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  • (2008) Jap, Tji-Beng
    This thesis explores the relationship between information systems (IS) and organisational learning. The literature suggests that IS implementation and use can affect and stimulate organisational learning, including higher order learning. However, it is not well understood when and how IS enable and support and when they disable and prevent organisational learning. Furthennore, studies of the relationship between IS and organisational learning tend to reflect theoretical fragmentation of organisational learning literature - focusing either on the individual or on the organisation as a learning entity. The objective of this thesis is to explore the relationship between IS and organisational learning beyond these limitations, including different learning views from the individual up to the organizational. This is achieved by drawing from a Sensemaking perspective of organizations (Weick, 1995) that fills an important gap in linking infonnation systems, organizing, and learning. The Sensemaking perspective offers an understanding of human sensemaking and sense-'unmaking' as an essential individual, collective and organisational ingredient of organising and learning. By integrating Argyris and SchÖn' s (1978) theory of organisational learning with the sensemaking model of organizations this thesis suggests a more comprehensive view to explore the relationship between IS and organisational learning. Specifically this thesis examines the following research question: What are the ways and mechanisms by which information systems' implementation and use engage sensemaking in organisations, and how does such engagement engender or prevent organisational learning? This research question is investigated through an interpretive, longitudinal case study of the implementation and use of a loan approval information system in a large South-East Asian Bank. The study involved an extensive collection of data from the Bank headquarters and its branches, including 43 interviews, strategic and operational documents, IS project documents and informal discussions. The thesis makes two important contributions to knowledge. Grounded in empirical data, it first argues that the emergence of organizational learning when instigated by an IS implementation is likely to follow the pattern from 'not learning', to 'single-loop' to 'double-loop' learning. Secondly, it also proposes that an IS's likelihood to instigate organizational learning depends on the nature of sensemaking involved: a) if an IS implementation engages only individual, intra-subjective sensemaking organizational learning is not likely to occur and system is at risk of being rejected; b) for single-loop learning to emerge the engagement of intra- and inter-subjective sensemaking, mutually intertwined during an IS implementation, is required, and c)the change of mindset and double-loop learning can be achieved through the interplay of all sensemaking processes (intra, inter, generic-subjective and extra-subjective) in an IS implementation. This thesis puts to the test and demonstrates the value of the Sensemaking approach to the understanding of the relationship between IS implementation and organisational learning.

  • (2014) Chadhar, Mehmood
    In the information systems (IS) discipline, there has been a continued interest in comprehending and explaining how the implementation of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems instigate organisational change processes and bring about desirable outcomes. Extensive literature on ERP implementation identifies numerous factors that affect organisational changes, including staff training, top management support and involvement, active user participation, external knowledge acquisition, knowledge co-creation and sharing, staff learning and many more. Despite the maturing of ERP technologies and a wealth of knowledge available on ERP implementation, organisations continue to experience considerable difficulties and rarely achieve desired outcomes. The key challenge for an organisation implementing an ERP system, emphasised in the literature, is to understand and enact new business processes inscribed in ERP and thus undergo a profound organisational change. The thesis addresses this challenge by approaching ERP implementation as an organisational learning process. When an organisation is planning and configuring ERP and then implementing it in its specific business processes, all its actors have to learn, individually and collectively, and engage in instigating change in practice. To conceptualise ERP implementation as an organisational learning process, the thesis builds from two theories of learning: community of practice (CoP) theory that draws attention to situated learning in practice and a theory of single- and double-loop learning by individuals, groups and an organisation as a whole. Within such a theoretical foundation, the thesis examines the following research questions: How does organisational learning emerge and assist the actors in an ERP implementation? How do CoPs facilitate organisational learning during an ERP implementation? To answer these questions, a qualitative case study was conducted in an information technology (IT) services company in Australia during its SAP implementation (over 14 months in 2009–2010). The analysis of empirical data (interviews, observations and company documents) reveals that the company first failed to implement SAP (Phase 1), then succeeded in SAP-enabled transformation at the operational level (Phase 2) and eventually achieved the desired organisation-wide transformation (Phase 3). Importantly, these three phases of SAP implementation were characterised by not learning, single-loop learning and double-loop learning respectively. In-depth analysis also revealed that the spontaneous formation of communities of practice around SAP interpretation and application in practice in different departments stimulated ‘learning by doing’, leading to single-loop learning. Further institutionalisation of communities of practice and the formation of a ‘community of communities of practice’ across the company resulted in double-loop learning and a successful transformation of processes company-wide. Lessons from this case study suggest that the emergence, maturing and institutionalisation of communities of practice were the key mechanisms by which SAP implementation transformed from not learning to single-loop and double-loop learning, leading to gradual SAP-enabled transformations. Grounded in the empirical findings, the thesis proposes a processual model of ERP implementation as practice-based organisational learning as a major theoretical contribution. It posits a relation between a gradual ERP-enabled organisational transformation and ongoing practice-based learning by doing in emerging communities of practice mutually intertwined with single- and double-loop organisational learning. The proposed model addresses the key challenge of ERP implementation by contributing to a practice-based and more refined understanding of its complex and emergent nature. Further, it opens up new avenues for exploration of practice-based learning and ERP-enabled organisational change processes. The model is also expected to help practitioners to plan, monitor and manage ERP implementation and organisational change better.

