Wang, J., Gupta, M., & Rao, H. R. (2015). Insider threats in a financial institution: Analysis of attack-proneness of information systems applications. MIS quarterly, 39(1).
Insider threats to information security are considered to be a critical issue for organizations. However, research on quantification of the risk of insider threats on information assets is sparse. Extending from the original context of explaining predatory crimes in the physical environment, this paper synthesizes routine activity theory (RAT) with survival modeling, and makes the following main contributions: In order to understand what causes applications to be exposed to insider threats, the study conceptualizes and operationalizes the main constructs of RAT (value, inertia, visibility, accessibility (VIVA), and absence of guardians) in the domain of information systems security.
To quantify the risk that an application will experience unauthorized access attempts, the authors applied survival modeling. With log data of an enterprise single sign-on (ESSO) system and information regarding integrated IS applications from a regional financial institution, the authors then focus on the investigate the main constructs of RAT. The survival analysis results show that 1) the business value of an application (BVM) increased the risk of an application experiencing unauthorized attempts; 2) Control strength (CSTR) decreased the risk of an application experiencing unauthorized attempts; 3) Access prevalence level (log (APL)) increased the risk of an application experiencing unauthorized attempts; 4) OLIM increased the risk of an application experiencing unauthorized attempts; 5) data protection level (DPL) decreased the risk of an application experiencing unauthorized attempts. Basically, all the five hypotheses are supported by the empirical results.
Theoretically, this paper introduces the measurements for managing risks against insider threats within an organization. They conceptualized and operationalized the risk of insider threats associated with information assets, thus providing a foundation for future research in risk management of digital assets. Practically, this study suggested that practice of risk management of IS applications should be adapted to the organizational context, and account for users’ behavioral patterns.
Bhargava, H. K., & Mishra, A. N. (2014). Electronic medical records and physician productivity: Evidence from panel data analysis. Management Science, 60(10), 2543-2562.
Contrary to decision-makers in other industries, physicians in healthcare sector perform not only knowledge work, such as making decisions and crafting treatment regimen based on patient information, but also data entry and system operation with the wide adoption of EMR. More, they are the healthcare practitioners who drive a majority of care decisions. Therefore, EMRs hold the potential to improve physician workflows and productivity, and, consequently, contain healthcare costs. This paper attempts to examine two important research questions: (1) Does physician productivity change over time as a result of EMR implementation? (2) Does this impact differ for physicians of different specialties?
Measuring physician productivity is challenging, the authors argue that using WRVUs-relative value units generated for clinical activities rather than administrative, teaching, training, or care coordination activities, to measure physician productivity-can overcome the traditional measurement drawbacks, lack of robustness and normalization. More, the theory of Task-Technology Fit(TTF) indicates the heterogeneity of the effects of EMR implementation on physician productivity. Using the dataset, which contains 3,186 physician-month productivity observations collected over 39 months may suffer from OVB, self-selection bias, and attenuation bias when constructing the OLS casual model. The authors then use a Differences-in-Differences model and Arellano–Bond GMM to relief these endogeneity concerns. Their results show that that productivity drops sharply immediately after technology implementation and recovers partly over the next few months. The longer-term impact depends on physician specialty. The net impact of the EMR system is more benign on internal medicine physicians than on pediatricians and family practitioners.
The authors find that on one hand, present-day EMR systems do not produce the kind of productivity gain that could lead to substantial savings in healthcare; at the same time, EMRs do not cause a major productivity loss on a sustained basis, as many physicians fear. Other implications and contributions are also discussed.
Lamar Pierce, Daniel C. Snow, Andrew McAfee (2015) Cleaning House: The Impact of Information Technology Monitoring on Employee Theft and Productivity. Management Science 61(10):2299-2319.
Employee theft and fraud are widespread problems in firms, with workers stealing roughly $200 billion annually from U.S. firms to supplement their income. A growing empirical literature clarifies when and how theft and other misconduct occur but says little about the overall impact of firms’ use of forensics to monitor and reduce theft. This paper examines how firm investments in technology-based employee monitoring impact both misconduct and productivity by addressing three important yet unresolved questions: 1) is employee monitoring indeed effective in reducing theft, as economics suggests, or does monitoring demotivate and constrain employees and thus negate gains from theft reductions? 2) do possible gains from monitoring result from changing worker behavior or from replacing unethical workers with more honest ones? 3) if increased monitoring indeed reduces theft by existing workers, then through which mechanisms does productivity in other tasks change and what is the overall impact to the firm?
