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Question 1. How can we succeed? in a Business School Context Competition comes from Economics, Strategy, and Organizational Perspectives which draw on more widely employed reference disciplines. Assumptions to Argue About. “Competition” implies a zero sum game

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Question 1 l.jpg
Question 1

  • How can we succeed?

    • in a Business School Context

    • Competition comes from Economics, Strategy, and Organizational Perspectives

    • which draw on more widely employed reference disciplines

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Assumptions to Argue About

  • “Competition” implies a zero sum game

  • It is unusual to cite cognitive literature (see the work of experimental economics and behavioral accountants)

  • Our work does not cite economics, strategy, or organizational research: 3 dissertations:

    • Studied effects of different utility theory cost and probability parameters in softlifting experiment (Peace)

    • Studying effects of problem-solving cues on strategy development (Sampler)

    • Group spreadsheet debugging work cited group problem-solving literature (Joseph)

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Assumptions to Argue About

  • Those fields are secure

    • Colleagues in strategy consider their field as the champion of identity crisis

    • If economics is Arnold Shwarzzeneger, strategy might be Woody Allen.

    • What is Cognitive IT?

      • Somewhere between Jean-Claude Van Damme and Regis Philbin

  • Our work does not cite widely-used reference disciplines

    • Which disciplines are we missing? Pure math? If that is required, we would have schools of Finance/Econ.

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So, Regis, How do We Succeed?

  • Study Interesting Problems (or problems that will become interesting)

  • Attract something:

    • Students

    • Colleagues

    • Grants

    • Reporters

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  • Please visit your school’s PR function

  • Much of what we do is interesting to regular people, too.

  • I found new respect from others after:

    • Chatting with Chris Arnold on All Things Considered about applying results of response time research to Web browsing (1996—result of a Washington Post op-ed)

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WSJ Report

  • Pam Sebastian’s column

  • Word of mouth’s interference on learning a package

  • Ironic Philippe Kahn juxtaposition

  • Also reported in Computerworld, etc.

  • ICIS & CACM articles

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  • Study cited by CNN, Business Week, dozens of news-papers, 4 radio programs

  • To appear in CACM

  • Intended to show how a word processing aid needs to fit cognitive abilities of users

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Question 2a: Are we Doomed always to be a Minority?

  • Yes, unless we act.

    • We must be represented on editorial boards and must not turn over all of the crown jewels to hostile forces

      • One person can make a difference: calmly noted the lack of any relevant track for HCI/cognitive research in ICIS 2003 to a program chair; now we have an entire mini-track as a direct result of that conversation

      • Our SIGs will help a great deal.

    • We should broaden our data collection beyond college sophomores at least once in a while

    • We should write carefully, write well, and explain effectively the relevance of our studies

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Question 2b: What Happened to the Experiments of the 70s and 80s?

  • Experiments are hard to construct that have:

    • Basis in theory, but (like Goldilocks and the 3 Bears):

      • Not too soft (supported too little by previous studies): A stretch?

      • Not too hard (supported too much by previous studies): Obvious?

    • Relevance and Rigor

    • Realism of manipulation

    • Representativeness of sample

    • Reasonable magnitude of findings

    • Capture of appropriate constructs

  • How many studies can do all of these? Is it zero? Perhaps.

  • If not zero, do we read them as “guilty until proven innocent?”

    • A recent submission: a big flaw: we didn’t cite an article released 90 days after submission

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Question 3: What Should We Do? 80s?

  • Let’s figure out how to fairly evaluate experiments: what bed is just right?

  • Let’s ask/plead/demand our journals to provide balanced editorial boards

  • Let’s market our work properly:

    • Don’t oversell it by promising silly implications

    • Don’t undersell it by hiding implications

    • Don’t try to sell it if no implications!

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What to Do (continued)? 80s?

  • Make agreements to have regular, formal or informal research exchanges

    • Discuss experiments you are designing.

    • Be brutally critical at this stage; the best gift to your colleagues.

    • Withholding criticism is not being kind to them.

  • Pilot tests are not just for PhD Theses! Fix materials; debug procedures; ascertain magnitude of effect size to choose appropriate sample size.

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What to Do (continued)? 80s?

  • Before a large investment in the experiment, inventory support for hypotheses

    • If support is meager, perhaps save your energy.

    • If support is widespread, emphasize your contribution

  • Before a large investment in subjects,

    • Do you own tasks before any other steps.

    • You will find obvious difficulties. Fix them.

    • Remove any confounds.

    • Make sure tasks are debugged.