Dec 7: Kartik Hosanagar to present on Will the Global Village Fracture into Tribes: Recommender Systems and their Effects on Consumers

Kartik Hosanagar
Associate Professor, OIM Dept
The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

December 7, 2012
Speakman Hall 200, 1000am – 1130am
Seminar Title : Will the Global Village Fracture into Tribes: Recommender Systems and their Effects on Consumers

Personalization is becoming ubiquitous on the World Wide Web. Such systems use statistical techniques to infer a customer’s preferences and recommend content best suited to him (e.g., “Customers who liked this also liked…”). A debate has emerged as to whether personalization has drawbacks. By making the web hyper-specific to our interests, does it fragment internet users, reducing shared experiences and narrowing media consumption? We study whether personalization is in fact fragmenting the online population. Surprisingly, it does not appear to do so in our study. Personalization appears to be a tool that helps users widen their interests, which in turn creates commonality with others. This increase in commonality occurs for two reasons, which we term volume and product mix effects. The volume effect is that consumers simply consume more after personalized recommendations, increasing the chance of having more items in common. The product mix effect is that, conditional on volume, consumers buy a more similar mix of products after recommendations.

Please click here for a copy of the paper

Nov 30: Steven Johnson to present on The strength of words online: Emergent leadership in online communities

Steven Johnson
Assistant Professor, MIS
Fox School of Business, Temple University

November 30, 2012
Speakman Hall 200, 1000am – 1100am
Seminar Title : The strength of words online: Emergent leadership in online communities

Compared to traditional organizations, online communities lack formal power or leadership positions. Instead, leadership in online communities is an emergent process resulting from influencing others. The objective of this paper is to investigate how network structure and language usage lead to influence in online communities. Communication online occurs almost exclusively through written words. The study of online influence has been dominated by a focus on structural network position with surprisingly little research addressing how the comparative use of language shapes community dynamics. Using participant surveys to identify influential members, this study analyzes a year of network history and message content to identify if leader utterances have unique qualities compared to the utterances of other core community members. Analysis supports the conclusion that online leadership derives from more than network position; it is also associated with distinctive written communication patterns. The composite view of emergent leaders in online communities is: they are in a central, core position in a network; they concentrate participation in fewer message threads than others; and, they provide a large number of positive, concise posts that include an above average number of external links and use simple language familiar to other participants. Online community leaders emerge through both the context and content of online communication.

Please email for a copy of the paper

Oct 19: Paul Leonardi to speak on Using Social Technologies to Learn “Who Knows What” and “Who Knows Whom” in the Organization

Paul Leonardi
Pentair-Nugent Associate Professor
Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

October 19, 2012
Speakman Hall 200, 1000am – 1130am
Seminar Title :  Using Social Technologies to Learn “Who Knows What” and “Who Knows Whom” in the Organization

In most discussions of intra-organizational knowledge sharing, the words “search” and “transfer” are never far apart. Organizational theorists normally presume that before knowledge can be transferred, someone has to find where that knowledge resides through an active search process. I propose an alternative antecedent to knowledge transfer than search by developing the concept of ambient awareness. Through routine exposure to ambient communication – communications happening around us that we don’t partake in, but that we can eavesdrop upon – we begin to learn who knows what and who knows whom. By developing ambient awareness, we are ready, when the time comes to request a knowledge transfer to simply ask the right person for it or for access to it – we don’t first have to engage in lengthy procedures to search for it, nor do we have to maintain dual networks that support search and transfer simultaneously. I propose that the use of social media tools within organizations can overcome problems associated with the development of ambient awareness because they make messages transparent and networks visible. Through our exposure to these transparent messages and visible networks we develop an awareness of who knows whom and who knows what.