The paper initiates with phenomenon-driven questions while exploring the underlying mechanisms of economics, phycology, and behavior aspects using theft and sales data from 392 restaurant locations from five firms. After using a restaurant-level and individual worker-level Differences-in-Differences model, the authors find significant treatment effects in reduced theft and improved productivity. More, they dig more on the mechanism identification: the majority of productivity improvement and theft reduction is due to behavioral changes among existing workers rather than selection effects due to managers replacing problem workers revealed by the IT system. Furthermore, the authors explore the deeper mechanism: economic multi-tasking, cognitive multi-tasking, motivation from fairness or perceived increases of general oversight. Their results cast significant doubt on both the cognitive and economic multitasking mechanisms, and provide mixed evidence on fairness concerns. Although we cannot directly test for perceptions of increased productivity monitoring, this explanation seems most consistent with our results. Implications are also discussed.
How to Prepare for A Job Market From Now?
P: The sooner you prepare it, the better. Since most(all) of us are international students, how to prepare a job market depends on where you want to go after graduation. Finding a job here in academia is different from finding a job in other counties or in other fields beyond academia.
S1: ISB in India is more similar to those in the US.
P: Yes, but still if you want to end up with a school, you have to prepare for it and meet its faculties’ expectations. For example, in some counties, schools prefer quantity to quality and the first author to other authors than the first author. They accept publications in any journal. It is very different from what we do here. In the US, schools prefer candidates with one paper on a top journal to those with five papers on a lower rank journal. Therefore, we need to have different strategies preparing for different kinds of jobs. Other factors you may need consider is family. For example, if your spouse finds a job in a certain city, then you may need to target the city and contact the universities in the city in advance. A happy family is also important for your academic/professional career.
Also, you need to think about the timeline. You need to prepare in advance! Usually, IS job market starts in ICIS(Dec). Now is more flexible, we also have AMCIS(Aug) and informs. This means you need to finish the preparation on July
P: I remember a former student asked me the three important factors for the recruiters. Guess what are those factors?
S6: Paper! Paper! Paper!
P: Yes, research! Research! Research! For most research schools, that is the case, which means you need to have at least two papers under the second-round review by July. If you need papers R&Red by July, you then need to submit them five months earlier, Jan or Feb on your fifth year, assuming your papers won’t be rejected right after your submission. Also, you need more papers, which means you need to write your papers right now!
S6: Which practice do you prefer? Working on a first-year paper and submit later or working on the second or third year with higher quality?
P: You should focus on the first-year paper. The faculty should help you evaluate the quality of the paper and if it cannot be published, you need to switch to another project soon. Working on an unpublishable paper in the beginning years is wasting your time.
S6: My advisor also mentioned that we should also build our image via conferences. Do you have some suggestions for attending a conference?
P: True, it is important! Buying a nice suit can be a good starting point. On the conference, remember to act as professional professor candidate, not a student at the conference. Schools are recruiting professors not students there.
P: Alright! I believe we have already touched all the points. Time flies! A five-year program is fast. Keep working hard from right now!
Pang, M.-S. and Pavlou, P.A. (2017) “Armed with Technology – Preventing Fatal Shootings by the Police,” A Working Paper.
The trust between the police and the public in many U.S. cities is more acrimonious than ever before since the Chicago shooting of Laquan McDonald. While technology, especial IT, has enhanced human’s decision-making process in many fields, we do not have sufficient knowledge of the effectiveness of these technologies, particularly in terms of their role in affecting the use of lethal force on civilians by the police. This study theorizes how technology use for intelligence analyses and access influences a police officer’s decision to use lethal force.
With a panel data merged of fatal shootings from The Washington Post and killedbypolice.net in 2013-2016, the empirical analyses show that both the use of smartphones and the statistical analyses of crime data by U.S. local police departments are associated with a significant decrease in fatal shootings by the police. The authors then explore the moderating effects and find that the positive effect of technology use is more pronounced for armed suspects and among males, the youth, and minorities.
