articulation are defined: operational embedding (digital object-computer), virtual embedding (real-world phenomena-digital objects), and contextual embedding (performing digital objects in a social setting). During each instance of strategy formulation, the three embedding processes are necessary and interact in unique ways.

Kalle Lyytinen

24 March 2023, Daniel Veit, University of Augsburg

Research on Sustainability or Sustainable Research: Charting the Path for Future Work on Digitalization

Over the past 150 years, humans have consumed as many natural resources as they had consumed in the past 20,000 years. In part, this increasing clip of consumption has been driven by digitalization, as novel, technology-based solutions to create value. The consumption of resources caused by digitalization evokes the question “is more digitalization really better, or given the harm to the planet, this is one context where less is more?” We develop a research agenda for understanding the full cost of digitalization in three parts, first, we offer a definition of sustainability, second, we offer a concise review of the digitalization and sustainability literature, and third, we offer suggestions for research that advances our understanding of how digitalization impacts sustainability.

Daniel Veit

03 February 2023, Viswanath Venkatesh, Virginia Tech

Let’s Get Ready to Contextualize

Building on continuing calls to contextualization and the impacts that context can have, I discuss specific potential approaches to contextualization and how rich scientific contributions can be made in a variety of emerging contexts resulting from digitalization. I also illustrate missed opportunities in prior research due to a lack of sufficient contextualization. Finally, I seek to broaden the view of scientific contributions to be more inclusive of contextualized contributions—and how such a broader view itself can be the key to successful contextualization and concomitant contribution, especially in contexts emerging as a result of digitalization.

Viswanath Venkatesh

21 February 2020, Youngjin Yoo, Case Western Reserve University

Organizing in the Age of Organic Machines
Throughout history, human design and use tools to augment or replace its innate abilities. Drawing upon the work Bergson and Deleuze, I will characterize the emerging socio-technical environments as organic machines and make a few speculative observations on new forms of organizing that is likely to replace digital platforms. I argue that the emergence of global digital infrastructure, autonomous algorithms, user-generated data and cloud-based computing resources create a condition for unrepeatable run-time computational performativity. I then argue that with the emergence of organic machines, organizations will need to acquire new types of capabilities. I suggest four such capabilities: inferential, predictive, generative, and embodiment capabilities. With these capabilities, firms will be able to identify contingencies of user needs and to mobilize resources at or near the point of use. I refer to this emerging form of organizing as a meta-hierarchy as it envelops both a platform ecosystem as a quasi-market, with multiple traditional vertically integrated hierarchies and net-enabled organizations.

Youngjin Yoo

31 January 2020, Magnus Mähring, Stockholm School of Economics

Early-Stage Platform Ecosystems Formation
Extant research into ecosystems based on digital platforms has typically addressed platforms with defined platform ownership, focal firms, and focal technologies, and with ecosystem members acting within a defined set of roles, positions, and governance arrangements. Platform ownership is portrayed as the desired position for firms in general, but only a small percentage of firms can hold such positions. This poses an interesting dilemma for incumbent firms: Are there other options than becoming a platform owner or becoming competitively weakened? In order to understand this, it becomes important to study the emergent processes by which ecosystems come into existence and are shaped. The talk builds on an ongoing research study of early-stage ecosystem formation under high uncertainty in Autonomous Public Transportation, discovering collective orchestration of platform formation as an alternative to the platform owner model.

Magnus Mähring

06 December 2019, Alan Hevner, University of South Florida

Daring to Do Good Design Science Research
Doing good design science research (DSR) is an audacious venture. It is not a journey for those who value conclusive and repeatable research results. DSR projects aspire to create innovative digital artifacts that solve real-world problems in bounded application domains by providing improvements to conditions of the impacted individuals, groups, and societies. Research results include both the designed artifacts and evidence of their impacts along with a fuller scientific understanding via design theories of why the artifacts provide enhancements (or, disruptions) to the relevant application contexts. However, even the most useful results are often eclipsed by rapid changes in the problem and solution spaces. This presentation will survey key challenges of doing good DSR. The challenges of complexity, creativity, control, contribution, and sustainability will be described, examined, and illustrated with recent research results. While formidable challenges exist, doing good DSR is fun and satisfying. You change the world!

Alan Hevner

22 November 2019, Alan R. Dennis,  Indiana University

Fake News on Social Media
Fake news on social media has received much attention and many experts believe it has influenced elections. Most people consume at least some news on social media, and most believe they can detect fake news. But can they? I will present the results of a series of studies examining why people fall for fake news, and how flagging fake articles or posting source ratings influences beliefs in fake news. Some of these solutions have modest effects, but no solution we examined has strong effects. Is it time for us to start regulating fake news like information pollution or false advertising and impose penalties on those who profit from creating fake news?

Alan Dennis

25 October 2019, Eric K. Clemons, University of Pennsylvania

The Emerging Discipline of Social Welfare Computing and the Future of Democracy
We are studying the emerging discipline of Social Welfare Computing.  Advances in technology increase the output of goods and services but have not always improved social welfare.  Certainly, the benefits are not distributed uniformly. The industrial revolution created a new class of entrepreneurs but paid less attention to the lives of the structurally unemployed and permanently exploited.  In parts of the UK the impacts were devastating. How do we regulate the deployment of technology to achieve a fair and equitable society? How do we regulate without limiting innovation? To address these grand challenges, I’m proposing a research agenda to explore the relationships between new business models and the following: New forms of power and new forms of abuse of power, new forms of harmful externalities, new forms of danger to consumers, and new forms of danger to society.


13 September 2019, Ping Zhang, Syracuse University

A Motivational Approach to Gamification Design
From computers as tools to human computation, design paradigms have evolved from utilitarian to affective to motivational. The past decade has witnessed fast growth of interest in research and applications of gamified systems, a poster child of motivational technology. The new design paradigm would require new ways of approaching related design issues. In particular, motivational technology design may benefit from careful applications of motivational theories. In this talk, I present a stream of our efforts that approaches gamification research from a motivational perspective. The first study uses motivational affordance theory to examine the possibility of using game features to satisfy eight basic human needs. The second study builds on achievement goal theory to identify six possible contextual goals that gamification design can support.

Ping Zhang

10 May 2019, Susan Scott, London School of Economics

Digital Work: Studying Materialization in Practice
In this seminar, Susan Scott will focus on how she works with materiality in her research. Going beyond debates about the ‘best’ approaches to studying “sociomateriality”, she will offer a constructive exploration of the specific ideas and practices that guide her research drawing on her studies of social media platforms, financial services, and digital publishing. As digital phenomena become increasingly pervasive, it is important that we develop fresh approaches to interrogating these multiple phenomena in order to make sense of the different ways they are materializing in the world and the outcomes that are produced. A strong supporter of theoretical diversity, Susan will share thoughts about the particular value that may be obtained by studying the materialization of digital work practices.


26 April 2019, Saonee Sarker, University of Virginia

The “Dark” and “Bright” Sides of Technostress in Healthcare: A Multi-method, Multi-country Examination
Stress from the use of technology (or technostress) has typically been associated with negative implications and viewed as the “dark” side of technology. However, the broader literature on psychological stress also highlight the positive components of stress (termed as eustress), thereby suggesting that technostress may also have a “bright” side. To explore and examine these multiple aspects of technostress, a multi-method research program was developed and conducted within the context of healthcare workers, who have been argued to be experiencing high levels of stress owing to increased use of health information technology (HIT). A number of theoretical lens/concepts ranging from the organizational stress cycle to dialectics (including the ideas of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis), technology affordances, and the existing literature on stress and technostress informed the enquiry. Data was gathered from multiple countries around the world to provide a cross-cultural view.

Saonee Sarker

29 March 2019, Jeanne Ross, MIT

Navigating a Digital Transformation
Most established companies have deployed digital technologies, like cloud, mobile apps, internet of things, and artificial intelligence. But few established companies are designed for digital business success. Digital success involves delivering new customer value propositions that are inspired by the capabilities of digital technologies. Because design choices at established companies have typically emphasized efficiency, reliability, and security, established companies struggle to develop new digital offerings that solve customer problems. Research at MIT’s Center for Information Systems Research has identified five digital building blocks essential that can help established companies redesign themselves for digital success: (1) operational backbone, (2) digital platform, (3) shared customer insights, (4) accountability framework, and (5) external developer platform.  This talk will highlight both the need for companies to develop these building blocks and the roadmap for a digital transformation.

Jeanne Ross

01 February 2019, Mary Beth Watson-Manheim, University of Illinois at Chicago

Collaboration and Teaming in the Individualized Workplace
In this talk, I will discuss two important trends in the contemporary, and increasingly digitized, workplace. On the one hand, increasing automation of jobs has resulted in an expansion of high-skilled work that requires significant complex reasoning, judgement and collaboration. Teams have become even more distributed and project-based, with individuals participating in multiple project teams at one time.  On the other hand, the workplace has become more individualized for a highly skilled worker. Individuals have more autonomy over when, where and how work is done. Moreover, the relationship between employers and workers is changing such that a growing portion of the working-age population of the US and Europe is engaged in independent work. I will also discuss the implications of these trends for research, especially focusing on the work of software developers.