Oct 11: Hilal Atasoy to present on Firm-Level Evidence of the Effects of IT Use on Employment and Labor Wages

Hilal Atasoy
Assistant Professor,
Fox School of Business, Temple University

October 12, 2012
Speakman Hall 200, 1000am – 1100am
Seminar Title :  Firm-Level Evidence of the Effects of IT Use on Employment and Labor Wages

This study analyzes the adoption and use of information technology (IT) by firms and their effects on employment and labor wages. Despite the prevalent role of IT in todays economy, the question on whether and how IT contributes to employment and wages has not been addressed in the IS literature. We use IT complementarities, skilled-biased technical change, and lagged-effects of IT theories to derive predictions on the effects of IT use on IT labor and on non-IT labor, respectively. We hypothesize that IT use has direct positive effect on IT labor, and an indirect positive effect on non-IT labor, e ffects that materialize through changes in net output and productivity (value-added per employee). We examine data from Turkey that include detailed information on IT infrastructure, IT applications, and software use, e-commerce and IT outsourcing. Using the generalized propensity score matching and instrumental variables methods to address concerns of endogeneity, our results show positive effects of IT on employment and wages at the rm level. This effect is largely due to an increase in IT jobs in the short-run, implying that IT use has direct immediate effects on IT employment. However, the effects on non-IT employment become significant only with lagged (one- and two-year) eff ects of IT use. This is because the effects of IT on non-IT employment take time to realize through increases in output and productivity. We also find similar lagged-effects of IT on output and productivity. Theoretical and practical implications on the effects of IT on employment and labor wages are discussed along with implications for public policy.

Click here for a copy of the paper

May 11: Radhika Santhanam to speak on Digital Games and Beyond: What Happens when Players Compete?

Radhika Santhanam

Gatton Endowed Research Professor

Decision Sciences and Information Systems Area

Gatton School of Business and Economics, University of Kentucky


May 11, 2012

Speakman Hall 200, 1000am – 1130am

Seminar Title : Digital Games and Beyond: What Happens when Players Compete?



Because digital games are fun, engaging, and popular, organizations are attempting to integrate games within organizational activities as serious games, with the anticipation that it can improve employees’ motivation and performance. But in order to do so and obtain the intended outcomes, it is necessary to first obtain an understanding of how different digital game designs impact players’ behaviors and emotional responses. Hence, in this study, we address one key element of popular game designs, competition. Using extant research on tournaments and intrinsic motivation, we model competitive games as a skill-based tournament and conduct an experimental study to understand player behaviors and emotional responses under different competition conditions. When players compete with players of similar skill levels, they apply more effort as indicated by more games played and longer duration of play. But when players compete with players of lower skill levels, they report higher levels of enjoyment and lower levels of arousal after game-playing. We discuss the implications for organizations seeking to introduce games premised on competition and provide a framework to guide information system researchers to embark on a study of games.

Click here for a copy of the paper

April 27: Gwanhoo Lee to speak on Balancing Rigor, Standardization, and Agility in Distributed IS Development: An Ambidexterity Perspective

Gwanhoo Lee

Associate Professor, ITM

Director of the Center for IT and the Global Economy

Kogod School of Business, American University


April 27, 2012

Speakman Hall 200, 1000am – 1130am

Seminar Title : Balancing Rigor, Standardization, and Agility in Distributed IS Development: An Ambidexterity Perspective



Distributed information systems (IS) development faces daunting challenges including communication and coordination difficulties, increased user requirement uncertainty, and greater task complexity. To cope with such challenges, distributed IS teams attempt to build effective development process capabilities such as process rigor, process standardization, and process agility. However, the complex effects of these process capabilities on distributed IS development performance are not well understood or empirically validated. To fill this gap in our knowledge, we investigate how rigor, standardization, and agility of development process respectively affect the performance of the system delivered by a distributed team. Furthermore and more importantly, we investigate the notion of IS development process ambidexterity which is defined as the simultaneous presence of alignment and agility in development process, where rigor and standardization represent two dimensions of alignment. We examine if such process ambidexterity demonstrates a positive effect on system performance. We used hierarchical regression to analyze field data from project managers of distributed IS development. Our results support a positive main effect of rigor, standardization, and agility on system performance in distributed development. We find a positive interaction effect of rigor and agility, indicating a synergistic effect of process ambidexterity. Contrary to our expectation, however, we find a negative interaction effect of standardization and agility, indicating an offsetting effect of process ambidexterity. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of these findings for balancing rigor, standardization, and agility in distributed development in order to achieve better system performance.

