Management Information Systems
Here are the current working papers in MIS. To learn more about MIS programs
in the School of Business
Administration at Oakland
University, visit the Decision and Information
Sciences Web site.
Replaced by 2007-3
Using IT Volunteers: A Conceptual Framework
Volunteer organizations (VOs) offer important services the
private and public sectors cannot or will not provide. VOs tend not
to use information technology (IT) to the extent they could, and so
don't receive the benefits it offers. This paper examines the
challenges using IT volunteers creates, including limits in
availability, expertise, commitment, organizational knowledge, and
equipment ownership. A framework for thinking about the
effectiveness of IT volunteers is presented.
Dioptra: An Ethics Decision Support System
Ethical decision making is difficult. Decision makers with
cognitive, emotional, social, and philosophical limits have
incomplete information about ambiguous, dynamic situations, where
the consequences of action are uncertain. This paper describes
Dioptra, a decision support system that can help people become more
effective ethical decision makers. Dioptra adds structure to the
decision process, supports various communication modes from
face-to-face to fully distributed teams, helps DMs avoid cognitive
and other biases, and addresses dysfunctional group behavior.
Dioptra is a flexible system, potentially useful for many other
applications besides ethical decision support. However, Dioptra is
intended to be used by mindful people in organizations with an
ethical culture. The system will be of limited use if these
conditions are not met.
Towards a Design Science of Ethical Decision
Poor ethical decisions can destroy firms, jobs, and even lives.
Ethical decision making involves complex emotional, cognitive,
social, and philosophical challenges. It is truly a "wicked
problem." The first step towards a design science of ethical
decision support is to develop a theoretical base on which
first-generation systems can be built. This paper brings together
work in cognitive, social and moral psychology, information systems,
and philosophy relevant to ethical decision making. Attributes of a
system that would support ethical decision making are described.
Labeling the Summum Bonum for Business
The most basic question in ethics is that of the summum bonum,
the final end, the ultimate purpose of action. If instructors want
to introduce the summum bonum to business students, how do they do
it? Discussions of standard philosophical terms like "the purpose of
life" might be resisted by students, if they think the terms are
inappropriate for business courses. This study examined whether the
term "personal success" would be acceptable. A survey of
undergraduate business students found that on average they thought
about the summum bonum more than expected. The data also showed that
students found standard philosophical terms inappropriate for a
business class. "Personal success" was judged appropriate, though
not as much as pure business terms like "strategy" or "leadership."
Analysis also suggested that thinking about ethics and the summum
bonum was not driven entirely by interest in religion or
spirituality. Implications of the results for business ethics
education are discussed.
Examining the Takeoff of Digital Technologies
in Developing Countries
Balaji Rajagopalan, Derek Hillison, Roger
Calantone, and Vallabh Sambamurthy
In an increasingly global economy, information
and communication technologies (ICT) are critical for nations to
participate in trade and reap the benefits of access to world
markets. Economists call for investments that generate new
innovations to spur economic development in the country. In addition
to being the source of innovation, economic growth also depends on
the ability of nations to absorb and apply new innovations that
germinated elsewhere. Despite accumulating evidence that several
factors play an important role in the assimilation of new
technologies, the drivers of adoption of digital technologies are
not well understood and the findings remain inconsistent. Based on
theories of economic growth and innovation diffusion theory and
using the well known takeoff phenomenon as the underpinning, we
hypothesize and empirically examine the relationships between human
capital (literacy, life expectancy), cost, international trade
(foreign direct investment), communications infrastructure
(Television and Telephone) and the takeoff of digital technologies.
Our findings confirm that important differences exist among the
high, medium and low income countries with respect to the takeoff
times for digital technologies. In addition, our study reveals the
differential impact of the covariates on takeoff for the three
income groups. In sum, we find partial support for the influence of
the covariate factors we modeled. Policy implications include the
need for tailoring the adoption programs based on country income
group, technology type and adoption stage (before or after takeoff).
Using Volunteers for IT Work: Research
Voluntary organizations (VOs) offer important services the
private and public sectors cannot or will not provide.
Unfortunately, VOs tend not to use information technology (IT) to
the extent they could, and so don't receive the benefits IT offers.
One problem is that many VOs must rely on volunteers for IT support.
This paper examines the challenges using IT volunteers creates,
including limits in availability, expertise, commitment,
organizational knowledge, and equipment ownership. A framework for
discussing the effectiveness of IT volunteers is presented. Research
questions arising from the framework are identified.
Factors Influencing Intentions to Maintain Web
Content in Voluntary Organizations
Many voluntary organizations (VOs) use Web sites to help them
raise funds, recruit volunteers, and so on. Content management
systems (CMS) simplify Web site maintenance, letting IT novices
update Web sites. However, some VOs find it difficult to recruit
volunteers for this role, even though it requires little IT
expertise. This study will use the theory of planned behavior to
examine factors influencing volunteers' intentions to help maintain
Web site content. The results could help software designers make CMS
use more attractive, and VO leaders find people willing to maintain
Competition among Virtual Communities and User
Valuation: The Case of Investor Communities
Bin Gu, Prabhudev Konana, Balaji Rajagopalan, Hsuan-Wei Michelle
Virtual communities are becoming a significant source of
information sharing for consumers and businesses. This research
examines how users value virtual communities and how virtual
communities grow and compete with each other. In particular, the
nature of trade-offs between network size and information quality,
and the sources of positive and negative externalities are examined.