Specifically, the authors use signal detection theory to construct a decision optimization under uncertain, which can be moderated by the use of technology. To address the unobserved heterogeneity caused by the spatial contagion of crimes and violence. The authors utilize a spatial panel autoregressive GLS Model, which allow the residual of a random effects model spatially correlated, to validate the main hypothesis that the technology can lead to a decrease in fatal shootings by the police. To test the moderating effects in hypothesis 2, the authors conduct subsample analysis with a SUR random effects model.
This study contributes to the Information Systems (IS) literature by 1) demonstrating the significant role of technology use in highly uncertain and violent environments, 2) uncovering the nuanced effects of technology use that vary by gender, age, and ethnicity, and 3) enhancing our understanding of how IT creates value for an organization in uncertain and life-threatening environments.
Keongtae Kim, Anandasivam Gopal, Gerard Hoberg (2016) Does Product Market Competition Drive CVC Investment? Evidence from the U.S. IT Industry. Information Systems Research 27(2):259-281.
Companies need ideas to keep competency advantage on innovation. Besides the traditional internal R&D investment to gain innovative knowledge, Firms have several avenues available to access such investment from outside thereby complementing traditional R&D. Corporate venture capital (CVC) is one of the outside resources, classified as open innovation. Whether to use CVC to gain innovative knowledge is heterogeneous among companies in different industries. The importance of knowledge and learning is likely to be most relevant in technology-intensive industries where persistent innovation is a key determinant of success. For companies in technology-intensive industries, such as IT industry, a critical factor that might also have a strong incremental influence on the observed intensity of CVC spending is product market competition. This study explores the relationship between product market competition and IT companies CVC investment by answering the following two questions: 1) Does product market competition faced by IT-producing firms lead to higher investments in CVC spending, all else equal? 2)Do CVC investments lead to higher innovation output? If so, is the relationship moderated by the technology leadership of the investing firm?
The authors proposed to measure product market competition using metrics derived from 10-K textual similarity. Clearly, just using OLS to regress CVC spending on product market competition with covariates or fixed effects cannot uncover the causality. The baseline model suffers from omitted variable bias and reverse causality concern. The authors then tried to use GMM for the dynamic panel data to relief the concerns. The results are consistent with the hypothesis even with several robustness checks using other instruments and panel data Heckman analysis, etc. The paper may still suffer sample selection bias due to the sample filtration. The observations remained in the sample are companies are industry leaders and operate at least 10 years from 1997 to 2007, during when the IT industry leaders turned over significantly, the CVC was hot and somewhat abused, and the market competence was becoming more fierce.
This work contributes to the IS literature by 1) examine product market competition, a systemic feature of the IT industry, as one such driver of this shift from internal to external innovation spending; 2) broadening the focus of IS research on competition to include its effects on the use of external innovation; 3) showing that R&D plays a more important contingent role in IT firms than previously acknowledged.
Anjana Susarla, (2012) Contractual Flexibility, Rent Seeking, and Renegotiation Design: An Empirical Analysis of Information Technology Outsourcing Contracts. Management Science 58(7):1388-1407.
Although a substantial body of research recognizes that contracting for information technology (IT) services is inevitably incomplete. Since traditional complex IT outsourcing deals require long-term contracts, renegotiation design plays a more crucial role compared with that rent-seeking in other industries. However, two empirical challenges hampered the deeper exploration: the lack of appropriate data and the lack of rigorous identification strategy. The author addressed the gap by using a unique sample of 141 IT outsourcing contracts and by measuring the renegotiation decision results via Pareto improving amendments.
To get a deep insight into the renegotiation, the author examined the role of decision rights delineated ex-ante in enabling Pareto improving amendments and in resolving the trade-off between adaptation and rent seeking. To address the endogeneity of the relationship between ex-ante decision rights and Pareto improving amendments, she used a contract date prior to 2000 (coded as a binary variable) as an instrumental variable that affects the presence of flexibility provisions. The results show that flexibility provisions, termination for convenience rights, and contractual rights whereby vendors are granted rights to reuse know-how are associated with Pareto improving amendments. The results are robust to potential endogeneity of contractual provisions when parties have the feasible foresight and to the possibility of adverse selection in the sample.
