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IS Research Seminar

Thomas HUBER (University of Bern)

May, 29th, 2017, 10:30am at Essec, Cergy, room N516

Balancing Flexibility and Alignment During Outsourced Software Development Through Contract Design and Project Control: A Process Analysis

The uncertain nature of software development in outsourced projects poses conflicting demands on clients that strive to manage their vendors effectively: Clients need to design contracts and enact project controls that foster alignment with project goals, but they also need to give vendors flexibility to respond to uncertainty. Current understanding of how this balance can be achieved using regulatory interventions is limited in two ways. Research 1) adopts a static view ignoring the need to adapt contracts and controls during project trajectory given uncertainty: and 2) does not attend to how contracts and controls shape each other and jointly influence project outcomes. This study addresses these two gaps by conducting longitudinal multi-level, multi-case study of three software outsourcing projects. We inductively infer how changes in contract design and project control came about, how they shaped each other, and how their mutual dynamic influence project outcomes. We synthesize the analysis into an integrative process model of contract design and project control. The model identifies four contract archetypes and four non-standard contract contents. We show that varying combinations of archetypes and contents can shape project regulation in ways that enables either alignment or flexibility, both, or neither. If the project is to perform well, the selected contract archetype, contract content, and use of controls that follow need to match the "strength" of project incidents that manifest the uncertainty. Weak incidents can be addressed with conventional, ex ante standard contract archetypes and contents. Strong incidents call clients to combine archetypes and contents in ways that jointly foster flexibility and alignment. Flexibility-enabling interventions demand adequate levels of trust, while alignment-enabling interventions call the client to possess adequate knowledge pools. Clients can cultivate such conditions by orchestrating contract and control interventions carefully. Overall the proposed model advances a dynamic, holistic perspective of regulation of software outsourcing projects and, by doing so accounts for past seemingly contradictory prior results on contract design and project control. It significantly expands nascent research on interactions between contracts and controls.

Keywords: Software outsourcing, Alignment, Flexibility, Transaction cost theory, Agency theory, Contract design, Project management, Process theory, Process model, Trust, Knowledge effects.

Alan HEVNER (Eminent Scholar and Professor of Information Systems, Muma College of Business - University of South Florida)

March, 15th, 2017, 12pm at Essec, Cergy, room N516

Effective Design Science Research

Design science research (DSR) has staked its rightful ground as an important and legitimate research paradigm across many disciplines where the development of innovative artifacts provides research contributions. Simply stated, DSR seeks to enhance technology and science knowledge bases via the creation of innovative artifacts that solve problems and improve the environment in which they are instantiated. The results of DSR include both the newly designed artifacts and a fuller understanding of why the artifacts provide an enhancement (or, disruption) to the relevant application contexts. The aims of this presentation are to help researchers to (i) appreciate the types of artifacts that may be DSR contributions, (ii) identify appropriate ways of consuming and producing knowledge when they are preparing journal articles or other scholarly works , (iii) understand and position the knowledge contributions of their research projects, and (iv) structure a DSR article so that a significant contribution to the knowledge base is highlighted. The presentation then moves to an exploration of new, more effective and sustainable, ways of evaluating the qualities of design artifacts.

Chris FORMAN (Professor from Cornell University, the IDS department editor of Management Science)

December, 5th, 2016, 10:30am at HEC, in room Bernard Ramanantsoa, building V

Internet adoption and knowledge diffusion

What is the capacity of ICT do reduce the (geographical and technological) localization of knowledge? In this paper, we analyze the impact of Internet adoption within US firms on knowledge spillovers. More specifically we investigate the impact of basic Internet access on the likelihood that patents invented at a given R&D establishment cite patents invented elsewhere within the same firm. Our findings suggest that adoption of Internet significantly fosters cross-location citations in a significant way, and that these effects are proportional to the technologically proximity of the establishments. This positive effect holds even when excluding collaborative patents or controlling for earlier collaborations, and suggests that Internet adoption has helped in reducing the spatial localization of knowledge but not in the ability to draw from new knowledge sources (i.e., across different technological areas).