Click here for a copy of the paper

April 13: Allen Lee to speak on Linking Relevance to Practical Significance

Allen Lee

Dean’s Scholar Professor

Virginia Commonwealth University


April 13, 2012

Speakman Hall 200, 1000am – 1130am

Seminar Title : Linking Relevance to Practical Significance



Researchers in academic disciplines, including but not limited to information systems, have long been aware of, but have not linked, two research issues: one issue is the lack of relevance, despite the plethora of rigor, in their research; the other issue is the distinction between statistical significance and practical significance, where the latter is no less important than the former. In this essay, we link the two issues by examining and revealing the practical significance of the research reported in a well known, published article and stating the questions that this examination raises.

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March 23: Sinan Aral to speak on Content & Causality in Social Networks

Sinan Aral

Assistant Professor, Microsoft Faculty Fellow

Stern School of Business, New York University


Date: March 23, 2012

Venue: Speakman Hall 200

Title: Content & Causality in Social Networks


Many of us are interested in whether “networks matter.” Whether in the spread of disease, the diffusion of information, the propagation of social contagions, the effectiveness of viral marketing, or the magnitude of peer effects in a variety of settings, two key questions must be answered before we can understand whether networks matter: 1) how the content that flows through networks affects the patterns of outcomes we see across nodes and 2) whether the statistical relationships we observe can be interpreted causally. Sinan will review what we know and where research might go with respect to content and causality in networks. He will provide two examples from each area to structure the discussion: One from an analysis of email networks and the information content that flows through them at a mid-sized executive recruiting firm (published in the American Journal of Sociology) and the other from a randomized field experiment on a popular social networking website that tests the effectiveness of “viral product design” strategies in creating peer influence and social contagion among the 1.4 million friends of 9,687 experimental users (the first paper published in Management Science and a second paper forthcoming in Science).

March 16: Sunil Mithas to speak on Information Technology and Globalization: Theory and Evidence

Sunil Mithas

Associate Professor,

Decision, Operations and Information Technologies Department,

Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland


March 16, 2012

Speakman Hall 200, 1000am – 1130am

Seminar Title : Information Technology and Globalization: Theory and Evidence



Does information technology (IT) enable firms to globalize their operations and achieve higher foreign revenues and foreign profits? Although several studies have argued that IT can help firms globalize their operations, few studies have empirically tested this conjecture. We identify and discuss three mechanisms that explain why IT investments enable firms to globalize their operations – value chain coordination, value chain configuration, and local responsiveness. Using data on 259 multinational firms for an 8-year period (1999 – 2006), we find that aggregate IT investments are positively associated with higher levels of foreign revenues and lower levels of total costs. In turn, the increase in foreign revenues and reduction in total costs mediate profits from foreign operations. IT investments also help to increase domestic revenues and domestic profits. On the whole, we find that IT contributes to globalization both through higher revenues and lower total costs.

Please email for a copy of the paper.

Feb 24: Bob Lusch to speak on Service-Dominant Logic: Sensemaking of the Economy and Innovation

Robert F. Lusch

James and Pamela Muzzy Chair in Entrepreneurship and Executive Director of the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship

Eller College of Management, University of Arizona.


Date: February 24, 2012

Venue: Alter Hall 745

Title: Service-Dominant Logic: Sensemaking of the Economy and Innovation


An elaboration of how marketing and business has evolved from a goods-dominant to a service-dominant logic is reviewed. Implications for how to make sense of organizations, markets, economy and innovation are presented along with research opportunities and managerial suggestions. Special attention is given to bridging ideas from marketing, management and management information systems. For a background on S-D Logic, please visit ( and see the attached articles.


Vargo_and_Lusch_2008_JAMS_Why_Service Vargo_and_Lusch_2008_JAMS_Why_Service.pdf