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(2021) Li, YijingThesisReward-based crowdfunding is rapidly shaping up to be a revolutionary avenue for companies, especially start-ups, to broadcast their businesses and solicit capital through digital platforms. The platformized micro-investment mechanism in crowdfunding creates an unprecedented digital market that ensures a more fluid and granular distribution of financial resources. The Information Systems (IS) community has endeavored to shed light on this growing market by studying the decisive factors that motivate funders’ contributions and lead to crowdfunding success. Yet, despite its risky nature, no study thus far systematically investigates how risk perceptions emerge and impact funders’ investment behavior in reward-based crowdfunding and what companies can do to address funders’ risk concerns. To bridge these gaps, this thesis synthesizes contemporary knowledge on the contextual characteristics of crowdfunding and risks around diverse transactional environments to arrive at a typology of the risks encountered by funders when participating in reward-based crowdfunding. Drawing on the indispensable link between trust and risk, a holistic research model is constructed to: (1) postulate the impact of funders’ risk perceptions on their willingness to invest using a reward-based crowdfunding platform, (2) discern how different types of crowdfunding risks can be mitigated by enhancing the assessability of fundraiser’s trustworthiness, and (3) explore the optimum trust-building mechanisms that can facilitate funders’ assessments of fundraiser’s trustworthiness. Three experimental studies are conducted to validate the advanced research model empirically. The findings from the three studies yield theoretical insights on crowdfunding risks and mechanisms to diminish funders’ risk perceptions via trust-building. The results also yield actionable design principles that platform providers can adopt to help funders assess risk and improve their financing experience in this emerging market.
(2021) Dias, MalshikaThesisEmerging technologies are radically changing the future of work. From artificial intelligence for customer support to robotics for performing surgery, the change is unprecedented in the history of most organisations. This thesis aims to understand and contribute rich, empirically informed insights into the phenomenon of the future of work in the context of emerging technologies from an organisational history perspective. The thesis comprises three related but standalone studies that discuss organisational trajectories and the implications of emerging technologies in three distinct organisational contexts. To explore this emerging and intrinsic phenomenon in organisations, this work adopts the historical narrativist approach and the qualitative case study method. The first study explores the interplay between tradition and technology at a pre-digital organisation when new technologies are introduced. The second study delves into the strategies and practices of realising historically embodied process knowledge when adopting a robotic process automation technology at a digitally reformed organisation. The third study traces the evolution of a strategic path towards technology and data driven innovation, from the foundation to the implementation of artificial intelligence technologies, at a born-digital organisation. Each of the three studies provides a distinct but complementary understanding on the role of organisational history by contributing to the theories of imprinting, organisational memory and path dependence. Collectively, the thesis studies contribute to our understanding of “how history matters” in the future of work. The thesis discussion contributes to the literature by integrating the implications of surface- and deep-level effects of emerging technologies for the future of work and how they are shaped by the distant, intermediate and immediate histories of organisations.