This work contributes to the literature by empirically showing the role of renegotiation design in fostering flexibility in IT outsourcing and by highlighting the nature of investments in the IT context and the implications for renegotiation design. A complementary approach is to examine the role of relational contracting that enables joint governance and resolution procedures.
Benaroch, Michael and Chernobai, Anna. 2017. “Operational IT Failures, IT Value Destruction, and Board-Level IT Governance Changes,” MIS Quarterly, (41: 3) pp.729-762.
The literature on operational IT failures is sparse and focused on their value relevance to the firm. This work is among those that touch upon an important gap in the literature: the connection between operational IT failures and board-level IT governance. The goal of this work is to address two questions: 1) whether the negative impact of operational IT failures on firms’ market value a predictor of post-failure changes in the level of board IT competency, and 2) what are the specific determinants of board IT competency associated with these changes.
With a concept-intensive but well-organized literature review and hypothesis development, the authors narrow down the research scope to empirically examine effects of the market value drop around recent operational IT failures on the change in the board IT competency level, specifically, a) increase in the ratio of independent directors with IT experience; (b) increase in the ratio of executive directors with IT experience; (c) turnover of a CIO serving on the board; and, (d) establishment of board IT committees. Utilizing data of 110 operational IT failures from U.S. public financial firms from Financial Institutions Risk Scenario Trends (FIRST), the results demonstrate that subsequent to experiencing operational IT failures, firms make improvements to the IT competency level of their boards, and the improvements are proportional to the degree of negative market reaction. However, those improvements are only on the executive side of the board, namely: an increase in the IT experience of internal (executive) directors and an increased turnover rate of CIOs serving on the board. Furthermore, the likelihood of CIO turnover is lower in IT-intensive firms where such turnover could be more disruptive.
This work not only contributes to IT government literature by exploring the critical connection between operational IT failures and board-level ITG, but also offer the industry with grounded managerial operation guidance.
S1: The goal of the organizer is to show the trends of academia, collecting the latest ideas from the whole fields.
S2: Experts in different tracks come together to discuss their own research. They may come up with a new inter-tracks idea or evaluate the same methodology from different angles.
S3: People or even co-authors from different counties can meet during the conferences.
Prof.: Ture, exchanging ideas is a big part of attending a conference. How about others?
S1: Social networking!
S3: People from different colleges attend a conference. Networking is important for Ph.D. application. Before she applied Temple, she noticed a lot of applicants have already met the Ph.D. recruiters at the conferences.
Prof. Why conferences have breaks? Even 30 mins break? Why do we need to network?
Prof: We are in business School. Our papers are judged by other peers. No absolute double-blind reviewing. Therefore, networking plays an important role in the publication process. You need to build a group of researchers to connect with a pool of potential reviewers to nominate as reviewers. Before the publication, it takes years to revise the paper. Therefore, networking during these years is important.
Prof. My first US IS conference is one of the awful experiences in my life. I did not know most of the attendees. Therefore, I just talked with some Ph.D. students. Today, those students currently researchers in different universities and they are doing quite well in IS research. The connection established several years and then last long during my career. I recommend you talk with people on a conference, starting from people from your own counties or same fields.
Next time, talking with guest speakers you have met on MIS or your weekly seminars.
Prof: How to choose Conference? You may need to focus on small conferences.
S2: Large conference may involve a lot of topics may quite unrelated to your owns.
Prof: I will show you the difference between large conferences and small ones.
Prof: AMA and ICIS are too big to have an opportunity talking with others. The likelihood to meet the people next time is relatively low. It is important to take a home conference to attend every year.
S2: Then you can build your own reputation within a group.
Prof: You need to attend the home conference serval times. The people will know you for years. Conferences are evolving. WISE is turning crowed. Then small conferences pop up, such as SCECR, CIST. Attending these small conferences every year and do not hesitate to join the social events.
S3: How about NBER workshops?
Prof: It is not the core group of IS. We need to keep in touch with the core senior researchers within your own fields. You may lack connection with people in other fields. I attended some public policy conference. I find it is hard to get in the other groups. Then I just attend them and present my papers and learn new ideas. The networking function of the attending a conference cannot be my first priority.
S2: How to follow up with the people we meet after conferences?
Prof: Emails, SNS, you can contact them by different means. We teach SNS; we should use it.
S3: Also attending a conference it more like a self-branding process!