We address these issues based on over 600,000 postings from three
large virtual investingrelated communities (VICs) for 14 different
stocks. We developed an algorithmic methodology to process textual
data and to categorize messages as noise or signal to evaluate
information quality. The results provide interesting insights into
competition among virtual communities. There is a trade-off between
network size and information quality. We find support for the
hypothesis that the value of VICs increases with useful postings –
demonstrating positive network externalities – but the marginal
contribution decreases with the size. On the contrary, the cost
associated with using VICs increases with size, while the marginal
cost increases with each additional posting indicating negative
externalities. The negative externality due to consumer information
processing thresholds leads to a bounded network size. Our analysis
also suggests that the community network size depends on two
important dimensions: the degree of integrated service offerings
(e.g., email services, complementary information) and
characteristics of the context (e.g., stock characteristics such as
speculative or stable stock). The contributions of the study include
extending our understanding of the virtual community evaluation by
consumers, the exposition of role of network externalities in
virtual community networks, and the development of an algorithmic
methodology to evaluate the quality of textual data. The results
provide useful guidance for practice on the design and control of
Conceptualization of User Acceptance and Resistance in System Implementation Research: A Re-examination of Constructs
Thomas Lauer and Balaji Rajagopalan
Information systems research has focused on studying system implementation using two important constructs: user acceptance and resistance. Most prior studies have conceptualized these constructs as being at two ends of a continuum. As such, models have been developed primarily to explain user acceptance with the underlying assumption that non-acceptance would be tantamount to resistance and hence, understanding acceptance can help alleviate resistance. We argue that this simple conceptualization of the acceptance-resistance relationship is inadequate for a thorough examination of user behavior in system implementation. Using several vignettes of user resistance we examine the relationship between acceptance and resistance. Towards further understanding this relationship we propose a framework that is based on the premise that under certain circumstances apparent acceptance may in fact be resistance and resistance may signal serious problems and serve as constructive criticism. Implications for IS researchers include the need to re-examine the conceptualizations of acceptance and resistance constructs. For information systems managers a better understanding of resistance can lead to better strategies for managing system implementation.
Key words: Systems implementation, user acceptance, user
resistance, information technology adoption
Date added: November 21, 2003
File size: 412K
Using Fine-Grained Likert Scales in Web Surveys
Kieran Mathieson and David Doane
Online surveys permit item types that are not feasible on paper surveys.
This paper examines the fine-grained Likert scale. Unlike the usual Likert
scale, respondents can select points between the anchors, yielding
non-integer responses. The paper (1) presents code implementing the scale on
a Web-based survey, (2) tests the effect of the scale on power, and (3)
presents data on respondents' use of the scale in practice. We conclude that
the extra effort needed to implement the scale is worthwhile.
Key words: Measurement,
empirical, simulation, psychometric, ASP
Date added: August 27, 2003
File size: 1,423K
Patterns of Change in Perceptions of Information Systems: A
Longitudinal Case Study
and Kieran Mathieson
Abstract: When a firm makes a significant investment in an
information system [IS], there will be pressure to measure user perceptions fairly quickly
after the introduction of the system. Will perceptions be stable at that time? Galleta and
Lederer (1989) showed that beliefs about an IS can be unstable, although they did so in an
artificial environment in the context of instrument development. But how could we describe
the change of user perceptions during the months following the introduction of a complex
IS in a complex, functioning, real organization? This paper reports on a six month
longitudinal study using four repeated measurements of user perceptions of an IS
introduced throughout a comprehensive state University with approximately 14,000 students.
Keywords: Implementation, perceptions, EOU, U, ease of use,
Comments: Presented at AIS, 1997, in Baltimore
Date added: March 12, 1999
File size: 15K
Choosing in the Fourth Dimension: Web Support for
Long Purchase Decisions
Abstract: Examines situations where consumers take a relatively
long time to choose one product, such as a car or a home. Proposes Web-based decision
support tools for these cases.
Keywords: Marketing, Web, retail, design, navigation, time,
high involvement, decision support.
Comments: Appeared in WebProfession, the International
Webmasters Association journal, in April, 1998.
Date added: March 12, 1999
File size: 64K, including images
Web-Based Consumer Decision Tools:
Motivations and Constraints
Mukesh Bhargava and
Abstract: This paper examines the
motivations for the construction of consumer decision tools (CDTs). CDTs are Web-based
decision support systems aimed at improving the quality of consumer decisions. They are
organized around the decisions themselves, rather than around the content being presented.
Keywords: Marketing, Web, decision support system.
Comments: Appeared in Electronic
Markets, Vol 9, No 4, 1999.
Date added: April 14, 1999
File size: 82K, including images