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Business Information Systems Seminars

The Discipline of Business Information Systems seminar organiser is Sebastian Boell.

Upcoming Seminars

11th May 2016 - 10:00 am

Venue: Rm 5040 Abercrombie Building (H70)

Speaker: Elizabeth J. Davidson, Shidler College of Business, University of Hawai’i, Mānoa

Title: Social media and the ongoing construction of new occupational categories

Abstract: In this research weare investigating how new forms of social actors emerge in a field of practice, as they integrate social media in their work.  In this talk I will briefly review a published paper (Vaast, Davidson and Mattson, 2013) in which we examined the emergence of technology blogging as a new actor in high tech public discourse.  I will then discuss research-in-progress to extend this work, in which we argue that social media affect the construction of new actor categories by enabling category members to produce and circulate stories about themselves through self-narratives and peer narratives. We apply this approach in the in-depth examination of peer and self-narratives of tech bloggers, as they experience occupational transitions in their blogging activities. From this data, we develop a framework of story types associated with the ongoing construction of the category.

Bio: Elizabeth J. Davidson is the W. Ruel Johnson Distinguished Professor of Information Technology Management at the Shidler College of Business, University of Hawai’i, Mānoa.  Dr. Davidson and colleagues have studied the emergence of new social actor categories in social media platforms (e.g., technology bloggers), the influences of social media developments for social entrepreneurship for environmental causes, and entrepreneurial innovation in social product development. In her research she has also examined organizational diffusion and assimilation of health information technologies in healthcare organizations. Dr. Davidson serves as Editor-in-Chief of Information and Organization and has served as senior editor for Journal of the AIS, European Journal of Information Systems, and Information and Organization, associate editor for MIS Quarterly, and co-guest editor for a special issue at MIS Quarterly on Service Innovation in the Digital Age.  Dr. Davidson co-chaired the Health Information Systems track for ICIS 2015 and served as Division Officer (program chair, division chair) for the Organizational Communications and Information Systems (OCIS) division of the Academy of Management in 2010-2014.

RSVP: Friday 6 May

18th May 2016 - 10:00 am

Venue: Rm 5040 Abercrombie Building (H70)

Speaker: Catherine Hardy; Linda Levine, University of Sydney Business School

Title: Are We Losing Control?


Complex business ecosystems, emerging computing paradigms and the Big Data ‘revolution’, are focusing attention on the need for more agile, dynamic and flexible ways of organising. Questions about whether these environments will diminish the usefulness and importance of controls have ensued. The embodiment of control in multiple professional standards, diversification of control types, ongoing development and expansion of control frameworks and increased capability to monitor and control through the use of technology suggest that this may simply be a distraction in organisational encounters with technological change. Or have we reached a point where the value and assumptions of control need to be re-assessed?

Notwithstanding its long and continued existence in practice, controls are often perceived as onerous and wasteful, bribery, corruption and fraud remain rife, and new and emerging risks arising in domains such as cybersecurity seem ‘uncontrollable.’ Further, whilst there is a widening scope of claims about the changing nature of control, there is a need to integrate these insights to develop an interdisciplinary understanding of the problem and deepen empirical support. Preliminary findings from the first phase of an exploratory piece of research designed to investigate the meanings of control and experiences of control problems from senior level managers across different domain areas will be presented.


Linda Levine is a Researcher Consultant specializing in systems thinking for adaptive organizations and a Senior Principal Research Fellow affiliated with the Discipline of Business Information Systems at The University of Sydney.  Previously, from 1991- 2012, she was a senior member of the technical staff at Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute. Her research focuses in four cluster areas: systems thinking & system of systems interoperability; reasoning, archetypes & patterns of failure; agile software development; and diffusion of innovations & knowledge integration. She holds a PhD from Carnegie Mellon University. She is a member of the IEEE Computer Society, Association for Information Systems, National Communication Association, and cofounder and past Chair of IFIP Working Group 8.6 on Diffusion, Transfer and Implementation of Information Technology.  Contact her at

Catherine Hardy is an Associate Professor in the Discipline of Business Information Systems at The University of Sydney. Her research program focuses on the relations between technological innovation, governance and organisatonal change. She pursues this research in various empirical domains such as eProcurement, social business, information security and public and private sectors. Her recent work examines continuous assurance and the use of risk and audit analytics, including the impact on work practices and identifies of risk and assurance professionals.

RSVP: Friday 13 May