  • (2017) Thomson, Esmeralda
    The current study responds to calls for research to increase the knowledge on how development firms could generate and enhance value from their distributed IT projects. Recent literature indicates the need for studies to address significant challenges of distributed information systems development teams, such as cultural incompatibility, lack of trust, customer collaboration, communication, lack of control and coordination (Mattsson et al. 2010). Based on a qualitative exploratory single-case study, this dissertation is concerned with the institution of effective governance frameworks to address distributed development project challenges, an area of research that is currently lacking empirical studies. In particular, the current study is seeking to understand how social governance mechanisms affect the governance of distributed software development projects. The current study shows the role and intervening processes of social governance mechanisms (Jones et al. 1997), including restricted access, macroculture, collective sanctions and reputation, to coordinate activities and safeguard exchanges. Furthermore, the current study suggests that to apply these social governance mechanisms effectively, it is critical that organisations maintain congruency among them. The study also found that all the four social governance mechanisms of the Jones et al. (1997) model interact with each other, thus showing the critical importance of macroculture among the social governance mechanisms and the impact that macroculture has on other mechanisms. Moreover, the current study found that the mentioned four social governance mechanisms are context dependent and have different impacts on safeguarding and coordinating exchanges in various contexts including Open Source Software. The current study also found a new construct, ideological similarity , which is about a preference for more frequent interactions among project teams with similar interests to facilitate smooth interactions and enhance coordination. The study also provides effective practices, such as co-locating distributed teams at the start of the project and through the project life cycle.

  • (2019) Chemsi, Rachid
    Cybersecurity emerges as an exemplary case of human-technology entanglement. Cybersecurity technologies that monitor security breaches, protect Information Technology (IT) infrastructure, and respond to and counter-attack cybercrimes, are getting deployed at an increasing rate across organisations worldwide. These technologies are highly complex, and their deployment involves profound technological, organisational and social transformation in an environment of ever-increasing cyber threats and the dramatic rise of interconnected digital devices. These present an urgent challenge for all stakeholders who need to understand the cybersecurity phenomenon in order to deal with its complex social and technological implications. This thesis explores the cybersecurity phenomenon in the context of government organisations responsible for the deployment, implementation and use and effects of cybersecurity technologies. A broad literature review on cybersecurity demonstrates that the dominant research focus has been on the technical aspects of cybersecurity technologies, including their design, functionality and performance, as well as recommending best practices. Limited research in information systems (IS) and social sciences has also addressed social and organisational aspects, primarily concerned with issues around privacy, surveillance and human rights, data sharing and protection, legislation and law enforcement, and psychological profiling of attackers. On the other hand, IS literature has addressed IT implementation, organisational change and adaptation in organisational context, focusing on specific IT systems (for example on ERP and CRM) but not cybersecurity technologies. Overall, the literature review shows that there is a lack of understanding of the cybersecurity phenomenon and the complex processes of the deployment, implementation and use of cybersecurity technologies. This thesis therefore aims to contribute to better understanding of cybersecurity technologies and specifically to offer a theoretical model that explains unfolding adaptation processes between an organisation and cybersecurity technologies and their implications. This aim is achieved by conducting a longitudinal field study of the adoption of cybersecurity technologies in a government organisation and answering the following research question: How do human and technological actors change and adapt in turbulent and complex environment marked by increasing cyber threats and imperative government adoption of cybersecurity technologies? The theoretical model of human cybersecurity technology co-adaptation, inductively built from the empirical findings, describes ongoing complex adaptation processes involving human and technological actors, organisational power structures, and a hostile cyber threatening context. The thesis thus extends knowledge on process of change and becoming in IS to include a co-adaptation process. It also extends knowledge on cybersecurity phenomenon and also contributes to the IS literature on IT adoption in a turbulent environment. Its practical implications are relevant for cybersecurity stakeholders: by being aware of; and better understanding the co-adaptation required to implement such multidimensional and intrusive technologies, they will be better equipped to deal with cybersecurity technologies deployment and implementation in practice.