18 January 2019, Jan Recker, University of Cologne

The Digital Transformation of Venture Creation: Research on Digital Entrepreneurship
Lately, emergent digital technologies – such as mobile and distributed computing, social media, digital platforms, data analytics, artificial intelligence, blockchains, cloud computing, and so forth, have been argued to have a fundamental and transformative role on entrepreneurship - the process through which new ventures come into existence. In our continuing work over the past four years, we have been studying and theorizing about Digital Entrepreneurship. I will detail three parts of our research to date: first, the reconceptualization of entrepreneurial action through External Enablers instead of Opportunities. Second, the role of digital technologies in enabling entrepreneurial processes. Third, the trajectory of entrepreneurial ventures with digital artifacts at the core of their market offerings.


23 November 2018, Jan vom Brocke, University of Liechtenstein

Accumulation and Evolution of Design Knowledge in Design Science Research
Sir Isaac Newton famously said, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”  Research is a collaborative, evolutionary endeavor—and it is no different with design science research (DSR), which builds upon existing design knowledge and creates new design knowledge to pass on to future projects. However, despite the vast, growing body of DSR contributions, little accumulation and evolution of design knowledge is found in an organized DSR body of knowledge. Most contributions rather stand on their own feet than on the shoulders of giants, and this is limiting how far we can see, or in other words, the extent of the broader impacts we can make through DSR. In this talk, I report on a research stream aiming at providing guidance on how to position design knowledge contributions in broader problem and solution spaces. I propose (1) a model conceptualizing design knowledge as a resilient relationship between problem and solution spaces, (2) a map to position a design knowledge contribution in problem and solution spaces, and (3) principles on how to use this map in a DSR project. I also discuss consequences on the DSR process and outline (4) a framework for concurrent design and evaluation in DSR.


02 November 2018, Cathy Urquhart, Manchester Metropolitan University

Opening up the Arrow: Using Mechanisms to Enable Theory Building in IS
The development of theories native to IS has long been an objective of our field, yet researchers have struggled to deliver.  Subsequently, a series of debates and discussions over the years have attempted to define what theory is by identifying its components and structure as well as to catalog the various forms theory can take.  We argue that a key element has been missing from this discussion, namely a focus on theoretical mechanisms, which underlie the development of any good theory.  To that end, after presenting the current state of the discussion, we examine what a mechanism is, provide examples from the IS literature showing how an approach based on mechanisms (whether explicitly labelled as such or not) has enabled theory development, and make recommendations on how researchers can utilise theoretical mechanisms to assist theory building and thus increase the importance of their theoretical contributions.

Cathy Urquhart

21 September 2018, Jos van Hillegersberg, University of Twente

Design and Governance of Inter-Organizational Systems in the Internet of Things Era
Information systems that cross organizational boundaries are challenging to design and govern. However, meeting these challenges can provide significant rewards. For example, reducing waste in supply chains, managing electricity grids, or fighting fraud in financial trade require intervention in inter-organizational systems (IOS). The IOS element adds complexity at all levels. However, while IOS have been studied for decades and many useful technologies, theories, and case-studies have become available, the field is far from mature and only a few theoretical models have been adopted in practice. Moreover, emerging technologies that are highly relevant to IOS, such as IoT and Blockchain, have not been studied in much depth. In this talk, I will explore the extant IOS theoretical development and present design science studies we carried out in the Dutch logistics sector.

Jos van Hillegersberg

14 June 2018, Robert J. Kauffman, Singapore Management University

Making Sense of Technology Innovation, Business Disruption, and Industry Transformation
Firms in the service industries have been faced with the dramatic and recent emergence of new technology innovations, such as the Fintech revolution, the rise of social media, ride-sharing and content-distribution platforms, and digital and cyber-physical sensing. These innovations have led to process disruptions, new competition, and extreme pressure on industry incumbents. Consequently, many firms are looking for new pathways that will yield successful and sustainable business models, enhanced customer centricity, and higher ROI in a less stable business world. For these contexts, I will share new theoretical perspectives on: information transparency; business, consumer and household informedness; technology ecosystems; and strategic de-commoditization. I also will draw on new modeling approaches and empirical results from my work at the Living Analytics Research Centre (LARC) in Singapore and other international sponsored projects. My approach to natural experiments and causal inference-based empirical research in different industry and market settings has been made possible by tapping into some of the newest developments in computational social science and computer science at LARC.

Rob Kauffman

25 May 2018, Sirkka Jarvenpaa, University of Texas at Austin

The Promise of Global Health Data: Exploring Digital Strategies for Enhanced Use
Discussions of “big data” focus on data volumes and storage, algorithms and decision-making, without attention to the characteristics of data per se. Attention to data and its particular use is missing in studies of multisided platforms. The seminar will explore enhanced data use of linked health data (e.g., genetic data linked with health records) both globally and locally, and the digital strategies and tactics that promote enhanced data use. Specifically, data use refers to the strategies and processes for capturing, documenting, packaging, distributing, analyzing, and disseminating data. Furthermore, enhanced data use underscores its generative utilization for varied purposes, many of which emerge after data is collected. Enhanced data use goes beyond regulatory, security, and privacy concerns to address the return on the massive public and private investments in basic and applied health research and translational medicine around the world.


Sirkka Jarvenpaa

04 May 2018, Raghav Rao, University of Texas at San Antonio

Digitalization of Crime: The Application of Criminology Theory
With the proliferation of cybercrime, researchers have started to adapt criminology theories that were developed to explain physical crime, to cybercrime, with varying degrees of difficulty. This is because of the complexity of the mapping of physical crime to cybercrime characteristics; the difficulty in obtaining a representative sample of the offender population and the difficulty of getting cybercrime data from organizations. Under this backdrop, this presentation will discuss three topics:  (a) examining offender and offense characteristics related to convictions in the context of computer-assisted frauds (b) examining the use of the Internet for information by shoplifters and (c) the detection of potential insider threat in organizations.

Reghav Rao

09 March 2018, Brian Pentland, Michigan State University

Affordance Networks: Recombining People, Technology and Action
As people and technology become increasingly intertwined in digitalized processes, practices and routines, we need new ways to represent, study, design and manage it all.  In this talk, I will discuss an approach to representing organized activities called the affordance network.   Where social networks represent ties between actors, affordance networks represent ties between actualized affordances.   Affordance networks provide a way to represent processual phenomena (processes, practices and routines) that have been, or could be, generated by combining and recombining fragments of technology-in-use.  Affordance networks provide an action-centric vocabulary for visualizing process, detecting change, measuring complexity, understanding interdependence, predicting the effects of innovation, and theorizing about technology and organization.

Brian Pentland

23 February 2018, Sue Newell,  University of Sussex

Boundary Objects Survival over Time: Insights from the Field of Healthcare Coordination
The seminar will focus on why some boundary objects last more than others. We question the literature that focuses exclusively on the plasticity of the knowledge inscribed in boundary objects and propose that to shed light on why some objects last more than others, we need to consider also the plasticity of their affordances. Through qualitative and longitudinal study in the field of healthcare coordination, we were able to identify some objects that have been used, over time, to improve the exchange of medical information across providers. Our findings build on and extend the literature on boundary objects and offer a novel theorizing of objects’ physical characteristics, their use in practice and their ability to survive the constant emergence of new ideas and knowledge.

Sue Newell

26 January 2018, Ulrich Frank,  University of Duisburg-Essen

The Digital Transformation: The Need for Abstraction and the Pivotal Role of Languages
These are exciting times for Information Systems. Our research is at the center of the digital transformation, a process that is unprecedented in the history of the humankind. However, the traditional approach to study the (social) world as it is, is hardly sufficient anymore. Instead, it is required to aim at conceptions of possible future worlds that may serve as a sense-making and grounded orientation for change. We can think the future only through concepts. However, the language we speak, that is our essential instrument, that is us may hinder us from thinking a possible future world. Therefore, it is required to overcome the limitations of the language we use, which can indeed be seen as an "absolute danger" (Derrida). Against the background of these epistemological considerations a research agenda for Information Systems will be presented that is aimed at enriching rigid linguistic representations such as conceptual models or theories with narratives – and at extending concepts of truth with grounded hope.

Ulrich Frank

17 November 2017, Helmut Krcmar, Technical University of Munich

The Digital Transformation for Established Enterprises
It is not just startups that shape the digital transformation. The question of how to accelerate the transformation of business models and business ecosystems is also paramount for established enterprises who already have customers, employees, products, processes, organizational structure, and culture. This talk focusses on the characteristics and explanatory models for the digital transformation, such as service-dominant logic, open innovation on platforms, management of ambidexterity, and real options. Considering these explanatory models, the resulting leadership behavior will be discussed. In addition, we will look into the research and design issues of providing insights for practice and theory and report the results of a set of diverse case studies of established enterprises. These case studies were conducted during the last two years in the Initiative for Digital Transformation, a research project with the aim to analyze, understand, and support the design of leadership, innovation, and motivation in the digital transformation. We will also reflect on the role of grounded theory in the development and formalization of such insights.

