2010 Seminars


10th Mar 2010 - 10:00 am

Venue: Room 214/215, H69 - Economics and Business Building

Speaker: Deborah Bunker,

Title: Community Warning and Emergency Incident Response: A System of Systems Approach


8th Apr 2010 - 03:00 pm

Venue: Room 214/215, H69 - Economics and Business Building

Speaker: Professor Trevor Wood Harper, Manchester Business School

Title: Action Research Cycles: Storytelling, Organisational Learning and Impacting

Overall this talk addresses the cyclic nature of Action Research (AR). Initially it begins with an overview, in a form of a story, of an approach for Information Systems Development called Multiview which was defined and evolved using AR. One of the main lessons from this work is that Multiple Perspective Thinking emerges from the learning cycles. Next, a collaborative Action Research (AR) study, called the ALTAR (Achieving Learning Through Action Research) Project that was conducted jointly between Staffordshire University and Britvic Soft Drinks Ltd. is discussed. This project included a number of AR cycles involving participants working at different management levels at Britvic. This company was already in the process of adopting Knowledge Management (KM) software but it was recognised it could better exploit KM technologies by undertaking an AR project. The project involved developing academic theory into practical concepts that influenced actions within the organisation and fed back into the academic research. The ALTAR approach and findings are briefly discussed and conclusions are drawn about the study and its implications for AR & KM and the future study of organisational learning. Finally, the findings of the Britvic and Multiview work are summarised. Their practical use to both managers in a variety of organisations and also in informing academic research into relevant disciplines using the AR process are outlined. A possible strategy is discussed for impact on Business Schools' research.


15th Apr 2010 - 10:00 am

Venue: Meeting Room 4 in the Darlington Centre

Speaker: Paul Scifleet,

Title: Digital Documentary Practice: Report on the findings from a practitioner survey of markup usage


28th Apr 2010 - 10:30 am

Venue: Room 214/215, H69 - Economics and Business Building

Speaker: Professor Detmar Straub; J. Mack Robinson Distinguished Professor of Information Systems; J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University, USA. Editor-in-Chief, MIS Quarterly,

Title: Contemporary Black Hat, White Hat Research in Information Security: Where are the Gaps


30th Apr 2010 - 10:30 am

Venue: Meeting Room 11 Darlington Centre School Bldg

Speaker: Professor Detmar Straub; J. Mack Robinson Distinguished Professor of Information Systems; J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University, USA. Editor-in-Chief, MIS Quarterly,

Title: Public Seminar: Why Top Journals Accept Your Paper *RSVP essential before 19 April to: karen.hunter@sydney.edu.au

RSVP essential before 19 April to: karen.hunter@sydney.edu.au.


5th May 2010 - 10:00 am

Venue: Room 214/215, H69 - Economics and Business Building

Speaker: Kai Riemer,

Title: Tweet inside - Microblogging in a corporate context


19th May 2010 - 10:00 am

Venue: Room 214/215, H69 - Economics and Business Building

Speaker: Helle Zinner Henriksen, Center for Applied ICT, Copenhagen Business School

Title: The Double Productivity Paradox: IT Productivity and Performance in the Public Sector


2nd Jun 2010 - 10:00 am

Venue: Room 214/215, H69 - Economics and Business Building

Speaker: Catherine Hardy; Sue Williams,

Title: Managing information risks and protecting information assets in a Web 2.0 era


30th Jun 2010 - 10:00 am

Venue: Room 214/215, H69 - Economics and Business Building

Speaker: Mark Borman,

Title: What's in, what's out: Coverage as an element of collaboration governance


1st Sep 2010 - 10:00 am

Venue: Room 214/215, H69 - Economics and Business Building

Speaker: Steven Elliot,

Title: Business Transformation Driven by Environmental Sustainability: A Critical Topic for Information Systems and for Multi-disciplinary Research


22nd Sep 2010 - 10:00 am

Venue: Darlington Centre Meeting Room 11

Speaker: Hans Van Der Heijden, Head of Division of Management, University of Surrey

Title: Information Visualisation of Competitive Strategies

In this seminar I will review procedures to extract business strategies from financial accounting data. The purpose of this is to enable visualisation of strategic movements in an industry. These visualisations can then be used to assist executives in strategic decision making.

Abstract: In this seminar I will review procedures to extract business strategies from financial accounting data. The purpose of this is to enable visualisation of strategic movements in an industry. These visualisations can then be used to assist executives in strategic decision making.

There are principally two approaches to identify competitive strategies from financial data, and I will illustrate both approaches using data from 628 UK listed firms over five years (2005-2009). Each approach has its advantages and disadvantages. These are not dissimilar to the methodological difficulties traditionally associated with financial ratio analysis.

The second part of the seminar will deal with the transfer of the data to strategic information visualisation. I will demonstrate a few sample visualisations, and I hope to discuss with the audience which visualisations are most effective and insightful.

Bio: Hans van der Heijden is Head of the Division of Management and a professor of Management Information Systems at the University of Surrey. He holds a Ph.D. in Management from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, Netherlands. Before his academic career he worked for a global accounting firm, with international assignments in the financial sector.

Prof. van der Heijden was the research chair for the annual European Conference on Information Systems 2008 in Galway, Ireland, and will be the research-in-progress chair for this conference in 2011 in Helsinki. His research straddles the areas of strategy, accounting, and management information systems. His publications have appeared in MIS Quarterly, European Journal of Information Systems, Decision Support Systems, Information and Management, and Journal of Information Technology.

His latest book is Designing Management Information Systems, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.