Robert DAVISON (Department of Information Systems, City University of Hong Kong)

May, 11th, 2016, 12:30pm at Essec, Cergy, room N516

The Ins and Outs of Interdisciplinary Work: An Information Systems Perspective

Complex organisational and societal problems often require solutions that incorporate contributions from different disciplines. However, the silo-based structures that dominate academic specializations and scholarly publications often raise significant barriers to the formation of Interdisciplinary teams and the development of Interdisciplinary solutions. We report on an ongoing study into the extent to which IS research is Interdisciplinary. We select 150 papers from six top IS journals and scrutinise them for their disciplinary characteristics. While we find extensive evidence of influential reference disciplines, we find little evidence of truly Interdisciplinary work. We discuss the implications of these findings – for research and practice.


Robert Davison is a Professor of Information Systems at the City University of Hong Kong. His current research focuses on virtual Knowledge Management and Collaboration in Chinese SMEs. He has published over 80 articles in a variety of journals such as MIS Quarterly, the Information Systems Journal, IT&People, Journal of IT, Journal of the AIS, Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, Decision Support Systems, Communications of the AIS, and Communications of the ACM. Robert is the Editor-in-Chief of the Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries, co-Editor-in-Chief of Information Systems Journal, and co-Editor-in-Chief of Information Technology & People. Home Page:

Anuragini SHIRISH (Telecom School of Management, Paris, France)

March, 4th, 2016, 12:30pm at Essec, Cergy, room N305

Bridging Cultural Discontinuities in Global Virtual Teams: Role of Cultural Intelligence

In the current era of digital transformation, traditional face-to-face teams are being gradually replaced by multicultural global virtual teams (GVTs). Prior research on GVTs identifies' cultural discontinuity' as one the salient barriers that needs to be bridged for better virtual team performance. Recent economic intelligence unit (EIU) report attributes 70% failures in GVTs to cultural discontinues that exist in such teams. Grounding the current study in organizational discontinuity theory (ODT), I propose cultural intelligence (CQ) as one of the modalities through which cultural discontinuities in GVTs could possibly be bridged. Situating the discussion, in transactional model of stress and coping (TMSC), I develop a CQ nomological network describing the inter-relationships and mechanisms through which different CQ dimensions influence GVT performance. Further, leveraging compensatory adaptation theory (CAT) the significant role or structural adaptation (role structure adaptation) is hypothesized, in addition to behavioral (CQ behavior), in the proposed CQ framework for the GVT context.
I test the theorized model using a sequential mixed methods research design comprising quantitative study followed by a qualitative study. In the first phase data is collected via two temporally separated rounds of surveys (two waves) from a sample of 128 team members grouped into 32 GVTs to test a series ot hypothesis describing the nomological network surrounding CQ and GVT performance. The results from the quantitative study are corroborated and confirmed through the subsequent qualitative study comprising semi-structured interviews of 13 experts who hold managerial positions in GVTs. Further, the data from the qualitative study is used to complement the results from the quantitative study by identifying' nine boundary conditions' to the theorized model which help in delineating a substantive theory of cultural intelligence for the GVT context. Theoretical and practical implications emerging out of the study are also discussed.

Ravi BAPNA (Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota)

November, 26th, 2015, 1:30pm at Essec, Cergy, room N231

What are Social Incentives Worth? Randomized Experiments in User Content Generation

Mainly online markets, platforms and communities depend on user-generated content (UGC). At the same time, under-provision and low quality provision are persistent problems. In this research we examine the interplay between social and monetary incentives in stimulating the production of product reviews, a popular form of UGC. Using a series of experiments, with the focal one being in the field, we consider the relative efficacy of each approach in the context of online reviews, in terms of both quantity and quality of content production they induce. We also consider the efficacy of their combined application. In our focal experiment, our sample included 2,000 customers who completed a product purchase within the prior 24-hour period to treatment. We randomly assigned each customer to one of the following conditions: a control group, a generic notification group, a monetary incentive group, a descriptive norm (social) group, and an interaction group, which received both the monetary incentive and descriptive norms. Our main finding so far is that the combined provision of a descriptive norms and monetary incentive deliver the greatest overall benefit, in terms of quantity and quality of review production.

Keywords: Public goods provision, monetary incentives, social proof, causal inference, RCT (Joint research with Gord Burtch, Vladas Griskevicius and Yili Hong).