Helmut Krcmar

29 September 2017, Paul A. Pavlou, Temple University

The Evolution of Trust in Information System Research: Synthesis and New Directions for Research on Trust
The importance of trust has been shown in numerous studies in the IS literature. To advance the study of trust, we integrate the IS literature on trust to identify gaps that require future research. We find that IS research on trust a) focuses on the earlier stages (initial and ongoing) of the trust lifecycle, b) ignores transitions among stages of the trust lifecycle, c) disregards the interplay of different trust relationships and their joint effects on other constructs, and d) focuses on cognition and not on emotions. Accordingly, we develop a forward-looking research agenda on trust to help IS research to design trustworthy systems.

Paul Pavlou

15 September 2017, Kalle Lyytinen, Case Western Reserve University

Metahuman Systems
Machine learning is giving rise to new types of socio-technical systems. These metahuman systems extend traditional socio-technical systems with machines that learn so well that they become autonomous – learning and acting on their own initiative. This paper provides an assessment of recent machine learning advances, and examines metahuman systems implications for people, tasks, and structures identified as important by socio-technical systems theories. Organization scholars need to develop novel generalizable, impactful knowledge that informs future organization design.


14 September 2017, Steve Elliot, University of Sydney

The Sharing Economy: Insights from an Integrated Multi-Disciplinary Perspective
The Sharing Economy Business achieving global success in driving sector-wide transformation enabled by innovative applications of technology. This message, communicated in headlines world-wide, suggests a level of certainty about cause, effect and the role of technology that warrants review. The Sharing Economy does encompass a novel and compelling economic proposition: monetizing value from spare capacity in under-utilized resources. This concept has been applied globally in a diverse range of business sectors. Companies do utilize technology platforms. However, further research quickly encounters problems. The area is: complex, volatile, poorly-defined, lacking transparency. Consequently, much research focuses on instances, in isolation. Our integrated, multi-disciplinary research program presents insights that challenge the headlines. A research agenda for future work is proposed.

Steve Elliot

16 June 2017, Claudia Loebbecke, University of Cologne

Big Data: Yet another IS Wave Becoming the "New Normal" for Management, Society, and Research
Building and analyzing big data repositories has revolutionized the core of management, empower organizations, and change research in many academic fields. I hope to trigger a discussion on how big data will generate a ripple effect of intended and unintended consequences. In management, it will change decision making and thereby will also shake top decision makers. With regard to business and society, it will increase market efficiency at the cost of diminishing fun and variety in consumption as well as putting at risk white collar jobs. Finally, with regard to common research practice, big data based 'better' research will marginalize traditional long-term, complex research efforts. Further, I will explore the relationship between big data and the IS discipline to draw some provoking insights about the sustainability of IS research.

Claudia Loebbecke

02 June 2017, Shirley Gregor, Australian National University

Making a Theoretical Contribution in Information Systems 
This seminar shows how different perspectives on theory and theorizing have accompanied historical movements in the philosophy of science. It promotes a pragmatic perspective on theory that recognizes that theory can take different forms dependent on the theory’s purpose and how it is to be used. The theory development process is discussed in terms of the context of discovery (theory building) and the context of justification (theory testing) and is illustrated with evidence from eminent theorists in the field of management. A Theory Contribution Canvas is presented as a graphical aid to researchers to assist them in demonstrating the importance of their individual efforts to ongoing and overarching theory development. Questions are presented for discussion including: (1) Is “a model” different from “a theory” and if so, how? (2) How can we as a field gain a better understanding of the theorizing process in information systems? (3) What special challenges for understanding the theorizing process arise with design science research?

shirley gregor

05 May 2017, Edgar Whitley, London School of Economics

Towards Digital Identity Maturity: Design and Governance Considerations 
Recognising the important role that digital identity systems can play in helping individuals to participate fully in their society and economy the World Bank has recently published principles on identification in the digital era. These principles are intended to strengthen the capacity of governments, the private sector, NGOs and development partners to administer programs and deliver services transparently, efficiently, and effectively.  Achieving digital identity maturity requires translating these high level principles into actionable activities. In this presentation I draw on a ten year longitudinal study of identity policy in the UK, including five years following the development of the GOV.UK Verify service. GOV.UK Verify has explicitly been designed around digital identity privacy principles and offers a distinctive governance arrangement that includes both private and public sector actors.  It is also an exemplar in the use of digital identity systems to encourage transformation and innovation in the use of identity to support a range of services. The presentation ends with the lessons learned from GOV.UK Verify that can help enable the development and operation of mature digital identity systems.


Edgar Whitely

21 April 2017, Arun Rai, Georgia State University

Reducing Capital Market Anomaly: The Role of Information Technology Using an Information Uncertainty Lens 
I will share insights from a research program on how firms, by implementing IT and enterprise systems (ES) in particular, can mitigate a key anomaly in capital markets—investors underreacting to new public information about the firms. The anomaly is consequential as it creates transaction frictions, increases cost of capital, and adversely impacts corporate governance and employment. Theory of information uncertainty attributes the anomaly to ambiguity of information about a firm’s value that stems from the firm’s fundamentals volatility and information quality. We theorize how and why ES can mitigate information uncertainty, thus reducing the anomaly. By using complementary perspectives and research designs, we isolate the mechanisms through which ES mitigates the anomaly, identify complementarities between ES modules, and surface the roles of temporal and organizational contexts. These findings have significant implications for IT and corporate governance and for public policy, and open avenues for research on IT business value. 

Arun Rai

31 March 2017, Geoff Walsham, University of Cambridge

Are We Making a Better World with Information Technology? 
I argued in a 2012 paper in the Journal of Information Technology that the IS field needed to move on from its traditional concerns to a wider agenda based on ‘making a better world with ICTs’.  The first part of this seminar will outline some elements of that proposed agenda.  In the second part of the seminar I will reflect on what we might mean by a better world and, in particular, I will introduce and discuss the United Nations’ strategic development goals (SDGs).  Some conclusions will be drawn on the role of ICTs in global development.

Geoff Walsham

17 March 2017, Jonny Holmström, Umeå University 

Navigating Digital Disruptive Innovation: Leveraging Strategic Ambiguity in the Age of Disruption 
Research examining the relationship between IT–business strategic alignment has explained how such alignment can generate value for firms. However, today’s digital technologies are increasingly disruptive and challenges the logic associated with the alignment view. Specifically, the alignment view advocates the establishing of tight links between the functional role and strategic purpose of digital technologies. As such, the interpretative flexibility of digital technologies is depicted as an obstacle for organizations seeking to implement strategic changes. We challenge this assumption. Building on a multiple case study approach, we identify three types of digital technology strategizing pathways, theorizing ambiguity as a source for strategic change. As such, we observe how, when, and why ambiguous uses of digital technology can form critical elements in the implementation of disruptive change, and suggest several implications of the observed ambiguous digital technology use for strategy and management research.


24 February 2017, T. Ravichandran, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

How Should Firms Respond to Online Word of Mouth? 
Online word of mouth (eWoM) as signified by customer reviews in online forums have grown in importance in terms of their influence on customer attitudes and purchase decisions. The increasing volume of reviews and their potential effects requires firms to be strategic in how they respond to reviews. There is limited systematic research on managerial response strategies to online customer complaints and compliments. This presentation will discuss a research stream where we develop theory driven frameworks to explore if and how firms should respond to online reviews and the effects of managerial response on future customer attitudes. Using data compiled through text analysis of reviews and responses in a popular online platform, this research derives key insights for theory and practice. The presentation will discuss these findings and their implications.

