Archives for October 2009

Eric Clemons to speak on How Information Changes Consumer Behavior And How Consumer Behavior Determines Corporate Strategy

How Information Changes Consumer Behavior And How Consumer Behavior Determines Corporate Strategy

Eric Clemons

Professor of Operations and Information Management
The Wharton School
University of Pennsylvania

November 6, 2009

Alter Hall 405, 1000am – 1130am


Information availability has increased consumers’ informedness, the degree to which they know what is available in the marketplace, with precisely which attributes and at precisely what price. This informedness has altered the demand side of market behavior: customers now discount more heavily when comparable products are available from competitors and when products do not meet their wants, needs, cravings and longings, but they no longer discount as heavily when purchasing unfamiliar products. Changes in the demand side are producing comparable changes in the supply side: firms earn less than their expectations when competing in traditional mass market fat spots, while earning far more than previously when entering newly created resonance marketing sweet spots. We trace the impact of hyperdifferentiation and resonance marketing on strategy, with a clear progression from a limited number of fat spots, through reliance upon line extensions, and ultimately to fully differentiated market sweet spots.

For a copy of the full paper, click here.

Arun Rai to speak on Leveraging IT Capabilities and Competitive Process Capabilities for Interorganizational Relationship Portfolio Management

Leveraging IT Capabilities and Competitive Process Capabilities for Interorganizational Relationship Portfolio Management

Arun Rai

Regents’ Professor and the Harkins Chair in Information Systems
Robinson College of Business
Georgia State University

October 30, 2009

Alter Hall 405, 1000am – 1130am


Firms are increasingly dependent on external resources and are establishing portfolios of interorganizational relationships (IRs) to leverage them for competitive advantage. However, the system of IT and process capabilities that firms should establish to dynamically manage IR portfolios are not well understood. We draw on the competitive dynamics perspective and resource dependency theory, and on the literatures on IT business value, interorganizational systems and interorganizational relationship management, to theorize how key IT structural capabilities (IT integration and IT reconfiguration) and competitive process capabilities (process alignment, partnering flexibility and offering flexibility) operate as a system of complements. We also theorize why a firm’s IR portfolio moderates the effects of the structural IT capabilities on the competitive process capabilities, and why a firm’s environmental turbulence moderates the effects of complementary process capabilities on competitive performance. We test our model using survey data from 318 firms in four industries. Our results provide broad support for the position that IT and process capabilities are interdependent and operate as a system of complements, that the relationship between the structural IT capabilities and the competitive process capabilities is contingent on IR portfolio concentration, and that the competitive advantage derived from the complements of competitive process capabilities is contingent on environmental turbulence. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of how firms should develop a complementary system of IT structural capabilities and competitive process capabilities to dynamically manage IR portfolios and leverage external resources.

For a copy of the complete paper, please send an email to

Wendy Moe to speak on Measuring the Value of Social Dynamics in Online Product Ratings Forums

Measuring the Value of Social Dynamics in Online Product Ratings Forums

Wendy Moe

Associate Professor of Marketing
R H Smith School of Business
University of Maryland

October 16, 2009

Alter Hall 746, 1130am – 100pm


Extant research has shown that consumer online product ratings can significantly influence
product sales. However, these ratings have also been shown to be subject to a number of social
influences. In other words, posted product ratings not only reflect the customers’ experience
with the product but also reflect the influence of others’ ratings. The objective of this paper is to
model posted product ratings in an effort to measure the impact of the social dynamics that may
occur in a ratings environment on both subsequent rating behavior as well as product sales.

Our modeling efforts are two fold. First, we model the arrival of product ratings and separate the
effect of social influences from the underlying or baseline ratings behavior. Second, we model
product sales as a function of posted product ratings. However, rather than simply modeling the
effects of observed ratings, we decompose ratings into a baseline rating and the contribution of
social influence. From this model, we can measure the overall sales impact resulting from
observed social dynamics.

We show that ratings behavior is significantly affected by previously posted ratings. We further
show that the effect on sales resulting from this social dynamic is significant but relatively small
compared to the effect that ratings have when they represent an unbiased and independent
evaluation of the product. With the increased popularity of online discussion and ratings forums,
many marketers have been investing in efforts to moderate these conversations or to contribute
comments of their own, effectively biasing the sentiments expressed in the online forum. Our
results show that while these efforts can affect sales, their effects are limited and short-lived.

Alan Hevner to speak on Design Science Research in Information Systems: Cycles of Activities

Design Science Research in Information Systems: Cycles of Activities

Alan Hevner

Professor and Eminent Scholar, Citigroup/Hidden River Chair of Dist. Technology
Information Systems and Decision Sciences
College of Business University of South Florida

October 9, 2009

Alter Hall 405, 1000 –  1130am


Design science research seeks to extend the boundaries of human and organizational capabilities by creating new and innovative artifacts. In this presentation, I will describe the performance of design research in Information Systems via a concise conceptual framework and clear guidelines for understanding, executing, and evaluating the research. I then analyze design science research as an embodiment of three closely related cycles of activities – the Relevance Cycle, the Rigor Cycle, and the central Design Cycle. The recognition of these three cycles in a research project clearly positions and differentiates design science research from other research paradigms in the Information Systems field. The presentation concludes with a discussion of several key issues concerning Design Science research in IS – publication in top journals, external funding, and academic value.


A. Hevner, S. March, J. Park, and S. Ram, “Design Science Research in Information Systems,” Management Information Systems Quarterly, Vol. 28, No. 1, March 2004, pp. 75-105 (pdf).

A. Hevner, “A Three Cycle View of Design Science Research,” Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems, Vol. 19, No. 2, 2007, pp. 87-92 (pdf).

S. Purao, C. Baldwin, A. Hevner, V. Storey, J. Pries-Heje, B. Smith, and Y. Zhu, “The Sciences of Design:  Observations on an Emerging Field,” Communications of the AIS, Vol. 23, Article 29, 2008, pp. 523-546 (pdf).

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