6th Oct 2010 - 10:00 am

Venue: Meeting Room 11, Darlington Centre

Speaker: Dr Mary Tate, School of Information Management, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Title: Generalisability, accuracy and simplicity: pick two. Approaches for developing theories of attitudes and behaviour towards technology.

This presentation expands on issues initially raised in Dr Tate's ICIS (2009) paper, which can be accessed in the AIS electronic library at http://aisel.aisnet.org/icis2009/139/. In the ICIS paper it was suggested that many existing theories of user perceptions and attitudes towards technology suffer from "over investigation" of users' attitudes and "under investigation" of the technologies that cause them. This can be the result of a pursuit of generalisability at the expense of accuracy and salience to practice. In this paper, some heuristics are offered for addressing this issue. It is proposed that salient features of technologies can be identified using affordance theory. The functional affordances of technologies form the basis for users┬┐ descriptive beliefs (perceptions). These in turn form the basis for more generalized beliefs that lead to attitudes. The original paper continued with some suggestions as to how this approach can be modelled quantitatively using multi-indicator structural models. The modelling issues are interesting and Dr Tate is keen to take them up off-line with anyone with an interest in SEMs. They are quite technical, however, and likely not of interest to a mixed audience of quantitative and qualitative researchers.

Instead of going deeply into the modelling issues, in the presentation Dr Tate will discuss the other corner of the triangle - that of generalizability. Dr Tate will go back to foundational work on theory building in the social sciences and the book by Dubin (1978), for some insights as to how this balancing act might be accomplished. The seminar then finishes with some recommendations for developing theories of attitudes and behaviour towards technology that strike an appropriate balance.

RSVP: to deborah.bunker@sydney.edu.au by Wednesday 29th September.


13th Oct 2010 - 10:00 am

Venue: Room 214/215, H69 - Economics and Business Building

Speaker: Robert O'Keefe, Dean of the Faculty of Management and Law at The University of Surrey

Title: TBA


20th Oct 2010 - 10:00 am

Venue: Darlington Centre Meeting Room 11

Speaker: Jenny Leonard,

Title: What are we aligning? Categorising alignment in the context of strategic theory


17th Nov 2010 - 10:00 am

Venue: Room 214/215, H69 - Economics and Business Building

Speaker: Corina Raduescu,

Title: Achieving Alignment in Enterprise Systems Implementations - A Critical Realist Perspective

Because Enterprise Systems (ES) are being implemented in organisations of all types and sizes, understanding how to align the organisational requirements with the ES package capabilities is important and essential knowledge for achieving successful ES implementations. Despite extensive ES implementation experience, organisations still experience considerable problems in the alignment process, problems that contribute to failure to achieve expected business benefits.

This study seeks to explain how alignment between organisational requirements and ES capabilities takes place in ES implementations. The research goal is addressed via a longitudinal case study of the ES implementation being conducted in a public organisation in an expanding region of the country. The research uses a critical realist (CR) lens and employs grounded theory GT to document and explore the organisation-technology relationship.

This study investigates the process of alignment by conceptualising ES projects as Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) because they involve large and diverse groups of stakeholders and structures within organisations. The findings suggest that alignment is facilitated when stakeholders reach a shared mental model that supports the overall decision making process during ES implementation. This study therefore expands the theory of mental model convergence by integrating the role of boundary objects and spanners when stakeholders engage in complex knowledge related tasks during ES implementation.

This study operationalises the claims of several researchers that CR offers an appropriate alternative lens for investigating the organisation-technology relationship by facilitating the explicit study of the role of technology. It further suggests that complexity theory and GT are appropriate meta-theory and methodology for conducting empirical CR studies. The findings also offers a more detailed view of the alignment process and consequently situate client organisations in a better position to achieve expected business benefits and reduce the incidence of problematic ES implementations.

Bio: Corina's research focuses on investigating the organisation-technology relationship through the lens of critical realism and complexity theory. Corina is currently completing her PhD and her thesis explores the process by which organisations implementing large scale enterprise systems align their business requirements to the capabilities of such systems.
Corina brings together a novel approach to conducting research in business information systems by using complexity theory and critical realism as theoretical and philosophical foundations. This approach, she argues, offers a holistic explanatory account of the interaction between people and technology, and the ability to understand how people acquire and enhance their domain-specific knowledge through interactions with technological artefacts.

Her thesis findings suggest that organisations implementing systems engage in learning and adaptation processes with the main aim of reaching shared knowledge of both their business processes and systems capabilities, knowledge that is represented in both peoples' shared mental models and technological artefacts. She argues that her research is relevant because it offers another view on what organisations' focus should be during systems implementation, given that a high number of organisations still fail to achieve the expected business benefits from their systems investments.

Corina's approach to information systems research is well received by the academic community leading to two Doctoral Consortia invitations in recent years: ICIS 2007, Montreal, Canada and ACIS 2006, Adelaide, Australia. Recent conference presentations such as "Methodology in Critical Realist Research: The Mediating Role of Domain-Specific Theory" in Proceedings of the 15th Americas Conference on Information Systems, 2009 and "Aligning Organizational Requirements with Enterprise Systems Capabilities: The Role of Domain-specific Knowledge," in Proceedings of the 13th Americas Conference on Information Systems, 2007, also reflect the recognition of Corina's research relevance in the field. 

The relevance of her PhD study to industry is highlighted by the fact that her study was part of the ARC Linkage Project "Using Measures of Ontological Distance to Evaluate the Alignment between Organisational Needs and Enterprise Systems Capabilities."