T. Ravichandran

02 December 2016, Joey George, Iowa State University

Culture, Media & Deception
Deceptive communication has been studied for decades, but within that vast body of work, relatively little research has been done regarding the roles of cultural or media differences and their effects on deception and its detection. Even less research has been done where culture, media and deception intersect.  This presentation describes a study of deception detection, where judges from various countries have been asked to detect deception among people from outside their culture and who speak different languages.  In addition, the judges were asked to judge the veracity of people across four different media.  The research questions: Can people detect deception among members of other cultural groups?  And what is the role of computer-mediated modes of communication in successful deception detection?

joey george

04 November 2016, Thomas Hess, University of Munich (LMU)

From Chief Digital Officers to Digitalization Strategies: Managing the Digital Transformation in Organizations
Nowadays, nearly every company in every industry tries to identify a way to find new opportunities and to handle risks related to the digital transformation. The seminar will focus on three new concepts that were developed to support the management of the digital transformation in organizations. The first concept is digitalization strategy formulation. We will describe the typical building blocks of a digitalization strategy, the interface to other strategies like the IT strategy, and the process of formulating a digitalization strategy. The second concept is the Chief Digital Officer (CDO) role. We will discuss under which conditions such a position could be helpful and what could be the interplay between the CDO and the Chief Information Officer. The third concept is the degree of digitalization a company has reached. We will present the fundamental challenges in dealing with degree of digitalization and some simple ways of describing and managing it.

thomas hess

14 October 2016, Brian Fitzgerald, University of Limerick and Lero - the Irish Software Research Centre

Two’s Company, Three’s a Crowd: Lessons from Crowdsourcing Software Development
Crowdsourcing is an emerging and promising approach which involves delegating a variety of tasks to an unknown workforce—a crowd. Crowdsourcing has been applied quite successfully in various contexts – from basic tasks on Amazon Mechanical Turk to solving complex industry problems, e.g. Innocentive. Companies are increasingly using crowdsourcing to accomplish specific software development tasks. However, there are significant challenges in a software development context. Drawing on actual customer experiences, a number of challenges that arise when crowdsourcing software development are identified. These include marrying waterfall and agile development approaches, dealing with interdependencies, unexpected costs, communication overhead, later resolution of quality issues, and sub-optimal solutions.

brian fitzgerald

09 September 2016, Maung K. Sein, University of Agder

The Guided Emergence of Action Design Research
Since it was published in MIS Quarterly in 2011, Action Design Research (ADR) has gradually wormed its way into the IS research landscape. During its “formal” existence, many have used ADR as their research method, a large proportion being students’ theses. Befitting a method firmly rooted on “emergence”, each use has brought in twists, critiques and enhancements.  In short, ADR’s journey has been fascinating. In this talk, I will tell the story of how ADR was conceived, born, and started its journey with examples of its use, and, list some questions and issues that have been raised about it. I will also present my ideas on the discourse on the question:  What exactly do we design? Does designing center around producing a piece of technology primarily or are we actually designing routines, processes and procedures that are embedded in technology?

maung sein

15 April 2016, Kevin Crowston, Syracuse University

Citizen Science: Learning to Effectively Contribute in Virtual Organizations
Virtual citizen science projects such as the Zooniverse ( provide tools and opportunities for public engagement in scientific research, thus providing an increasingly important venue for informal science education. However, these projects raise the question of how new contributors to such open online collaborative projects learn to participate. Many studies of informal learning apply the framework of situated learning, which emphasizes novices observing and participating in practice as well as interacting with more experienced participants. However, online citizen science projects offer participants only limited forms of engagement with practice. To explain how newcomers learn in such restricted settings, we extend the notion of situated learning and suggest that volunteers exploit varied modes of access to practice, feedback and relationship building. In current work, we are extending this work by exploring how machine learning systems can be used to support learning by newcomers.


Kevin Crowston

11 March 2016, Hamid Ekbia, Indiana University Bloomington

Heteromation and Other Stories of Computing and Capitalism 
The computerization of the economy has shifted the landscape in terms of the relations of human persons and digital machinery, systematically moving a large majority of people toward economically essential but marginal roles. In this new division of labor, much of the work undertaken by humans is hidden, uncompensated or poorly compensated, and naturalized as part of what it means to be a “user” of digital technology. In my work with Bonnie Nardi, we examine instances of this kind of participation in economic production, which we dub “heteromation.” Heteromation is a new logic of capital accumulation, which extracts economic value from low-cost or free labor in computer-mediated networks. I will present a précis of our book with the above title (2016, MIT Press), where we study the mechanisms, drivers, and value contributions of a wide variety of heteromated labor.

Hamid Ekbia

26 February 2016, Jan Pries-Heje, Roskilde University

Design Thinking for Decision Support; the Creativity Passdown Effect
Design Science Research (DSR) to invent and evaluate new IT artefacts has become very popular recently. In this presentation, I first give an account of the design science research approach and how one can engage with it in practice. Second, I discuss different ways of design thinking leading to a framework for design theorizing. Third, I focus on how design theories are brought back practice, which is what I call the "creativity passdown effect." In demonstrating this effect, I will use a couple of cases from my own engaged research supporting better decision making, e.g., for organisational change with IT.

Jan Pries Heje

19 February 2016, John Leslie King, University of Michigan

The Openness Crusade and its Challenges

Open Science, responsible for countless benefits, has recently been extended from open results to “open data.” This is part of a larger openness crusade grounded in misguided ideas like the virtues of “transparency,” the importance of “measurement,” and the “wisdom of crowds.” Open data is supposed to deliver endless benefits, such as deterring scholarly misconduct (e.g., reporting of falsified data), ensuring wide benefit from scholarly data, protecting industry from regulation based on “junk science,” and providing a means to evaluate scholarly contributions.  It is a Hobbesian bargain, grounded in Hubris.  It is part of a shift from public good to private good in the assignment of value, and is already generating problems because network externalities of data sharing are poorly understood and easily subverted for private gain.  Risk-taking cannot be completely monetized, and the loss of “mystery” in learning leads to stale instrumentality.  We can destroy a great achievement of civilization through unreasonable dependence on the ideology of the market and assumptions of neoclassical economics.  This talk covers these issues.

John L. King

06 November 2015, Roman Beck, IT University of Copenhagen

The Emergence of Cryptographic Economic Systems
What is accepted as payment has changed over time, and so have the ways in which payments are made. Bitcoin, a cryptographic, blockchain-based computer protocol, represents for some just another currency to release and receive payments. For others to speculate or to diversify into an alternative asset class. The Bitcoin protocol illustrates the first prototype of a cryptographic economic system, which is organized both autonomously and distributive, without any point of central control or single point of failure. The protocol pilots the merger of cryptography and economics, where organizational operations adhere to the intractable institutions set by the protocol. More precisely, it showcased the worldwide first economic system on autopilot, which might not only change the “Nature of the Firm”, but also the nature of economic value creation and development itself, on the foundation of a more and more information systems based economy.  In this presentation, we will discuss current and future blockchain-based research trying to answer the question if we witness the emergence of a global trust-free economic village?

Roman Beck

02 October 2015, Yves Pigneur, University of Lausanne

Designing Tools to Support Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship
We suggest that the research focus in strategic management and entrepreneurship could be improved and enlightened by some of the more conceptual and design-oriented research in information systems. We highlight three areas in particular in which design science research in IS has excelled in informing research in strategic management. The first area concerns the identification, formalization, and visualization of the core constructs and models of interest related to the design and analysis of strategic business issues. The second area corresponds to the exploration of how design thinking techniques and tools might contribute to improving the design, prototyping, testing and transformation of alternatives to strategic business questions. The third area addresses the research in computer-aided design assisting the process of designing strategic management objects. The three perspectives will be illustrated by our work and experience in the field of business models.

Yves Pigneur

25 September 2015, John Leslie King, University of Michigan 

The World Turned Upside Down: IS Research in Difficult Terrain
This talk is aimed at those uneasy with the apparent disconnect between the great changes wrought by IS and research that seems meager in comparison. Those drawn to IS because of greatness often face constraints, especially those who are young and limited in time, reputation, or other resources. When choosing between research that “matters” and research that is “safe” many choose safety. Who can blame them?  For any given study or paper this choice might make sense, but over the long run it does not. It is possible and necessary to keep “big ideas” in mind while doing work that “counts” for short-term rewards (e.g., finishing a thesis, getting promoted, etc.) It takes some thinking and some work, but it is manageable. The talk provides reasons why to do this and some suggestions about how.

John L. King

04 September 2015, Dubravka Cecez-Kecmanovic, University of New South Wales

Sociomaterial Approach: Key Questions and Controversies
Sociomaterial approach has recently gained attention among information systems (IS) and organization study scholars in their quest for new ways of seeing, investigating and theorizing complex and dynamic phenomena of emerging digitization of all forms of organizing. As a distinct worldview the sociomaterial approach is characterized by relational ontology; heterogeneous actors - human and non-human - understood as relational effects and thus always in becoming (not as substances with properties); the view of reality as continuously produced by and productive of actors.  Such performative understanding of reality shifts focus from uncovering the essences of things (human beings, technologies, organizations) to the processes of becoming. While getting popularity the sociomaterial approach has been questioned on several grounds. It has been criticized for introducing yet more ‘academic jargon monoxide’. Its distinct ontological foundation has been denied by claims that it is just another version of the good old socio-technical systems approach. It has also been critiqued as a ‘wrong turn’! This presentation addresses these controversies and criticism with aim to contribute to better understanding of key assumptions underlying the sociomaterial approach and its differences vis-à-vis other philosophical approaches. The novel insights enabled by the sociomaterial approach will be illustrated by an inquiry into My School – a controversial Australian Government portal providing performance data about more than 9500 schools.