Anindya GHOSE (New York University's Leonard N. Stern School of Business, USA)

June, 1st, 2015, 12am at Essec, Cergy, room N231

Seminar with Marketing Department, Essec

Measuring the effectiveness of mobile marketing: evidence from multiple studies

The explosive growth of Smartphone and location-based services (LBS) has contributed to the rise of mobile advertising. In this talk, we will present results from multiple studies that are designed to measure the effectiveness of mobile marketing promotions. In the first randomized field experiment, using data from a location based app for smartphones, we measure the effectiveness of mobile coupons. The aim is to analyze the causal impact of geographical distance between a user and retail store, the display rank, and coupon discounts on consumer's response to mobile coupons. In a second large scale field study where we exploit a quasi-natural experiment we examine the role of contextual crowdedness on the redemption rates of mobile coupons. We find that people become increasingly engaged with their mobile devices as trains  get more crowded, and in turn become more likely to respond to targeted mobile messages. The study results were consistent across peak and off-peak times, and on weekdays and weekends. The change in behavior can be accounted for by the phenomenon of "mobile immersion": to psychologically cope with the loss of personal space in crowded trains and to avoid accidental gazes, commuters can escape into their personal mobile space. In turn, they become more involved with targeted mobile messages they receive, and, consequently, are more likely to make a purchase in crowded trains. These studies causally show that mobile advertisements, based on real-time static geographical location and contextual information can significantly increase consumers' likelihood of redeeming a geo-targeted mobile coupon. However, beyond the location and contextual information, the overall mobile trajectory of each individual consumer can provide even richer information about consumer preferences. In a third study, we propose a new mobile advertising strategy that leverages full information on consumers' offline moving trajectories. To examine the effectiveness of this new mobile trajectory-based advertising strategy, we designed a large-scale randomized field experiment in one of the largest shopping malls in the world. We find that mobile trajectory-based advertising can lead to highest redemption probability, fastest redemption behavior, and highest satisfaction rate from customers at the focal advertising store. Our studies help firms better understand the question of which kinds of mobile advertising are most effective and how machine techniques can be combined with statistical models and field experiments to offer the right product to the right time on the right channel. 

Mohan TANNIRU (Oakland University, Rochester, MI, USA)

May, 27th, 2015, 2pm - 4pm at Essec, Cergy, room N305

Readmission Analytics 1 - Care transformation through information technology

Health care providers are facing multiple challenges such as improving patient satisfaction, operating with reduced reimbursements, and reducing frequent readmissions. care providers who address these challenges independently often miss out on opportunities that surface when patient care is viewed within a system, influenced by two environments: clinical environment within the hospital and social environment of patients post-discharge. While hospitals strive for greater efficiencies within the clinical environment, they often find coordination post-discharge to reduce readmissions a major challenge. By viewing the system of patient care through the readmission lens and applying some of the templates discussed under Systematic Inventive Thinking: SIT  2 (Inside the Box), this presentation looks at several innovative approaches that can help address patient care both inside and outside the hospital walls by leveraging advances in information technology. Several on-going research projects of care transformation through IT will be highlighted including on-going work of patient care at St Joseph Mercy Hospital in Pontiac, MI and peri-operative care in Stanford Medical School (inside the hospitals), and patient empowerment studies at dialysis centers (DaVita) and medication reconciliation/patient follow-up at nursing homes (outside the hospital).

[1] Readmission Analytics

[2] SIT: inventive thinking

Stuart MADNICK (MIT Sloan School of Management and School of Engineering, USA)

March, 9th, 2015, 12.00-13.15 at Essec, Cergy, room N231 ("le Club")

The Disruptive Force of Big Data, The Rise of the Chief Data Officer (CDO), and the Challenges and Approaches to Cybersecurity

There is an explosion of data, often referred to as Big Data. This talk will discuss: the diverse sources of new data and its important and disruptive impact, the introduction of corporate Chief Data Officers (CDOs) to address these new opportunities, and the ever increasing cybersecurity concerns. In the last matter, examples of novel approaches will be presented based on the new MIT Interdisciplinary Consortium for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity, abbreviated (IC)3 - see 


