Graduating with a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California in 2004, Paul A. Pavlou is currently an associate professor of Management Information Systems (MIS) at Temple University’s Fox School Business. Besides a professor, he also has held many other roles such as a Stauffer Senior Research Fellow and director of Fox’s PhD Program in Business Administration. Recently, Dr. Pavlou has been ranked no. 1 MIS researcher in the world for 2011. Even though, his schedule is very busy, he still makes time to share his experiences with students. He hopes that we will have a different view about technology especially in MIS.
I had the pleasure to ask Dr. Pavlou some questions recently. From just his answers, I could tell he is very wise and knowledgeable and I can learn a lot from him. Being ranked #1, he clearly knows what he is talking about and we should take that as a huge advantage since he is apart of the MIS community.
Q: As the top MIS researcher in the world for 2011, could you share with the students why you chose MIS for researching? What did you find interesting about it?
A: The domain of MIS with the intense study of technology in business is a very fascinating area because it marries technology with organizations, individuals, and markets. The fast-changing pace of technology makes research in MIS particularly exciting and interesting, and this is why I chose to conduct my research in MIS. Technology not only changes rapidly, but it also changes the dynamics of organizations and entire industries. Think of the world’s most successful companies (e.g., Apple, Facebook, Google, Amazon), and evaluate how technology has played an immense role in their success. Accordingly, any viable business strategy must include technology at its core, including social media, data analytics, e-commerce systems, large enterprise systems, proprietary technologies, and emerging technologies. Some of my recent research stresses the importance of explicitly integrating technology in an organization’s business strategy, something we term “digital business strategy.” Our premise is that effective organizations must include digital in their business strategy in order to succeed in today’s rapidly-changing environments.
Q: What is your advice for students if they want to achieve their dream?
A: Recent studies show that global investments in Information Technology (IT) total over 4T (trillion with a “T”) annually and comprise over 50% of a typical company’s capital investments. Therefore, it goes without saying that companies and governments need people to decide and manage all these investments in IT, creating an increasing demand for IT labor. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), some of the fastest growing professions include MIS at their core. Most important, IT is not only a necessary burden, but a source of strategic differentiation by developing and using information systems in innovative and novel ways, such as data analytics (see Google), Web 2.0 (see Apple iTunes), social media (see Facebook), inventory management systems (see Amazon), and logistics systems (see UPS and FedEx). Accordingly, careers in IT are promising and exciting. Most important, with the rapid advancement of technology, the next wave of successful companies will certainly have IT at their core, continually allowing MIS majors and graduates to enjoy employment in high-tech, high-pay, high-excitement jobs!
Having Dr. Pavlou here is a great honor for our school and a fantastic advantage for students. Dr. Pavlou also applies of what he’s doing in researching through his teachings to share his experiences with the students. Make sure you do not miss the chance to meet with him, hear him speak, or even be in a class he is teaching.