Cecez Kecmanovic

21 August 2015, Bernardo Huberman, Hewlett-Packard Laboratories

The Internet of Things
We are awash with sensors and devices with more processing power than many of the computers that stand on our desks. Smart phones, micro-computers, ambient light control systems, and the ubiquitous fitness gadgets constitute a whole technological species that is starting to coexist with us through the same Internet environment we populate with our communication devices.  This is the simple side of what some call the Internet of Things (IoT). The real revolution is taking place in a different setting, an industrial one, where myriad smart sensors connected through shared API’s give rise to an unprecedented level of monitoring and control. This new form of networked computing power, the so called Industrial Internet of Things, will likely dwarf our present Internet.  I will describe the big changes that IoT will bring at the system level, both in terms of workflows and totally new business models and dynamics. I will also present a number of novel solutions to the serious problems of privacy and security that this creates.

Bernardo Huberman

12 June 2015, Ronald Cenfetelli, University of British Columbia

The Human in Human Computer Interaction

It has not been long since humans have begun interacting with computer interfaces, which are growing in complexity and sophistication. Yet, even though we can design computer interfaces to perform the way we want, evolution dictates that it is much harder to anticipate how the human mind responds and adapts to such interfaces. In this talk, I will describe a research program started by my colleagues and I that is aimed at disentangling the impact of specific interface design artifacts on users’ psychological and behavioral inclinations. I will conclude with provocative ideas on alternative lens, such as affordance and construal level theories, for stimulating further research into the effects of computer interfaces on humans.


18 May 2015, Ann Majchrzak, University of Southern California

Collective Creativity

This talk traces the speaker's body of work focused on information systems to foster collective creativity, defined as adhoc collectives with little past and future interaction possibilities being able to incorporate diverse perspectives to collaboratively and iteratively co-generate novel solutions to complex equivocal problems.  The speaker's early work was on the design of a decision support system to foster involvement of diverse perspectives in a corporation's move toward flexible automation, then moved to the design of virtual teams and virtual team technology to foster innovative problem-solving.  The widespread introduction of wikis allowed for inclusion of employees enterprise-wide to participate in collective creativity. Online communities and crowdsourcing allowed for inclusion of people from outside the organization to participate in collective creativity. A series of insights from these bodies of research are shared.  Most disappointing though is that collective creativity is rarely accomplished for the many reasons - from not-invented-here to the extent to which collective creativity represents a threat to management hierarchy.    





08 May 2015, Samir Chatterjee, Claremont Graduate University

Designing Persuasive Health Technologies: Where Mobile, Cloud and Remote Sensing Converge

The world’s population is aging. While people are living longer, they are also suffering from many chronic diseases. Obesity, diabetes and congestive heart failure to name a few are becoming common throughout the world in older adult population. Prof. Chatterjee’s lab is at the forefront of designing remote monitoring technologies that can assist such patients to live healthy and age in place with technology support. His team has developed several persuasive technologies to modify human behavior that are impacting peoples’ lives. In this talk he will describe the design challenges along with several innovations that has led to remarkable results from clinical trials that he is running at various healthcare institutions in the USA.

Samir Chatterjee

17 April 2015, Eric Monteiro, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

From Artefacts to Infrastructure

Avoiding overly deterministic assumptions, we have in the last couple of decades witnessed significant progress in how we understand design and development of technology as well as the challenges of using it. Technology is not merely ‘used’ but actively, continuously and contingently appropriated, thus effectively blurring the distinction between design and use. The situated use of technological artefacts has been compellingly demonstrated, not the least within practice-based research. I acknowledge these achievements. But by 2015, it is time to move on rather than reiterate them. Drawing on two empirical streams of my research in healthcare and oil energy sectors, I discuss central themes and concerns emerging from the ambition to build on but move beyond practice-based perspectives. A key tenet here is a shift from an artefact-centric to an infrastructure-based perspective of technology.


06 March 2015, Richard Watson, University of Georgia

The Digitization of Capital

Many businesses realize that they need to undergo a digital transformation, but there is no guiding framework to help strategic thinkers identify what and why to digitize. This presentation is based on the premise that an organization is a capital conversion system. Capital is created by a series of conversion mechanisms that transform capital from one form to another or enhance its value. Thus, digital transformation is essentially about understanding how and why to digitize capital to raise an organization’s capital conversion ratio. The digitization of the six major types of capital, and three major types of capital conversion are discussed. Questions for research and practice are identified. The presenter recently spoke on this topic for his keynote address at the MIT conference on Chief Data Officers.


27 February 2015, Dov Te'eni, Tel Aviv University

Knowledge Dynamics – A Train with Planes of Thought

Many have spoken to the need for considering time and temporal effects in IS research. My case is for deepening and leveraging research on the dynamics of knowledge. I propose that we look more carefully at points of transition between planes of thought in knowledge progression (perhaps regression too). The multiple dimensions on which knowledge is characterized intersect to form places (planes) where people think and learn. Without thinking and without transitions from one plane to another, knowledge cannot develop. In particular, I have attempted to look at transitions across levels of abstraction, across different forms and formats and formality, and back and forth between knowledge networks. In one case, I show the value of contextualizing transitions in an organizational setting. Admittedly, this requires a somewhat myopic, tentative and fragmentary view of knowledge, but one that leads to a fruitful direction for research in knowledge sharing; research with design implications on how to support effective practices of knowledge progression. For example, designers should seek ways of supporting individual knowledge development and interpersonal knowledge development but also ways of supporting the ‘easy travel’ in the transition from one mode to another, which is crucial to overcome the degradation of learning and control associated with the transition.

Dov Te'eni

30 January 2015, Natalia Levina, New York University

Crowdsourcing for Innovation: Panacea or Oxymoron?

Crowdsourcing for innovation sounds like a panacea to some and an oxymoron to others.  Do business organizations really crowdsource innovation or are most efforts a mixture of publicity stunts, information gathering from users, and outsourcing pre-defined tasks?  How much real impact does crowdsourcing for innovation have on organizations? What is crowdsourcing for innovation in any case and how it is different from other types of crowdsourcing and open innovation? I will review some of the recent literature on crowdsourcing as strategic choice and challenge/augment some of the recommendation from this literature using data from three year long qualitative field studies of organizations engaging in crowdsouring for innovation.  I will highlight three major findings from our field work: 1) crowdsourcing for innovation is heavily shaped by organizational stance on how to pursue knowledge and novelty; 2) whether external ideas penetrate the barriers resulting from the “Not Invented Here” syndrome depends not only on internal organizational factors, but also on the institutional mode through which these ideas are communicated; 3) organizations wishing to tap into the power of collaborative innovation communities need to figure out how to deal with unknown knowledge boundaries as well as with fluid membership, norms, and roles.


21 November 2014, Omar A. El Sawy, University of Southern California

Rethinking Research Paradigms for Understanding Digital Transformation in a Dynamic Messy World

As business environments become more dynamic and discontinuous, the phenomenon of digital transformation becomes more complex, non-linear, and messy.  When change in the context of the phenomenon that we study becomes profound, then our research paradigms need to be re-examined. This talk explores three alternative research paradigms for studying digital transformation and digital business strategy in a dynamic messy world.  I use three contextual examples which are in varying degrees of development to articulate and demonstrate these alternative research paradigms. The first instance demonstrates the use of configurational approaches for examining digital ecodynamics, and shows how configurational approaches to both theory structure and method yield different results and insights than do correlational approaches in studying how IT enhances or inhibits organizational agility. The second instance searches for the building blocks of a suitable theory structure and accompanying methods for capturing iterative sense-and-respond phenomena associated with the management of the real-time digital enterprise in a big data world. The third instance examines evolving ideas on two-domain holonomic models and how they might help to design architectures for the digital adaptive enterprise.  The instances are in descending order with respect to their degree of development, and each will be explained through an appropriately different genre of presentation.


03 October 2014, Paulo Goes, University of Arizona

Participation in Two-Sided Platform Environments: Economic Incentives and Social Influence

Fast evolving Internet technologies have brought about a variety of new applications, marketplaces and business models, in which the “crowd” plays an important role. Online communities, marketplaces and crowdsourcing environments are particularly interesting to organizations because of the many different ways they can be utilized for potential business benefits. In this talk I will overview some of these 2-sided platform environments related to knowledge exchange, innovation and creativity, market for services, reviews and opinions, and online games. User participation behavior in such environments is influenced by several factors, including economic incentives, individual quest for recognition, technology response and social interactions. Understanding specific participation behavior is fundamental to the sustainability of these two-sided platforms. This presentation will overview several past and current research efforts that use observed participation data to model behavior and participation strategies in a variety of marketplaces, communities, crowdsourcing and online games environments.


12 September 2014, Kai Lim, City University of Hong Kong

Humanizing Technology Adoption Decisions: Symbolic Action Perpective

To date, research into technology adoption behavior has been founded predominantly on the premise that such behavior is driven primarily by utilitarian motives. Contrary to prior research, I will argue that technology adoption behavior entails a wider range of motivations. At the individual level, with the popularity of mobile devices and their high visibility when in use, it has increasingly been recognized that such devices have become ostentatious means for users to express their identities and social status. Similarly, at the organizational level, anecdotal evidence suggests that organizations may simply adopt technological innovations in order to try to demonstrate symbols, which convey meanings beyond functional usage, such as peer recognition and image. Given these emerging trends, I will outline a research program that investigates individual and organizational level adoption of technology from the symbolic actions perspective. Specifically, going beyond the utilitarian-dominant viewpoint, I identify symbolic goals as another salient driver of technology adoption behavior. I will then discuss one particular study conducted at the organizational level. Through a survey of 218 organizations, this study endeavors to shed light on the factors contributing to functional and symbolic adoption of technology in organizations.