November, 11th, 2014

Is Theory King?: Questioning the Theory Fetish in Information Systems

This paper suggests that there is too much emphasis on the requirement for theory use and theory building in qualitative research published in our leading journals. We discuss six concerns that we have that relate to this high status of theory in such papers. We argue tor what we refer to as "theory light" papers where theory plays no significant part in the paper and the contribution lies elsewhere, for example, new arguments, facts, patterns or relationships. A contribution to theory would be replaced with the requirement that any journal paper has a high potential for stimulating research that will impact on information systems theory and/or practice.
This paper, published in May 2014 in Journal of Information Technology (JIT), has led to much discussion. JIT has already published six commentaries on the paper, IS unless otherwise specified (from Allen Lee, Ola Henfridsson, Shirley Gregor, Davide Silverman (Sociology), Deborah Compeau and Fernando Olivera (OB) and Lynne Markus), as well as our rejoinder. It is also the subject of a special workshop of the AIS SIGPhil at ICIS 2014 in Auckland.
(copies of all 8 papers can be supplied on request to David Avison,

John DONG (University of Groningen, The Netherlands)

November, 6th, 2014

Managerial Decision Making for Information Technology Investment: Theory and Evidence

While IS scholars have known that information technology (IT) investment has important impact on firm performance, few studies provide insights on how IT investment decisions are made by managers. Based on the behavioral theory of the firm (BTOF), we systematically theorize performance shortfalls relative to managerial aspiration as the key driver of managerial decision making for IT investment. To develop a more holistic picture, we further integrate BTOF and agency theory by taking into account the moderating role of corporate governance mechanisms in mitigating managerial agency problems leading to overinvestment and underinvestment in IT. A large-scaled panel data set from multiple sources was used to test our theory. We found that when profitability decreases relative to aspiration level, subsequent IT investment increases. In addition, coorporate governance mechanisms play a nuanced role in mitigating overinvestment and underinvestment by moderating the relationship between performance shortfalls and IT investment.

Robert DAVISON (City University of Hong Kong)

May, 16th, 2014

IT Artifacts of Information Systems?

Information Systems and Information Technologies should lie at the heart of both the research and the practice that comprise the discipline and profession of information systems. The elaboration of information system (IS) with information technologies (IT) can perhaps be traced to Orlikowski and Iacono's (2001) cited "desperate search" for the IT artifact in IS research. Many current researchers now seek to ensure that the IT artifact is so central to their research that the systems in which these artifacts should be embedded are simply omitted. Instead, we are flooded with terms like "apps", "clouds" and "services". But where then are the systems? Hidden in the clouds? In this study, we examine the usage of the terms IS and IT by industry professionals. We report on interviews with a variety of professionals in the US and Hong Kong. We present a visual framework to map the data obtained through these interviews, focusing on the way systems and artifacts are developed and communicated. Finally, we discuss the implications for IS practice and IS research.

Reza TORKZADEH (University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA)

October, 24th, 2013

Traditionally, we have used concepts such as user satisfaction, perceived usefulness, and ease of use for measuring information system success. While appropriate for measuring design features of a system, these constructs do not necessarily reflect system outcome. The trend in recent years has been to link success with system outcome that impacts the individual and organization. The MIS domain is in need of continuous assessment and examination of technology innovation, application, use, and impact. The seminar discusses information systems success in terms of design versus outcome perspective. Traditional as well as more recent measures of success are described with particular reference to measures of e-commerce value to the customer, technology impact on work, and system use. 

Rosemary STOCKDALE (Swinburne University, Faculty of IC & CT, Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia)

Wednesday, March, 20th, 2013

A Journey in Social Media Research
Research into social media has proliferated significantly over the last few years. It is the subject of intense interest across a range of disciplines and there has been a proliferation of publications in an extensive range of journals. This seminar reports on the progress of a small research group interested in the development, uses and implications of social media from an IS perspective. The group began their work in this area in 2011 with research into existing publications on social media to determine the trends and empirical findings of social media use in organisations. The next stage was an investigation into identifying the dependent variable in social media use to help explain and understand the behavious that underpin the widespread adoption and use of social media throughout society. The seminar then addresses findings from case studies to provide a view of the business value that is being leveraged by small businesses. Finally, a brief coverage of future research directions is discussed.

