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2011 Seminars

9th Mar 2011 - 10:30 am

Venue: New Law School, Seminar Room 11

Speaker: Sue Williams, University of Koblenz

Title: Enterprise Information Management Research Programme

Organisations are struggling to manage the growing volumes, forms and sources of digital information and to balance the dual objectives of managing information as an asset and information as evidence. This creates significant challenges at a practice level as organisations attempt to realise value from their information assets whilst also ensuring compliance with increasingly complex and sometimes conflicting legal and regulatory requirements.

In this presentation we discuss the themes, values and intellectual commitments that shape the design of our interdisciplinary research programme. Aimed at assisting organisations to develop an information capability and to improve their information policies, processes and practices, the programme draws on theories of sociotechnical change and reflexive and participatory research designs. The most recent research study investigates the risks and challenges arising from the integration of Enterprise 2.0 projects into the wider enterprise information environment. Using this study as an example, we discuss our findings, their implications for the design of future research cycles and the challenges of managing interactive research and the co-construction of knowledge.

Susan Williams is a DAAD funded Professor at the University of Koblenz-Landau working on research in enterprise information management and collaborative technologies. She has held previous appointments at the University of Sydney, UTS, UNSW and The University of Sheffield. She is currently also a Visiting Professor at the Information School at The University of Sheffield. Her long-term research programme is directed towards assisting organisations to improve the design, management and protection of their information assets. With a specific focus on the complex interplay between technical innovation, organisational change and legal mandates, her work draws from the fields of information management, library and information science and information-related law.

6th Apr 2011 - 10:30 am

Venue: Darlington Centre, Meeting Room 11

Speaker: Robert Johnston, UC Davis

Title: Challenges in Employing a Practice Perspective to Study Interorganisational IS Evolution

I will describe Practice Theory as a new approach to theorising information systems in a thoroughly socio-technical way. At heart practice theory denies certain traditional dualities (subject-object, individual-collective), which if sustained lead IS theorising to various unhelpful determinisms incompatible with many important adoption phenomena, especially evolution of large scale Interorganisational Systems (IOIS) over long timescales. I will describe recent work with Kai Reimers (RWTH Aachen), Stefan Klein (U. Muenster) to articulate a form of practice theory, our attempts to use it empirically, and our attempts to understand IOIS evolution in the pharmaceutical industry and IS adoption generally.

Robert B. Johnston, BSc, DipEd, MSc, PhD  is John Sharkey Chair of Information Systems and Organisation and Head of the Management Information Systems Department at University College Dublin. His main research areas are electronic commerce, supply chain management, inter-organisational information systems and theoretical foundations of Information Systems. He has over 120 refereed publications, many in leading international journals including Information Systems Research, Management Science, European Journal of Information Systems, Communications of the ACM, International Journal of Electronic Commerce, Journal of Stategic Information Systems, Electronic Markets, Journal of the Operational Research Society, International Journal of Production Economics, OMEGA Intrenational. Journal of Management Science, and Supply Chain Management. Prior to becoming an academic he spent 13 years as a freelance consulting analyst / project manager, designing and implementing about 25 large computer systems for inventory and production planning in a number of leading manufacturing companies in Australia.

13th Apr 2011 - 10:30 am

Venue: Darlington Centre, DC Meeting Room 7

Speaker: Catherine Hardy, The University of Sydney

Title: Exploring Continuous Assurance in Practice: Preliminary Insights

The concept of continuous assurance is not new, with a history spanning close to three decades in various guises. Recently there has been renewed attention in the area due to compliance imperatives, trends in governance and risk, anti-fraud measures and technological advances. However significant uncertainty surrounds the practicalities of how continuous assurance may be effectively implemented into an organisation's governance, risk and compliance landscape for auditors and managers. The aim of this paper is to report on the early stages of a case study examining how continuous assurance is being implemented in an Australian wholesale company. Broadly, a practice perspective is adopted, drawing theoretical insights from Actor-Network Theory (ANT), and Power's (2007) concept of 'organised uncertainty' is explored to progress thinking in continuous assurance theory and practice. Findings emerging from the initial phases of this study include the heterogeneous and fluid nature of continuous assurance, a duality of mobility involving system dependencies and audit independence, and the unanticipated usages and politics of information.

Catherine Hardy is a Senior Lecturer in Business Information Systems at the University of Sydney Business School. Her research program is directed towards assisting organisations improve the governance, assurance and protection of their information assets. Drawing from the fields of information systems, audit and assurance and risk management Catherine's research interests focus mainly on the changing and complex relationships between technical innovation, organisational change, governance and risk. Catherine also has a strong commitment to reflexive and case based methodologies.