06 June 2014, Burt Swanson, University of California, Los Angeles

How Are Information Systems Research Impacts Achieved?

Research in the field of information systems is presently under pressures to justify its value by speaking to its impact on professional practice.  This seminar presents a simple model enabling research impacts to be identified and differentiated, distinguishing between those that occur through direct engagement of academic practice with professional practice, and those that occur through diffusion of practices, both academic and professional.  Several conjectures about information systems research impacts follow from an analysis of the model.

23 May 2014, Suprateek Sarker, University of Virginia

The Practice of Qualitative Research in the IS Discipline:  An Evolutionary View and Some Implications for Authors and Evaluators

Qualitative Research in the Information Systems discipline has come a long way, from being dismissed as “exploratory research” or “pre-research,” not worthy of being featured in leading “scientific” journals in the discipline, to a state where such research is seen as legitimate and even welcome within much of the mainstream IS research community. Despite these very positive developments in line with the value of pluralism that our discipline has embraced, and the gradual inclusion of qualitative work in high-profile mainstream outlets, noted academics have expressed concerns about the “disproportionately low number of qualitative articles in top journals,” and attributed this pattern to (among other reasons) “perceptions of negative bias against qualitative approaches from editors and reviewers in leading journals” (Conboy et al. 2012, p. 113). To help make sense of the situation, in this presentation, I will offer a critical commentary on the arena of qualitative research in the Information Systems discipline, reflecting on why reviewer or editorial evaluations of qualitative manuscripts, with respect to methodological issues, are often perceived as being “prejudiced” (Markus 1997). By viewing the adoption of qualitative research in the IS discipline as an evolutionary process, and by highlighting key differences among the various types of qualitative inquiry, a number of implications for both authors and evaluators of qualitative manuscripts become visible

25 April 2014, Matti Rossi, Aalto University

Open Data Value Networks

As the available data stack grows, we can see the proliferation of innovative new services on many areas (e.g. traffic, news etc.) based on two key trends: the opening of the vast data resources collected by authorities and different governmental units, and the increasing availability of new open sensor data (for example, from mobile devices). We are moving into an era of consuming that data that is creating novel opportunities and challenges for the creation of new services. In this presentation I will talk about a study of emerging open data value network structure and business models based on study of 14 Finnish organizations. Understanding the business models, as well as the emerging OD value network, will help companies to better reap the benefits of open data, and contribute to academic discussion on how to establish an open data service ecosystem.

28 March 2014, Frantz Rowe, University of Nantes

Knowledge sharing, maturation and networks: Safety and effectiveness in new product development
This paper is about knowledge sharing and maturation in new product development (NPD). We show how knowledge items mature as they are shared in expanding knowledge networks until the items are exhausted and transformed to new knowledge items to serve new activities. Our conceptual framework integrates knowledge sharing, knowledge networks/ and knowledge maturation. We explore knowledge maturation patterns through four in-depth case studies of NPD projects using Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) technology. Our results show that knowledge maturation patterns are contextual and complex. Knowledge is shared in knowledge networks, where one network feeds into another during the maturation process. Psychological safety plays a role in the choice of knowledge networks for knowledge maturation. This paper reveals the diversity of knowledge maturation patterns based on 1) psychological safety, and 2) technological novelty. These results suggest that formal NPD process and progress across knowledge networks/ interact and reinforce knowledgetransformation effectiveness. These results have implications for articulating the IT architecture for NPD.

28 February 2014, Pär Ågerfalk, Uppsala University

Through the Printing Press: On Openness in the Swedish Newspaper Industry
Recent years have seen an increase in the use of social information technologies that have a decentralizing effect on collaboration and co-creation. These technologies carry a potential for organizations to open up aspects of production and directly involve external stakeholders. One result of this trend is an increased institutional pressure on the newspaper industry to facilitate an open approach to news production — a traditionally insular industry currently battling a near two-decade long financial decline. This talk focuses on how the newspaper industry meets the challenge of openness. Results from a combination of content analysis of the websites of Sweden’s 159 standard newspapers and deep qualitative interviews in one newspaper corporation, suggest that rather than embracing openness, newspaper organizations to a large extent tend to deflect open practices by either separating core, legitimizing practices from openness altogether or making openness non-invasive by institutionally assimilating the properties of open practices. An important reason for this carefulness is the inherent complexity stemming from mechanisms created and triggered by conflicting institutional logics. It seems that the process of legitimization inscribed by a particularly charged information technology — the printing press — continues to exert great influence on what constitutes openness in the newspaper industry.

07 February 2014, Robert Galliers, Bentley University

Back to the future: A 50 year reflection on Information Systems Strategizing
Using a structured methodology, we reviewed over 9,000 articles concerned with IS strategy over a period of approximately 50 years (1962 – end 2010).  We examined and coded a relevant subset of over 1,000 articles that deal directly with IS strategizing. We consider IS strategizing, not from either a content or process perspective but in holistic terms – as a duality. Our work makes a number of contributions. First, we offer a critique of recent literature reviews based on the tenets of strategizing-as-organizing and provide a comprehensive ‘map’ of the literature with IS strategizing at its heart. Second, we identify the very earliest articles that formed the basis for our developing understanding of the issues associated with the planning of IS, and trace the trajectory over time. Third, we identify the most highly cited articles concerned with the core of IS strategizing and related, ‘foundation’ topic areas.  Fourth, we consider the various frameworks that have appeared in the literature and provide a synthesis, based on this review and on the strategizing-as-organizing principles for which we argue. Fifth, we offer a basis for a potential future research agenda in IS strategizing.

17 January 2014, Lucas Introna, Lancaster University

The Sociomateriality of Time:  Repetition and time making practices in high frequency trading and real time bidding

Time is a sociomaterial accomplishment. Central to this accomplishment is the notion of repetition of an exact quantity.  Making time ‘exact’ is perhaps one of humanities greatest sociomaterial achievements. Temporality, on the other hand is historical, it is not about repetition. It is rather an iteration in which the past pours into the present in anticipation of the future, it is a qualitative duration as Bergson would suggest. If time is a sociomaterial accomplishment we are not only making time, time is also making us. All sociomaterial accomplishments are ontologically constitutive in its becoming (as was proposed by Whitehead, Latour and Barad, to name but a few). In this seminar I want to consider particular time making practices by looking at high frequency trading (in the financial markets) and real time bidding (in online advertising).  I want to try and show how these sociomaterial time making practices attempt to accomplish repetition (or perfect timing) whilst still incorporating the most immediate contemporary past and the most immediate contemporary future, to produce a new sense of time. Finally I want to consider how this new sense of time is constitutive of the beings/subjects we are becoming (as organisational actors) – especially in terms of our sense of temporality.

19 December 2013, Masaaki Kurosu, The Open University of japan

User Engineering and the Theory of Experience

The user engineering is an offspring of the usability engineering. The usability engineering, as the name reveals, focuses on the usability that is quite important to users. But there are also such important quality traits as the reliability, the safety, the compatibility etc. in addition to the usability. The user engineering treats all the quality characteristics that are relevant to the user for the purpose of increasing the level of satisfaction on the side of the user. Since around 2000, UX (user experience) became the major concern of designers, engineers and marketing people instead of the usability. But it should be noted that there was a shift of focus from the user side to the industry side despite the name of UX. In other words, UX is attracting stakeholders as an approach to increase the sales. This is the reason why I proposed the concept of experience engineering that also put an emphasis on the user side as the user engineering. There are three key aspects of artifacts as follows; objective quality characteristics, subjective quality characteristics and, more importantly, the meaningfulness. The experience engineering denies products and services that are meaningless to users and proposes an approach to acquire the meaningfulness.

12 December 2013, M. Lynne Markus, Bentley University

Double Jeopardy: Reopening Closed Questions about Computers and Society

Since the start of the first industrial revolution, concerns have been raised about the societal challenges of technological development. Time after time, those concerns subsided, as fears failed to materialize and people accepted unintended consequences as the inevitable side effects of “progress”. Against this backdrop, new predictions about possible negative effects of “big data” and robots (including automated question-answering and decision-making systems) on jobs, skills, and societal welfare sound like false alarms. And past experience does not seem to support the need for change in research programs or policy actions now. This presentation, to the contrary, will explore some reasons why this time really may be different. Implications for the research community will be discussed.