S4: I find it is hard to talk with others during a conference as a junior Ph.D. student. Do you have some suggestions?
S3: Stay with your advisors, s/he will help introduce you to the related researchers when you attend your first conference.
Prof: Remember not to do this when you are on the market! You should be an independent researcher by then.
Prof: More, try to be the conversation starters by reading their papers in advance and follow them on SNS, etc.
Narayan Ramasubbu, Chris F. Kemerer (2016) Technical Debt and the Reliability of Enterprise Software Systems: A Competing Risks Analysis. Management Science 62(5):1487-1510.
People know that software reliability is crucial for business, especially enterprise software systems, such as ERP, Server OS. In daily practices, however, developing and patching a software to keep reliable is costly due to the interdependencies and potential for conflict between the underlying, vendor-supplied platform and the customizations done by individual clients. Some engineers then take shortcuts to avoid huge working load. Then the reliability of systems shrinks since the shortcuts to rapidly deliver the functionality demanded by business trade off the potential longer-term benefits of appropriate software design investments. These designs are called technical debt.
Few study focused on the empirical explore technical debt since the Interdependencies, by nature, make it difficult to measure and assess the impact of technical debt on system reliability. The author proposed a classification of systems failures-client errors and vender errors-to overcome the measurement difficulty. Analyzing a longitudinal data set spanning the 10-year life cycle of a COTS-based enterprise software system deployed at 48 different client firms with a survey analysis, the authors find that 1) technical debt decreases the reliability of enterprise systems and 2) modular maintenance was approximately 53% more effective than architectural maintenance in reducing the probability of a system failure due to client errors and 3) it had the side effect of increasing the chance of a system failure due to vendor errors by approximately 83% more than did architectural maintenance activities.
The authors showed that how firms could evaluate their business risk exposure due to technical debt accumulation in their enterprise systems, and assessed the estimated net effects, both positive and negative, of a range of software maintenance practices.
Ali Tafti, Sunil Mithas, M. S. Krishnan, (2013) The Effect of Information Technology–Enabled Flexibility on Formation and Market Value of Alliances. Management Science 59(1):207-225.
Whereas prior IS studies have focused on the effects of IT in reducing transaction and coordination costs in inter-organization relationships, there has been little understanding regarding the role of flexible IT architecture as an enabler of interfirm collaboration. This study is among the first to examine whether IT architecture flexibility facilitates strategic alliance formation and enables firms to derive value from alliances. The authors 1) examine the effect of three dimensions of IT architecture flexibility (open communication standard, cross-functional transparency, and modularity) on formation of three types of alliances (arm’s-length, collaborative, and joint-venture alliances, respectively) and 2) study how capability in IT flexibility moderate the value derived from alliances.
Utilizing a data set from 169 firms that are publicly listed in the US and that span multiple industries via panel data models (with random effects and fixed effects), they found that adoption of open communication standards is associated with the formation of arm’s-length alliances, and modularity of IT architecture is associated with the formation of joint ventures. Results also showed that the value of alliances is enhanced by overall IT architecture flexibility, implying that all three dimensions of flexibility are important in the value derived from arm’s-length, collaborative and joint-venture alliances.
This study suggests a need for greater consideration of the role of flexibility in IT-driven business process to understand the underpinnings of IT business value in inter-organizational context. I am quite enjoying reading a well-organized paper like this one. The authors showed us a template to write a clear and straightforward paper with a balance between creating knowledge and empirical investigation.
Rai, A., Arikan, I., Pye, J., & Tiwana, A. (2015). Fit and Misfit of Plural Sourcing Strategies and IT-Enabled Process Integration Capabilities: Consequences of Firm Performance in the US Electric Utility Industry. MIS Quarterly, 39(4), 865-885.
Plural sourcing refers to a company’s simultaneously use and allocation of external procurement and internal production to source its good/service. It remains obscure that how a firm’s use of plural sourcing can change the value of developing interfirm and intrafirm IT capabilities after a survey of the past literature. This study addresses this gap by focusing on the following research question: How does the (mis)fit between a firm’s plural sourcing strategies and the development of IT-enabled interfirm and intrafirm process integration capabilities influence firm performance?