4th May 2011 - 10:30 am

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

Speaker: Kai Riemer, University of Sydney

Title: From suitability to appropriateness - Rethinking the IT artifact using Heidegger's analysis of equipment

The IT artifact is frequently seen to be the core object of interest in Information Systems research. As such, the IT artifact is commonly conceived of as a bundle of features, i.e. a thing with properties. In this talk, I will question the usefulness of such a view for understanding the adoption and use of IT. I will argue that the artifact view of IT is deeply grounded in a Cartesian worldview, which stresses a duality between subject and object, i.e. between individual and the external world. On this view, adoption and use of IT becomes the familiar Task Technology Fit story, where fit is determined by the relationship between properties of various entities (task, technology, individual characteristics, etc.). I will challenge this view by drawing on Martin Heidegger's analysis of equipment, as introduced in Being and Time (1927/1961). Using a stylized account of a typical IT selection and implementation project I will illustrate how the focus of attention shifts under this post-cartesian worldview. I argue that, by drawing on Heidegger's existential ontology, we are able to better understand and trace back typical IS phenomena to ourbeing-in-the-world as concerned, practice-having beings (Dasein).

This work yields two contributions: The first is to show that the messiness of implementation, captured in such concepts as "lack of adoption", "user resistance", "unfaithful use", or "change management", rather than being the symptoms of the failure of a rational adoption process are in fact the natural outcome as IT is appropriated into existing practices. Treating IT as equipment emphasizes that in genuine use IT is intimately interwoven with other equipment, user practices, and individual identity, and thus highlights theneed to appropriate a new IT artifact (as equipment) into an existing world of user practices. The second is to offer the equipment view of IT use as a distinctly different perspective through which Information Systems can distinguish itself from neighboring disciplines, such as Computer Science and Software Engineering that pursue an artifact view (with a narrow focus on design). I will argue that, by focusing on equipment as the holistic notion of technologies-in-practice, Information Systems might come to better shape its disciplinary core.


Dr. Kai Riemer is a Senior Lecturer in Business Information Systems. Kai joined the University of Sydney in August 2009 from MÜnster University in Germany, where he held a position as Assistant Professor. Kai's expertise and research interests cover the areas of e-Collaboration, collaborative systems, Enterprise 2.0, inter-firm networking, virtual work, and philosophy of technology. In one current research stream he focuses on the application and use of communication media and collaborative systems and their impact and effect on groups and people in virtual work contexts (such as virtual teams or distributed projects). In particular he is interested in Web 2.0 technologies in corporate contexts, such as Enterprise Microblogging platforms. A second stream of research focuses on the conceptualization of the IT artifact drawing on various works from the philosophy of technology and existential philosophy. Kai is a board member of the Journal of Information Technology, Electronic Markets, and the International Journal of e-Collaboration.

2nd Jun 2011 - 10:30 am

Venue: Darlington Centre Meeting Room 11

Speaker: Tor J Larsen, Norwegian School of Management

Title: Accreditation and ranking of Business Schools: The long and winding path toward excellence or the motorway toward mundanity?

Globally, there is a wave of business school accreditation with many nations establishing their own accreditation regimes. On the international arena, EQUIS and AACSB are at the "cutting edge" of accreditation agencies. We also see that rankings, for example Financial Time's multiple ranking schemes, play a decisive role in achieving accreditation status. It is evident that business schools achieve higher quality in their teaching programs and research through these accreditation and ranking processes. Simultaneously, accreditation status has become a prerequisite for establishing collaboration with other academic institutions. Practitioners and politicians increasingly emphasize accreditation as a necessary measure of excellence. It is also evident that students increasingly check accreditation and ranking status before applying for admittance to a particular business school.

Accreditation and ranking rules and regulations are commonly applied to business schools across national borders. They impact the way in which programs and courses must be described, made available and administered in the global marketplace. These rules and regulations also apply to the composition of faculty, the formal degrees obtained by faculty, and the faculty's research output - not to forget level and patterns of collaboration between academia and public and private organizations.

While it is quite true that achieving accreditation and being ranked among the best may increase education and research quality, it may also be argued that there is an inherent danger in applying similar rules to all. In the long run, will the effect of accreditation and ranking be to stifle academic innovation? Will faculty globally, with regard to competence and skills, become more like one another? Among business schools, will systems for administration, education, and managerial reporting become standardized? In short, will the "rules of the game" become set procedures rather than focus on continuous innovation and the need for being at the forefront of shaping the future?