07 November 2013, Lars Mathiassen, Georgia State University

Politics during Business Process Transformation:
A Metatriangulation Analysis

Numerous approaches to Business Process Transformation (BPT) have played an important role in Information Systems (IS) research and practice for more than 20 years. Although extant theory acknowledges the political nature of BPT initiatives, researchers have yet to empirically investigate and theorize about how organizational politics impacts BPT behaviors and outcomes. Against this backdrop, we apply metatriangulation to analyze and synthesize rich data from a BPT project in four business units within the high-tech firm Terma. First, we draw on four distinct perspectives on organizational politics—pluralist, rationalist, interpretive, and radical—to develop a comprehensive account of BPT implementation politics within each of Terma’s business units. These accounts capture four distinct patterns of BPT politics: applying-the-hammer, struggling-to-engage, walking-the-talk, and keeping-up-appearances. Next, we combine the empirical findings with extant literature to offer a theoretical model for analysis and description of BPT implementation politics. Our model presents constructs and metaconjectures for how political practices are shaped within a particular BPT implementation context through a process of change recipient responses and change agent counterresponses depending upon and impacting stakeholder interest alignment and organizational goal attainment. As an additional contribution, our research is the first within the IS field to apply metatriangulation to theory building based on empirical data.

25 October 2013, Ole Hanseth, University of Oslo

Towards a Theory of Generative Architectures - A Longitudinal Study of eHealth Infrastructure in Norway

The presentation discussed the role of architecture in the development and evolution of information infrastructures. Going beyond the purely technical perspective, we review three different streams of architectural thinking, namely strategic architecting, mirroring and structural alignment and innovations and generativity. We find that a key dimension is lacking in the extant architectural theorizing, and suggest the concept of generative architecture to frame a more comprehensive understanding of the role of architecture. Our empirical evidence is based on ten cases from the health sector, collected over a period of 20 years. A longitudinal analysis allowed us to identify two main architectural approaches; the Application Centric/Institutional Interface Architecture (INA) and the Communication System Centric/Service Provider Architecture (SPA). Through the careful study of the ten cases, we present evidence that SPA architecture is more generative, and therefore, more successful. The theoretical contribution is a more powerful lens for architectural analysis, while our practical contribution is a set of operational criteria that information infrastructure architecture should satisfy.

24 September 2013, Izak Benbasat, University of British Columbia

Improving Customer-Information Technology-Company Communications in e-Commerce

Web sites are a company’s "window to the world." A web site allows customers to interact directly with a number of information technology artifacts that are provided by the company (such as, product recommendation agents, video product presentations) as well as entities within that company (such as, sales assistants) and other customers (collaborative shopping) via information technology mediated channels. This interaction is designed to enhance customers’ efficiency, effectiveness and shopping enjoyment by providing high quality information technology-based services with the aim of improving customers’ trust in online merchants, reducing their perceived risks of buying on the web, and increasing their loyalty to web merchants and commitment to online shopping. The seminar provides a brief summary of over 20 studies on electronic commerce using laboratory experimentation and field survey methods. The topics studied included: how to improve product understanding on the web; how to provide services to customers via IT support; improving customers’ purchase quality via recommendation agent use, designing product recommendations agents that are trustworthy, and designing social interfaces to such agents; collaborative shopping; and reducing risk and deception in electronic commerce.

17 May 2013, Peter Gloor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Analyzing Big Data Discover Honest Signals of Innovation

Every disruptive innovation is not the result of a lone inventor, but of a small group of likeminded individuals, working together in close collaboration to get their cool idea off the ground. They are leveraging the concept of swarm creativity, where this small team – the Collaborative Innovation Network (COIN) - empowered by the collaborative technologies of the Internet and social media, turns their creative labour of love into a product that changes how we think, work, or spend our day. The seminar described a series of ongoing projects at the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence with the goal of analyzing the new idea creation process through tracking human interaction patterns on three levels. On the global level, macro- and microeconomic indicators, such as the valuation of companies and consumer indices are predicted based on social media analysis on Twitter, Blogs, and Wikipedia. On the organizational level, productivity and creativity of companies and teams is measured through extracting "honest signals" from communication archives such as company e-mail. On the individual level, individual and team creativity is analyzed through face-to-face interaction with sociometric badges and personal e-mail logs. After introducing the framework, the talk presented ongoing projects on all three levels.

12 April 2013, Matthew Jones, University of Cambridge

The Truth is in There: Information Systems and the Discourse of Big Data

The numbers thrown around in discussions of Big Data are striking. More data, for example, are now produced in two days, it is claimed, than were produced between the dawn of civilization and 2003. And analyzing these data is said to be leading to significant new findings, both in the natural and, it is suggested, social sciences, not to mention significant revenue streams for the likes of Google and Facebook. Big data, it seems, is a big deal, but one on which, as yet, IS researchers have apparently had little to say. Drawing on a case study of the use of a clinical information system I will seek to show that IS research furnishes a number of concepts that can be used to develop a critical analysis of the discourse of Big Data. The implications of this analysis for IS research, not just in relation to big data, was discussed.   

15 March 2013, Virpi Tuunainen, Aalto University

Ambidextrous Socialization: Exercising Control in Social Media Environment

How can firms use social media environments (SMEs) to create productive ideas within an extended organization particularly if customers do not have strong identification with the company? How can firms control heterogeneous social media users to achieve organizational goals? These questions are important as the prevailing literature on SME assume that firms can exert little control over individuals’ autonomous behaviours. Based on empirical observations on how one firm used SME to increase customer engagement and innovation, we argue that in collective, heterogeneous, and rapidly changing knowledge intensive environments, co-creation in socialization of users is based on fundamentally different logic than in traditional organizations. We advance the concept of ambidextrous socialization, that rather than reducing uncertainty that users feel in socialization, seek to increase uncertainty and thereby promote flexibility, plurality, and adaptability in volatile, virtual, and fast moving environments.

22 February 2013, Carsten Sørensen, London School of Economics

Digital Innovation Challenges Struggling with Paradoxes of Change and Control

The technical process of digitizing analogue data into digital bit-streams and the associated socio-technical processes of digitalisation has yet to fully reveal their disruptive potentials – yet researchers and practitioners alike must comprehend these phenomena. The associated digital innovation brings a number of research themes to the foreground and the aim of this talk is to discuss a couple of these themes as a way of stimulating the debate on how research can provide useful insights. Special focus will be drawn to the relationship between ecosystem governance and innovation dynamics stemming from a large-scale study of Apple's iOS ecosystem. The presentation draw upon current research on mobile platform innovation conducted at LSE's unit for the study of digital infrastructure innovation.

25 January 2013, Margunn Aanestad, University of Oslo

Innovation Dynamics and the Installed Base

IS innovations often consist of piecemeal additions, improvements, recombination and reuse of previous elements. The interplay between the novel impulse (or element) and the existing reality (the installed base) results in complex innovation trajectories and in complex, heterogeneous and layered IS solutions. An adequate understanding of IS innovation dynamics requires that we are able to grasp this complex interplay. The concept of installed base, coming from network economics, initially denoted quantitative measures such as market share. In the IS field it also denotes the socio-technical heterogeneity of the environment, such as existing organizations, routines, tools, systems, standards, practices etc. While the concept helps us to address stability and continuity, the question remains whether (and how) it may offer analytic leverage beyond this for innovation studies. At the very least we need to push beyond the insight that the installed base is “both enabling and constraining” for innovation. In order to extend the conceptual granularity of the installed base concept, empirical material from attempts in the healthcare sector to design patient-centric services and ICTs will be presented. In these cases the interplay between installed base and innovation processes is differentiated along multiple dimensions, such as points of contact, modes of engagement and degrees of coupling.

16 November 2012, Ola Henfridsson, Warwick Business School

The Generative Mechanisms of Digital Infrastructure Evolution

The literature on digital infrastructure offers powerful lenses for conceptualizing the increasingly inter-connected information system collectives found in contemporary organizations. However, little attention has been paid to the generative mechanisms of digital infrastructure, that is, the causal powers that explain how and why such infrastructure evolves over time. This is unfortunate, since more knowledge about what drives digital infrastructures would be highly valuable for managers and IT professionals confronted by the complexity of managing them. To this end, we adopt a critical realist view for developing a configurational perspective of infrastructure evolution. Our theorizing draws on a multi-method research design comprising an in-depth case study and a case survey. The in-depth case study at a Scandinavian airline distinguishes three key mechanisms of digital infrastructure evolution: adoption, innovation, and scaling. The case survey research of 41 cases of digital infrastructure then identifies and analyzes causal paths through which configurations of these mechanisms lead to successful evolution outcomes. Our study contributes to the infrastructure literature in two ways. First, we identify three generative mechanisms of digital infrastructure and how they contingently lead to evolution outcomes. Second, we use these mechanisms as a basis for developing a configurational perspective that advances current knowledge about why some digital infrastructures evolve successfully while others do not.