Deborah COMPEAU (The University of Western Ontario, Canada)

Wednesday, May, 9th, 2012


Teaching with Cases: Myths, Realities and Opportunities


Business schools have adopted the pedagogy of case teaching and learning to various degrees and in various forms.  A wide range of practices are embedded in the domain of what is referred to as “case teaching”.  An even wider range of myths about case teaching and learning abound.  Understanding case teaching and learning from the perspective of theories of learning and motivation, and helping to uncover the myths and realities represents an important task in successfully using the method to support learning goals.  In this presentation, I will summarize some of the key myths and realities around case teaching, and present some opportunities and starting points for thinking about using cases (or extending the use of cases) in the business school classroom.

Esko PENTTINEN (Aalto University, Helsinki)

Wednesday, December, 14th, 2011


Exploring the Criteria for Selecting a Service Provider in Open Standard Interorganizational linkages


In this paper, we examine the decision-making problem of selecting a service provider in the setting of open standard interorganizational linkages (IOL). Based on a literature review on vendor selection criteria, expert interviews, and pilot case studies in six organizations, we develop a research instrument consisting of nine criteria: Reach, Economic Viability, Flexibility in Technology Consolidation, Project Management Ability, Customer References, Long Term Total Price, Relationship, Service Development, and End-user Usability. We operationalize these criteria to the case of electronic invoicing and draw on a survey consisting of 308 responses from companies. Using discrete choice analysis, we find that End-user Usability and Reach are the two most important criteria for companies when choosing a service provider in the setting of open standard electronic invoices. Our results highlight the importance of interoperability and network effects (criterion Reach) in open standard IOL. Furthermore, when moving from EDI (Electronic Data Interchange)-based IOL to open standard IOL, the user base of companies is larger than in the case of point to point EDI connections (also SMEs). This accentuates the importance of ease of use (criterion End-user Usability).

Véronique HEIWY (Université Paris Descartes / LIPADE)

Wednesday, March, 16th, 2011 at 2:15 pm, Nautile # N305 -  Cergy Campus

Will the Next Generation of Campus be Intelligent?


Ambient Intelligence is a multi-disciplinary research topic combining ubiquitous computing, distributed architecture and aiming at providing context-aware support to people in various domain such as domotic, health-care or eduction.

After a brief presentation of “Ambient Intelligence” (Aml) and its close relation with Multi-Agent systems (MAS), this presentation will show how Aml services could help the actors of the Paris Descartes Technology Institute (i.e. students, professors and staff) by describing Aml scenarios and giving a possible implementation of these scenarios. Aml provides new solutions but raises also new problems such as security, privacy that should be taken into account.

Guy FITZGERALD (Brunel University, UK)
Wednesday, March 10, 2010 at 12 am -  Cergy Campus, Nautile room N305

The Case for Cases in Information Systems Inquiry

This presentation will examine and discuss the case study interpretive approach to research in information systems, using illustrations from three case study inquiries undertaken by the author. The case studies are; The Halifax Share Dealing Service, the London Ambulance Computer Aided Dispatch System, and the Rolls Royce Aeromanager Portal. These cases, it is argued, provide interesting and relevant contributions to the information systems academic domain and that the case study approach should be regarded as a legitimate method of enquiry and be wiewed as part of the pluralism of methods appropriate for information systems research. The author has undertaken research using various approaches but is concerned at the seeming decline of the case study approach in the literature and as an acceptable method for some of the higher rated journals. The presentation will discuss issues of cases and theory development, cases and grounded approaches, and cases and generalisation, as well as some of the limitations of cases.

Suprateek SARKER (Copenhagen Business School)
November 18, 2009 at 12:00 am - room N305

Qualitative Research Genres in the IS Literature: Emerging Issues and Potential Implication

In this opinion piece, I seek to provide a critical commentary on the arena of qualitative research in the Information Systems discipline. During the presentation, I will attempt to reflect on why reviewer or editorial evaluations of manuscripts, with respect to methodological issues in qualitative studies, often come across as prejudiced. By viewing the adoption of qualitative research in the IS discipline as an evolutionary process, and by highlighting key differences among genres of qualitative manuscripts, a number of implications for both authors and evaluators of qualitative manuscripts emerge. The presentation is likely to be of interest for authors who (like me) are trying very hard to publish their qualitative manuscripts in leading journals and conferences, as well as for scholars who do not necessarily see themselves as qualitative researchers but are nevertheless called upon to evaluate qualitative manuscripts for leading outlets in the discipline.