Tor J. Larsen holds a MA in Systems Thinking from the University of Lancaster, England in 1975 and earned his Ph.D. in Management Information Systems (MIS) from the University of Minnesota in 1989. He held the position of Senior Vice President at the BI Norwegian Business School 2007-2010 and is at present full professor in Knowledge Management. He has served as associate editor for MIS Quarterly. Dr. Larsen's publications are found in, journals such as Information & Management, Journal of MIS, Information Systems Journal, and Computers in Industry. He is a member of AIS and IFIP WG8.2 and Vice-Chair of WG8.6 since 2007. Dr. Larsen's research interests are in the areas of managers' use of information, knowledge management, innovation, diffusion, representation, and innovation outcome. He can be reached at Tor.J.Larsen@BI.NO

7th Jul 2011 - 10:30 am

Venue: Darlington Centre, Meeting Room 11

Speaker: Nadine Vehring,

Title: "Don't pressure me!" A case study exposing the multi-faceted nature of voluntariness in IT adoption

The design and management of the roll-out of new IT in an organization comprises several managerial decisions; one of which is whether IT adoption should be mandatory. Voluntariness to adopt has mainly been researched as a variable in explaining individual IT acceptance, however with contradicting results. By drawing on a case study of a financial service company, we aim to improve our understanding of the concept of voluntariness. We elaborate on the changing role of voluntariness in the different stages of the roll-out process of Real-Time Collaboration technologies. Furthermore, we broaden our understanding of voluntariness, beyond focusing on the individual adoption decision, by investigating adoption and diffusion on the team and management level. This allows us to observe an interesting dilemma presented in the case: While voluntariness can be an essential prerequisite for implementation and technology roll-out, it may act as an inhibitor to its full diffusion in later stages.

Bio: Nadine Vehring is a PhD candidate and researches with the Interorganisational Systems (IOS) Group at the Department of Information Systems, University of Muenster. Her research focuses on the analysis of the introduction, adoption and use of communication and collaboration systems in general and Real Time Collaboration systems in particular. Her research is based on an exploratory and multi-level case study research design. With her research she aims to contribute to a better understanding of the interplay of aspects of designing and managing the roll-out of a new communication and collaboration system on the management level and of processes of user appropriation and enrolment of this new technologies into existing user practices at the individual and group level.

8th Sep 2011 - 10:00 am

Venue: Meeting Room 11, Darlington Centre

Speaker: Michael Goul, W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University

Title: New Challenges for Business Intelligence Research: The Evolution of Service Platforms at American Express, Intel and eBay

In Business Intelligence (BI), action research is catalyzing evolutions to what is now being referred to as "service platforms." A service platform integrates multiple applications or services from multiple business functions, business units and/or external complementors to deliver a seamless experience for a customer, employee, manager, business unit, business partner or organization. American Express develops BI applications that quickly become central to both B2C and B2B service platform contexts, but developmental bottlenecks limit faster deployment. Intel views supply chain management foundations as a way to model organizations' enterprise architectures as service platforms for a market of commoditized business processes, but the lack of industry-wide standards stall supply network adoption. eBay evolved an experimental platform for wide-scale service innovation - every eBay user is now involved in at least one experiment - but traditional innovation management tenets haven't kept pace. In all of these service platform incarnations, some traditional "platform market" research findings apply. Action research being conducted in each organization is yielding more clues to additional service platform issues. The service platform of the future will be BI-intensive. Successes and problems at American Express, Intel and eBay serve to emphasize future research needs, and this snapshot of progress at each company will highlight those needs.

Dr. Michael Goul is Professor and Chair of the Department of Information Systems, W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. His work in business intelligence and services-centric computing has included recent industry-sponsored research projects with American Express, Intel and Teradata. Mike's interest in services extends to the public sector, and he was appointed in 2005 as a Distinguished University Fellow of the Clinton School of Public Service. In addition to research collaborations with industry and government, he is actively engaged in business intelligence curriculum design and standards setting. His community involvement includes his current post as Vice President of Programs for the Arizona Chapter of the Society for Information Management. Mike has published in journals including Decision Sciences, Decision Support Systems, Journal of Management Information Systems, Journal of Service Research, Electronic Commerce, Information and Management, Information Systems Frontiers and many others. He has also served as a journal editor, special issue co-editor, Association for Information Systems (AIS) Council Vice-President, and AIS Conference Chair and Program Chair. He is a Past-Chair of the AIS Special Interest Group in Decision Support, Knowledge and Data Management Systems, and he is currently an Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Services Computing. He is co-author of the 2010 Journal of Service Research outstanding research paper titled, "Moving Forward and Making a Difference: Research Priorities for the Science of Service.