26 October 2012, Lucy Suchman, Lancaster University

Restoring Information's Bodies

In How We Became Posthuman (1999), media historian Katherine Hayles has famously explored the question of how, in her words, information lost its body in the formative years of the information sciences in the middle of the last century.  My talk takes off from this question to consider recent developments in the study of information and communications technologies that help to recover the entanglements of bodies and machines. In particular, scholarship in the field of science and technology studies (STS) makes a compelling case for an understanding of information as irreducibly social and material, virtual and real. I'll show the relevance of that understanding for my own current research focus on what James der Derian (2009) has named 'MIME-net', the military-industrial-media-entertainment network. More specifically, I explore  the concept of 'situation awareness'  within the logics and material practices of remotely-controlled weapon systems (particularly armed drones and weaponized robots), as bodies become increasingly entangled with machines, in the interest of keeping them apart from the bodies of others.

28 September 2012, Jonathan Wareham, ESADE

Paradox in Technology Ecosystems Governance

Technology platform strategies offer a novel way to orchestrate a rich portfolio of contributions made by the many independent actors who form an ecosystem of heterogeneous complements around a stable platform core. This form of organizing has been successfully used in the smartphone, gaming, social-networking, and commercial software industries, amongst others. Technology ecosystems require stability and homogeneity to leverage common investments in standard components, yet also need change and heterogeneity to meet evolving market demand. We explore these issues through a case study of a business software ecosystem consisting of a major multinational software manufacturer at the core, and a system of independent implementation partners and solution developers on the periphery. Our research analyses three primary tensions: control-autonomy, standardization-variety, and collective-individual. We explore the mechanisms of the ecosystem governance that accommodate these tensions, and highlight the specific properties that can be generalizable to other technology ecosystems. Finally, we identify triggers in the case data where latent, mutually enabling tensions become manifest as salient, disabling tensions. By identifying transitions between the complementary and contradictory logics, our study contributes to the understanding of both the design of the ecosystem governance, but also the constant managerial finesse needed to achieve equilibrium and avoid problems of ‘market failure’ in technology ecosystems that function as semi-regulated marketplaces.

07 September 2012, Jan Marco Leimeister, Kassel University

Trust Engineering in Ubiquitous Computing Systems

Trust has been shown to be a key factor for technology adoption by users, i.e. users prefer to use applications they trust. Surprisingly, trust literature offers very little guidance for systematically integrating the vast amount of behavioural trust research results into the development of computing systems. The talk presents a method for deriving trust supporting components for ubiquitous computing systems from empirical research models. Using the method we derive four trust supporting components for a ubiquitous restaurant recommendation system. The system is consequently evaluated with and without trust-supporting components using a laboratory experiment with 166 undergraduate students. The results show that the users' trust as well as their intention to use the system could be significantly increased by the trust supporting components. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first approach developing and evaluating a method for systematically integrating the behavioural trust results into the development of a computing system and the potential value contribution of such an approach.

24 August 2012, Nicholas Asher, University of Texas at Austin

Games and Language

Almost all work on conversation in linguistics and AI assumes strong cooperative principles that one can model as a matter of aligned preferences among conversational agents. However, in real life conversations the preferences of agents are often opposed.  In this talk I talk about a model for not completely cooperative conversation, and about efforts to investigate non cooperative conversation in free conversational exchanges.  I will concentrate in particular on how implicatures work in non cooperative settings.

19 June 2012, Kalle Lyytinen, Case Western Reserve University

New State of Play in IS Research: The Push to the Edges

Dominant and preferred ways of producing knowledge underlying current Information System (IS) scholarship are driven by the desire to domesticate higher level reference theory in the form of mid-level abstractions within a research context that involves Information Technology (IT). As IT remains exogenous to these theories it is typically treated as an independent variable, mediator, or moderator, depending on the adopted research angle. The construct itself is operationalized through rough proxy measures that detect the presence of generic technical elements in a social context.  This has resulted in a growing number of interpretations and operationalizations of reference theories and IT leaving IS scholars to grapple with incommensurate models and often confounding results, which are difficult to coalesce into a strong and cumulative knowledge-base. At the same time the discourse communicates complains about the paucity of original and bold theorizing. As one way to overcome these challenges we suggest that the IS community needs to reconsider and revise its epistemic scripts in ways that more flexibly accommodate new forms of producing knowledge. These scripts will start push IS inquiry to the "edges" by emphasizing inductive, rich and pre-science local theorizing based using new and extensive data, as well as by pursuing genuine  high level and stylized theorizing  that focuses on interactions between IT, information and semiotic representations, and social behaviors.  The push calls for relaxing and revising current institutionalized publishing and review practices and reassessing our expectations concerning research genres deemed worthy of publishing. We posit that if proposed shifts to "edges" can be accomplished the future of IS discipline is brighter and it can establish itself as one of the epicenters of organizational inquiry into forces that shape human enterprise in the 21st century.

15 June 2012, Michael D.Myers, University of Auckland

Digital Natives and Ubiquitous Information Systems

Most IS research until now has focused on information systems in organizations and their use by digital immigrants. Digital immigrants are those who were not born into the digital world – they learnt to use information systems at some stage in their adult life. An underlying assumption of much of this research is that users “resist” technology or at least have some difficulty in accepting it. Digital natives, however, are those who have grown up in a world where the use of information and communications technology is pervasive and ubiquitous. These ubiquitous technologies, networks and associated systems have proliferated and have woven themselves into the very fabric of everyday life. We suggest that the rise of the digital native, along with the growth of Ubiquitous Information Systems (UIS), potentially represents a fundamental shift in our “paradigm” for IS research. We propose a research agenda that focuses on digital natives and UIS. This seminar is based on and updates a paper recently published in Information Systems Research.

25 May 2012, Jannis Kallinikos, London School of Economics

The Distinct Ontology of Digital Objects: A New Frontier for IS Research

Information-based artifacts are increasingly becoming embedded in wider and con-stantly shifting digital ecosystems that render them editable, interactive, open and dis-tributed. As these artifacts diffuse throughout the institutional fabric, their attributes and the operations they sustain install themselves at the heart of social practice, challenging important canons and traditions in which stable, bounded and recognizable objects have figured prominently. These ideas are illustrated with reference to 1) provenance and authenticity of digital documents within the overall context of archiving and social memory and 2) the content dynamics associated with Internet search engines. While variously observed in information systems research, the implications of the distinct ontology of information-based artifacts that we refer to as digital objects have not yet been adequately theorized nor empirically explored. We argue that the study of digital objects opens up a new frontier for IS research.

20 April 2012, Ulrike Schultze, Southern Methodist University

Performing Identity with Digital Material: A Sociomaterial Perspective of Virtual Worlds

In the contemporary era of social media and virtual organizing, people increasingly materialize themselves by means of blogs, images, profiles and tweets. As they leverage digital material to make themselves present in multiple settings, they increasingly become cyborgs, that is, beings whose bodies and senses are extended through technology. They find themselves having to manage who they are in a liminal zone where the boundaries between actual and virtual reality and between their physical and digital identities are blurred. Even as users are increasingly experiencing their identities as sociomaterial entanglements, most research on online identity draws a priori distinctions between the “real” and the virtual and between the physically-¬‐embodied user and his/her technological representation. To address this shortcoming, this paper adopts a performative perspective of identity in order to gain insight into the practices that users of virtual worlds, a particular kind of social media technology, rely on to perform a cyborgian identity. By focusing on the role of digital material in the performance of eight Second Life users, this study seeks to answer the question: How is digital material available in virtual worlds used to perform cyborgian identity? The paper identifies three identity practices: the materialization of new discourses, embodiment and the materialization of identity positioning.

30 March 2012, Ojelanki Ngwenyama, Ryerson University

Mind, Illusion and Consciousness

Above the entrance to the Temple of Delphi reads the dictum, 'know thyself'. For centuries wise men and women have given this same admonition. What is this thyself that they are admonishing us to know? Descartes has stated, 'I think therefore I am', what has this got to do with knowing thyself? Most scientists spend their entire life times interrogating the outside world and give very little attention to interrogating 'thyself'. This discussion is an inquiry into 'thyself'. I will start the disillusion by making a few statement here: (1) Descartes was dead wrong; it is 'I am, therefore I think'. You have to be there to recognize the first thought when it arises.  (2) Whatever you think you are, you are not; it is just a thought. If you truly understand these two statements you don't need to come to the discussion, but you are welcome to if you wish. Our inquiry will focus on these questions.

09 March 2012, Ben Light, University of Salford

On the Commodification of Sex and Death via the Internet: A Sociomaterial Perspective

In this talk I will consider different approaches to the commodification of activities that are, potentially, simultaneously deeply personal and of public interest. To do this I will draw upon qualitative work regarding gay men's Internet Dating and Ghanian Funerals. Using these two seemingly disparate strands of work, I will engage a sociomaterial lens to facilitate a surfacing of digital and physical things, and socialpractices, that contribute to commodification. Whilst ultimately recognising the power of human agency in commodification I hope to share insights which demonstrate other actor's contributions which simultaneously feed and starve such processes and that do so in ways that are often hidden from view.



The page was last edited by: Department of Digitalization // 06/23/2024