The authors wisely choose power-generation segment of the U.S. electric utility industry (EUI) to explore the moderating effects of plural sourcing, measured by a proposed concept called “Market Sourcing Intensity(MSI)”, on the relationship between firm performance (assessed by ROA) and two IT-enabled process integration capabilities, IT-enabled interfirm process integration capability and IT-enabled intrafirm process integration capability. With data from archival sources for 342 utility firms in the power-generation segment to construct a panel dataset for the period 1994–2004, the authors use pooled OLS to the following results: 1) fit between MSI and the development of IT-enabled interfirm process integration capability improves firm profitability and 2) misfit between MSI and the development of IT-enabled intrafirm process integration capability extracts penalties in firm profitability. The result from one of the robustness check also offer evidence that fit between MSI and the development of IT-enabled interfirm process integration capability improves market valuation (assessed by Tobin’s Q) and asset turnover (assessed by operating revenue/total assets).
This study extends past by revealing how explanations of firm capabilities for IT-enabled process integration and transaction costs economics(TCE) for plural sourcing interact to explain firm performance. The authors nicely collect viewpoints that internal costs of organizing production and transaction costs need to be considered in making governance choices and apparently show the empirical limitations.
Ray, G., Wu, D., & Konana, P. (2009). Competitive environment and the relationship between IT and vertical integration. Information Systems Research, 20(4), 585-603.
As information technology(IT) can reduce coordination costs, the electronic markets hypothesis indicates that increased use of IT in the economy may suggest decreased levels of vertical integration (VI). The empirical work of related topics, however, contradicts previous research in the way that vertical integration (VI) has increased rather than decreased. The authors claim that the demand uncertainty and industry concentration, two measures of the competitive environment, can moderate the relationship between IT and VI.
The authors adopt firm-level IT spending data from 1995 to 1997 drawn from InformationWeek 500 that had been used in prior research. To overcome the simultaneity bias of VI and IT, the authors propose a 2-equation model to uncover the causality. The results suggest that in uncertain demand and in the unstable competitive environment, IT is associated with decreased VI. While in more predictable and concentrated environment, IT is associated with increased VI. Also, they find that firms made rational strategies about VI and IT in different competitive environments to decrease the coordination and production cost. Compared with the previous literature, this paper provides a more refined understanding of the relationship between IT and VI.
This article empirically addresses the key endogeneity issue, a firm will choose its IT investment given its VI level, and vice-a-versa, when people tried to discuss the benefit of IT on the use of markets for companies. It contributes to the literature by showing the difference in the use of IT across different competitive environments. The implication of this research is that the level of VI should be chosen strategically based on the nature of the competitive environment. The research question of this paper is clear and straightforward. This work could be a remarkable econ-IS paper in 2009.
Aral, S., & Weill, P. (2007). IT assets, organizational capabilities, and firm performance: How resource allocations and organizational differences explain performance variation. Organization Science, 18(5), 763-780.
While the positive effect of IT investments on firm performance has been shown from past evidence, the explanation of substantial variation across firms still remains obscure. Our knowledge of the specific factors driving the differences remains quite limited for both industry and academia. This study by Aral and Weill in 2007 tries to address the following two key questions: 1) what types of organizational characteristics explain this variation in firm performance? 2) why two firms with the same amount of IT capital perform differently?
To answer these two questions, the authors dive into the literature on resource-based theory of the firm (Wernerfelt 1984, Barney 1991) and propose a theoretical model of IT resources by 1) categorizing IT investments of firms into a portfolio of four IT assets disaggregated by strategic purpose: infrastructure, transactional, informational, and strategic assets and by 2) grouping the IT capability(ITC) as a mutually reinforcing system of practices(routines) and competencies(skills). Using data from 147 firms over 4 years and qualitative evidence from a case study of 7-Eleven Japan, the authors empirically investigate the impact of IT assets, IT capabilities, and their combination on four dimensions of firm performance: market valuation, profitability, cost, and innovation. They then find that 1) investments in a particular IT asset class deliver higher performance only when the dimension of the asset consistent with the strategic purpose of it and 2) organizational IT capabilities strengthens the performance effects of IT assets and broadens their impact beyond their intended purpose.
Although the empirical parts remain huge potentials for future researchers to explore, this paper is an easy-to-follow benchmark of behavior IS study. The authors integrate past literature and develop a new conceptual model which complements and extends recent resource-based theories of IT value.