13th Oct 2011 - 10:30 am

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

Speaker: Igor Hawryszkiewycz, UTS

Title: Process Modeling in Complex Social Environments

Abstract The seminar will argue for an open process modeling approach in today's complex environments, where there is the need to continually adapt to change. The paper proposes that one way to manage complexity is to define concepts to naturally express the different relationships in complex environments and the impact of change to one relationship on others. The seminar will describe an open modeling initiative that provides a system to create such concepts and the metamodels based on concepts. It will outline a set of concepts and metamodels for modeling wicked systems and illustrates with application to policy creation in wicked systems. The concepts focus on integration of social and structured processes and defining role responsibilities in managing change.

Bio Prof. Igor Hawryszkiewycz is Head of the School of Systems, Management and Leadership at UTS, where he is responsible for teaching and research in the School. He completed a BE and ME degrees in Electrical Engineering at the University of Adelaide, and a PhD degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  His research reported in over 200 publications and 5 text books emphasizes design issues and over time has covered design databases and information systems, and recently on the design of collaborative systems with emphasis on integration of collaboration into business processes and on providing services for complex adaptive systems now needed in today's dynamic environment. The seminar uses methods in the author's recent book published by Palgrave Macmillan in Basignstoke UK on "Knowledge Management: Organizing Knowledge Based Enterprises".

10th Nov 2011 - 10:30 am

Venue: Meeting Room 11, Darlington Centre

Speaker: Karlheinz Kautz, CBS

Title: Sociomateriality - More than Jargon Monoxide? Questions from the Jester to the Sovereign

Recently the notion of 'Sociomateriality' has gained in popularity among information systems (IS) scholars in their search for providing new ways of investigating and understanding IS in organizations and society at large. While some scholars put forward arguments and research accounts that have the potential of leading to new insights, others provide reports which expose a cursory treatment and partial appreciation of the idea. Certain IS scholars have even been accused to introduce yet more academic jargon monoxide by using the term to explain an important phenomenon. Overall the current use of the concept in IS while showing some potential for progressing the theorizing of the 'wicked relation' of man and the soft-machine (the IS/IT artefact) points to the necessity of a deeper exploration of the term. This talk - inspired by the Alternative Genres Track at ECIS 2012, and based on existing literature dealing with sociomateriality in IS - attempts to "take a fresh look, to evoke new insights, and to gain a deeper understanding"1 of the notion of sociomateriality in the IS field. To ensure a constructive discussion, a particular genre where the audience is invited to attend a prolonged dialogue - characterized by honesty, frank observations, and wit - between the court jester and the sovereign, the queen and the king, is used. In doing so, the hope is to contribute with a refreshing debate that builds on open-minded questions in the pursuit of key answers to strengthen our discipline.

Karlheinz Kautz, Dr philos is professor in Systems Development at the Department of Operations Management at the Copenhagen Business School, Denmark and the former Director of Studies of Europe's oldest course program on IT and Business Administration. Previously he has been employed as a senior researcher at the Norwegian Computing Center and at universities in Germany, Norway, England and Denmark.

He is a founding member and a former chairman of the IFIP TC8 WG 8.6 on Diffusion, Transfer, and Implementation of Information Technology and a member of AIS. He is the former coordinating editor of the Scandinavian Journal of IS. Currently he serves as senior editor or associate editor for the Communications of the AIS, the Journal of Information Technology, Information, Technology & People, and the Journal of Information Technology Theory and Application. His research interests are in systems development, the diffusion and adoption of information technology innovations and the organizational and societal impact of IT.

24th Nov 2011 - 10:30 am

Venue: Room 214/215, Economics & Business Building (H69)

Speaker: Gerhard Schwabe, University of Zurich

Title: What does my financial advisor do? Designing for transparency in service encounters

In sales-oriented service encounters like financial advisory, the client may perceive information and interest asymmetries as a lack of transparency regarding the advisor's activities. In this presentation, I will discuss two design iterations of an interactive tabletop application that we built to increase process,  information and cost transparency and thereby enable the client to better understand and contribute to the advisory activities.  This project was developed in close collaboration with a major Swiss bank and tested with their advisors. The project is furthermore a good case of modern design research, combining methodological rigor with practical usefulness under the umbrella of user centered design.

Gerhard SchwabeGerhard Schwabe is a full professor of information systems at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. He is leading a research group of 10 PhD students. His research interests bridge the areas of information management and collaboration technologies. Recent research programs have focussed on collaborative advisory, tourism communities, global software development teams and mobile learning. Currently he is starting a program on innovation and social networtk. Most of his research is design oriented and in collaboration with industry.