The Digital Disruption Research Group (DDRG) brings together colleagues from academia and industry who share an interest in the wider topic areas of technology in business and the future of business and work. The DDRG is open to a wide range of topics and approaches without restricting possible research initiatives sharing an interest in investigating and exploring the particular nature and characteristics of disruptive change and its implications for business practice. The research group is open to like-minded colleagues who want to be involved in researching such issues with an interest beyond the immediate everyday set of problems. We generally take a balanced and critical view of technology and aim to look beyond any hype of the day. The group has become a vibrant meeting space for colleagues to discuss and link their individual research initiatives, for exploring new ideas and establishing new research projects, for brainstorming, formulating and disseminating ideas. We are equally interested in ‘doing’ as we are in ‘thinking’.

What is Digital Disruption?

Digital disruption refers to changes enabled by digital technologies that occur at a pace and magnitude that disrupt established ways of value creation, social interactions, doing business and more generally our thinking.

Digital Disruption can be seen as both a threat and an opportunity:

  • ICT-induced change happens at a pace and scale that impacts on existing business practice in disruptive ways, threatening and invalidating existing business models.
  • Digital technologies offer new opportunities for the creation of innovate business models for entrepreneurs to compete with established business practices in a wide range of industries.

Digital Disruption can occur on various levels:

  • Disruptions to individual life practices (example: Mobile connectivity disrupts established work-life boundaries)
  • Disruptions to work practices (example: Narrating work via microblogging in the workplace changes what counts as (valuable) work)
  • Disruptions to business practices (example: Workplace social media disrupts the way information travels in the organisation and induces shifts in power relationships)
  • Disruptions to industry structures (example: Digitisation of media content and user-generated content disrupts traditional value chains of content production and delivery)
  • Disruptions to societal systems (example: Social media participation disrupts traditional practices of public opinion making)

While the above examples point to profound changes to established business practices, they do not fully illustrate what exactly makes these changes truly disruptive.

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Recent Research Grants

Evidence-based Management for Enterprise Social Networking Success (2015-2018)

Investigator/s: Kai Riemer, Robert Johnston, Uri Gal

This project will investigate how silence emerges in teams, what sustains it, and how it affects error and safety outcomes. Employees often choose to remain silent about important issues at work, which can have devastating consequences. Although silence is a complex individual phenomenon, there is little knowledge of silence as a collective phenomenon, or how it spreads and becomes the norm in teams and organisations. This project will investigate silence using multilevel, longitudinal designs and by testing novel interventions. This research is expected to affect how teams work and communicate effectively to reduce dangerous forms of silence and improve safety.

Towards Engineering Behavioural Research Design Systems (2015 - 2017)

Investigator: Kai Riemer

Behavioural research is a significant component of the annual spend in Australia on research and development. It is contended that 'best practice' behavioural research methods can be more systematised, transparent and visible; facilitating more complex, integrated and holistic research designs; and thereby, more cumulative and comparable results; thus enabling increased rigor, higher productivity and lower risk than have generally been the experience historically. This project proposes the formal conceptualisation and modelling of behavioural science research methods, by adapting them to the research design, the well understood concepts, tools and techniques of Information Systems design. Results are expected to form the conceptual basis of 'Research Design Systems’.

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Hacker JV, Bernsmann R and Riemer K 2017 'Dimensions of User Behavior in Enterprise Social Networks' in Social Knowledge Management in Action: Applications and Challenges, ed. Helms, R, Cranefiels, J, van Reijsen J, Springer International Publishing, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 125-146

Riemer K and Johnston RB 2017 Forthcoming 'Clarifying Ontological Inseparability with Heidegger's Analysis of Equipment', MIS Quarterly

Seymour M, Riemer K and Kay J 2017 'Interactive Realistic Digital Avatars - Revisiting the Uncanny Valley', Proceedings of the 50th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences HICSS-50, Waikoloa, United States, 7th January 2017

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