Is IS Research Contributing? Implications for Process and ERP Research Some Data, Thoughts, Directions & Ideals - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Is IS Research Contributing? Implications for Process and ERP Research Some Data, Thoughts, Directions & Ideals. Varun Grover William S. Lee (Duke Energy) Distinguished Professor of IS Department of Management College of Business & Behavioral Sciences. FRAMING CONTRIBUTION.

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Is IS Research Contributing? Implications for Process and ERP Research Some Data, Thoughts, Directions & Ideals

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Is IS Research Contributing? Implications for Process and ERP ResearchSome Data, Thoughts, Directions & Ideals

Varun Grover

William S. Lee (Duke Energy) Distinguished Professor of ISDepartment of Management

College of Business & Behavioral Sciences


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FRAMING CONTRIBUTION

We make a contribution if…..

We believe in ourselves

Others listen to what we say

We create unique knowledge

Our knowledge is useful


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Do We Believe in Ourselves?

Research and pedagogy in Information Systems is primarily concerned with the understanding and advancement of “knowledge in the development, management and use of information technology to improve organizational performance”

(Mission of the AIS).

Organizational information system, its development (modeling), management and strategic use, and how it is tied data, processes, and decisions

data and information systems, their development (modeling), management and strategy, and how they are related to organizations, processes, decisions and users


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Co-Citation Analysis of 70 authors and

Clusters in their Research


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The Good

  • There is consistency between what we say we are and what we do

  • IT as the catalyst – does change the issues we research – but our innate core remains the same

  • We are a fragmented adhocracy – working within our definitional boundaries with integrators at work

  • The Bad

  • IS is a weak paradigm field

We disagree on importance of phenomena,

methods, theories…even

philosophical assumptions

Adverse Consequences


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We Make a Contribution if…..

We Believe in Ourselves

  • Possible Directions

  • Multi-theoretical Perspectives (think Supra-additive)

  • Positive Affective Tone

  • (negativity breeds negativity)

  • Celebrate Success

  • (Institutional Responsibility)

  • Provide Solutions

  • (Community Responsibility)

  • Act as a Steward

  • (Individual Responsibility)


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Do Others Listen to What We Say?

Does IS Listen?

Citations in

IS Journals

Trend: p<0.05


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Sociometric Analysis

Of Work Points

and Reference Points

Do Others Listen?

quantitative analysis of over 72,600 citations spread across

1406 IS articles in 16 journals over the period 1990-2004

Top IS Journals compare well to top business journals in “Impact Factor” Ratings


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  • The Good

  • IS is beginning to contribute back to Disciplines (OS, MS, CS)

  • Impact Factor Compares Well

  • IS research is expanding – building its cumulative tradition

  • The Bad

  • IS has a long way to go for more established disciplines like MKG and ECN

  • IS still lacks the clout of established disciplines in institutional structures


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We Make a Contribution if…..

Others Listen to What We Say

Possible Directions

  • Cross Disciplinary Journal Alliances

  • (What makes an article at the IS Workpoint be Cited at other Workpoints)

  • Value Created in IS =

  • f (extent of relevance X

  • extent of theory reconstitution X

  • cumulative tradition within a nomological network)


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Do We Create Unique Knowledge?

IS Density:

Ratio of IS Constructs to

Total No of Constructs

Nomological Density:

Ratio of IS-IS relationships to

Total No of Relationships


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  • The Good

  • IS is gaining some uniqueness in its constructs

  • The Bad

  • No real indigenous theory in IS

  • Theory on a pedestal (difficult to define)


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We Make a Contribution if…..

We Create Unique Knowledge

  • Nurture More Innovative Theory Building

    • Open Sea Theorizing (rather than only closed loop from reference disciplines or theoretical games)

  • Value Without Theory

    • Theory as a Means Not an End

    • (Results Can Precede Theory; We need theorists and empiricists)


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Is Our Knowledge is Useful?

Relevance:

Comparison of topics in academic research to comparison of

topics found in practitioner literature

Results: Very few significant correlations between practitioner ranking of topics in a year with academic ranking of research incidence

– even after accounting for lag effects.


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We Make a Contribution if…..

Our Knowledge is (Perceived) as Useful

The Problem

Practitioner

Purists

IMPACT

RESEARCH

Rigor Gap

Academic

Purists

R

E

L

E

V

A

N

C

E

Bridge BOTH

Relevance and

Rigor Gaps

Relevance

Gap

Moderation:

The Best Policy?