  • (2019) Assemi, Behrang
    Over the past decade, crowdsourcing marketplaces — online exchange platforms which facilitate commercial outsourcing of services — have witnessed a dramatic growth in the number of participants (service providers and customers) and the value of outsourced services. On crowdsourcing marketplaces, provider profiles and especially previous customers’ feedback on these profiles are the main sources of information for the choice decisions of prospective customers. The information on these profiles signals the reputation and past performance of their owners. However, deciding about the most appropriate provider based on profiles is a key challenge for customers because the information on profiles may be incomplete and sometimes irrelevant for customer decisions. By adversely affecting customers’ choices, such ineffective profiles impede many service providers to develop long-term relationships with customers, transact on a regular basis and survive on crowdsourcing marketplaces. Given the important role of provider profile information in the customer–provider relationship development, previous studies have investigated the impact of simple components, such as “average ratings,” while more complex, compound information components have often been overlooked. Accordingly, the main objectives of this research are to reveal 1) the effects of main feedback information components on provider profiles on customers’ choice decisions, and 2) the impact of all common, simple and compound, profile information components on the long-term business outcomes of providers on crowdsourcing marketplaces. Two discrete choice experiments were conducted, one in a controlled laboratory (120 participants) and one on a crowdsourcing marketplace (695 participants), and the results were analysed through nested logit modelling to address the first objective. A longitudinal partial least squares (PLS) analysis of the impact of 4,545 provider profiles on a large crowdsourcing marketplace was also conducted to address the second objective. The results of this research in general showed that providers’ profile information significantly impacts on customers’ choices and the long-term business outcomes of the providers. More specifically, this research revealed that: 1) the cost, visibility (often determined by recency), richness, frequency and consistency of information components on a profile determine their relative credibility and the extent of their impact on customers’ choices; 2) higher credibility information components on provider profiles have a larger impact on the transactions of repeat customers compared to new customers; and 3) repeat customers’ transactions have a larger impact on providers’ long-term business outcomes. In addition to the contribution of this research to theory, this thesis also provides practical guidelines for customers, providers and market makers to benefit from more efficient transactions on crowdsourcing marketplaces.

  • (2018) Zhang, Dan
    Virtual worlds, as the computer-based simulated environments incorporating various representations of real-world elements, have great potential to not only transform the structures and operation modes of various industries but also change the way people work, do business, learn, play, and communicate. However, the existing sharp distinctions between virtual worlds and the real world also bring critical challenges. To address these challenges, the concept of telepresence—the user’s feeling of ‘being there’ in the virtual environments—is adopted as it is considered a direct and essential consequence of a virtual world’s reality. To cultivate this feeling, it is essential to understand what factors can lead to telepresence. However, some literature gaps on telepresence antecedents impede the understanding of telepresence antecedents and affect the adoption of the telepresence construct in the design of virtual worlds. To address these issues, this study explores the concept of telepresence in the context of virtual worlds. Specifically, by adopting means-end chain (MEC) theory, the study aims to investigate the antecedents of telepresence; to reveal the inter-relationships among these antecedents by building a hierarchical structure; and to develop an innovative approach for user segmentation to understand in-depth individual differences in perceiving telepresence. To achieve these objectives, the laddering interview technique was adopted to collect qualitative data from 25 participants. Analysis of the data identified 21 antecedents of telepresence. Based on their inter-relationships, a hierarchical structure was developed to capture the process of cultivating telepresence. Moreover, three types of users with distinctive paths leading to telepresence were classified. This study contributes to both the virtual world research and the telepresence literature and develops a new and meaningful user segmentation method. Finally, this study provides sufficient information and helpful guidelines to practitioners on the design and improvement of virtual worlds for a better user experience.