No

Credibility

(Practitioner

Investment)

RIGOR

(Academic Investment)


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OVERALL SUMMARY: We make a contribution if…..

We believe in ourselves

Good consistency, innate core & integrators at work

BUT weak paradigm

NEED supra-additive theories and positive affective tone

Others listen to what we say

We are establishing a cumulative tradition, contributing back to some disciplines, and having an impact factor

BUT we only take from other disciplines and we lack institutional clout

NEED cross disciplinary journal alliances and a clear research value proposition

We create unique knowledge

We are increasing uniqueness of our constructs

BUT we don’t have our own theories and we practice closed theoreticalloops

NEED moreinnovative theory & strong results

Our knowledge is useful

We do not seem to contribute toward practice

despite the emphasis on researching practical issues

NEED to bridge both the relevance AND rigor gap


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Creating Contributions (unique and useful knowledge)

in Process/ERP Research

ERP/Process Research is Fundamental to IS

IS Implementation

IS Project Management

IT Value

IT Adoption, Use & Impact

Technical Issues

(enterprise modeling, software configuration, system integration)

….and more

It deals with…..

…..and is evolving with

new exciting questions

…it is a growing area of inquiry – with tremendous opportunities

for research at all levels (individual, organizational, inter-organizational,

national, global, etc.) using a diversity of methods and theories.

  • A Travelogue

  • Some Directions


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My Travelogue of IT-Process Research

Learning Point: BPR requires an organization wide integrated

approach where strategy, IT, and an innovative environment

need to be aligned. Acceptance and continuous assessment of

process change is nurtured through an innovative environment.

  • Strategy

  • IT

  • innovative environment

  • management of process change

  • (inductive)

Learning Point: Cross-functional and cross-organizational

projects benefit from an alignment of business strategy with IT.

Low cost oriented businesses streamline cross functional

processes and, alignment of IT strategy with the cost orientation helps.

What kind of strategy?

(empirical)

Learning Point: IT can reduce physical coupling and

increase information coupling in processes. These

parallel-collaborative processes have implications for

structure, management and people in progressive

process oriented enterprises.

What kind of IT?

Learning Point: Business reengineering will only be successful

if accompanied with the management of change, people and the

project. IT competency is not instrumental for success; however,

success requires concurrent changes in a breadth of environmental

and managerial facilitators.

What kind of change, process &

technology management?

(conceptual, empirical – survey, case)

Learning Point: Use of consultant based methodologies to

document existing processes does not yield commensurate

results. Technology management must be part of a broader

change program in order to have an effect.

Learning Point: Organic structures that facilitate innovation and

recognition of the broader strategic role of IS are important for both

readiness for reengineering and its successful implementation.

What kind of innovative

environment?

(conceptual, empirical)


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Increasing Contribution of IT-Process Research

  • Some Directions:

  • IT-Process Management Research

  • Gap between process management and IT

  • (What makes a process oriented enterprise?)

  • Linking process and IT governance

  • Process metrics and information architecture

  • IT-Process Fit (structuration)


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Some Directions: IT-Process Value Research

  • Processes that build and transfer digital capabilities

  • (Business driven performance-capabilities –

  • agility, exploration, exploitation, absorptive capacity)


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Some Directions:

IT-Process Implementation Research

  • Management factors (commitment, top mgmt support, change mgmt, education, champion, team selection)

  • Process Factors (documentation, BPR, alignment)

  • Technology Factors (hardware, software, data structures, integration)

  • People Factors (training, skills)

  • Project Factors (project management, project phasing, project governance)

  • Knowledge Factors (knowledge management, consultants, knowledge transfer)

  • Richer treatment of performance

  • Stakeholder analysis

  • e.g., adaptation to ERP at the user level

  • (sociological), vendor dependencies

  • Emergent process models (e.g., upgrades)


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Broad Closing Comments on IS Research

For the IS discipline to make a contribution

we need to believe in who we are and what we do;

leverage our diversity – by searching for ways to appreciate the

richness of our phenomena from diverse perspectives;

be open to fresh, unfettered theorizing without empirics

and strong empirics without theory;

appreciate that our usefulness also lies in communicating the value of our rigor;

and recognize that our

challenges are no greater than other field – if we can handle

them constructively and with optimism


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Thank You!


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