(2022) Nguyen, RobertThesisData-driven decision making is everywhere in the modern sporting world. The most well-known example of this is the Moneyball movement in Major League Baseball (MLB), which built on research by Sherri Nichols in the 1980s, but sport analytics has also driven major changes in strategy in basketball, the National Football League, and soccer. In Australia, sports analytics has not had quite the same influence in its major domestic codes. In this thesis, we develop tools to assist the analytics community in two major Australian commercial sports. For Australian Rules Football, the largest commercial sport in Australia, data was not readily accessible for the national competition, the Australian Football League (AFL). Data access is fundamental to data analysis, so this has been a major constraint on the capacity of the AFL analytics community to grow. In this thesis, this issued is solved by making AFL data readily accessible through the R package fitzRoy. This package has already proven to be quite successful and has seen uptake from the media, fans, and club analysts. Expected points models are widely used across sports to inform tactical decision making, but as currently implemented, they confound the effects of decisions on points scored and the situations that the decisions tend to be made in. In Chapter 3, a new expected points approach is proposed, which conditions on match situation when estimating the effect of decisions on expected points. Hence we call this a conditional Expected Points (cEP) model. Our cEP model is used to provide new insight into fourth Down (NFL) decision-making in the National Football League, and decision-making when awarded a penalty in Rugby League. The National Rugby League (NRL) is the leading competition of Australia’s second largest commercial sport it is played on a pitch that is 100m long and 70m wide, and the NRL have provided us with detailed event data from the previous five seasons, used in academic research for the first time in this thesis. We found that NRL teams should kick for goal from penalties much more often than is currently the case. In Chapter 4 we develop a live probability model for predicting the winner of a Rugby League game using data that is collected live. This model could be used by the National Rugby League during broadcasts to enhance their coverage by reporting live win probabilities. While most live probability models are constructed using scores only, the availability of live event data meant we could investigate whether models constructed using event data have better predictive performance. We were able to show that in addition to score differential that the addition of covariates such as missed tackles can improve the prediction. Clubs use their own domain knowledge to test their own live win probability theories with the R scripts that are provided to the NRL
(2022) Wang, BlairThesisDigital work exemplifies the impact of Information Systems (IS) on everyday life in the modern world. Digital nomadism is an extreme incarnation of digital work, entailing knowledge workers mobilising — from fixed life and work arrangements in one place, to a lifestyle of travel and mobile, location-independent work — facilitated by digital technologies. Many see digital nomadism as a promising alternative to entrenched patterns in society, particularly in how workers relate to organisations and how citizens relate to nation states. However, others may critique and question digital nomadism for its shortcomings and ethical issues. This thesis engages with this fragmented discourse on digital nomadism by making contributions through the lens of critical theory. As this thesis outlines, critical theory is an intellectual tradition that sensitises scholars to critical-theoretic perspectives: Empowerment and Emancipation; Exploitation and Marginalization; Systems and Structures; Agency and Technology; Environment and Sustainability; Ethics and Morality. This thesis is comprised of four related papers. The first paper presents an overview of different types of theorising in critical-theoretic IS research, revealing a diverse philosophical landscape of intellectual foundations that can help scholars make sense of the interplay between critical-theoretic issues and IS phenomena like digital nomadism. The second paper then leverages the findings of the first paper, to present a literature review of digital nomadism from a critical theory perspective. The second paper reveals that critical-theoretic knowledge claims are already visible in the scholarly literature on digital nomadism but have yet to be fully understood, thus suggesting the need for future research. Based on this foundational understanding of the literature on digital nomadism and the literature on critical-theoretic IS research, the third and fourth papers make contributions based on empirical findings from fieldwork in major digital nomad destinations. The third paper employs the empirical findings to envision the future of post-COVID-19 knowledge work, based on a Hegelian dialectical perspective; and the fourth paper employs the empirical findings to reveal how digital nomadism entails an avenue for achieving workers’ emancipation that constitutes a departure from the traditional conceptualisation of emancipation in the nation state.
(2022) Prester, JulianThesisAll work is seemingly becoming digital: office, manufacturing, service, and even agricultural work. Despite the prevalence and far-reaching implications of the digitalisation of work, few studies have examined how digital work is performed in practice. This dissertation investigates digital work that is performed nomadically. Existing organisational and information systems research on the changing nature of work suggests that the essential qualities of work remain unchanged, with only secondary characteristics undergoing transformations. However, this dissertation reveals that in digital nomad work, the meaning of work—as well as by whom, where, when, and how work is performed—is continuously in becoming. To unpack and theorise digital configurations of work, I carried out a multi-sited ethnographic study of digital nomads. Digital nomads are a group of highly skilled professionals who leverage digital technologies to work remotely and lead an independent and nomadic lifestyle. Using participant observation, interviews, and online fieldwork, I examined how people become digital nomads and traced the practices and processes involved in performing digital nomad work. In Chapter 2, I trace people’s journeys of becoming digital nomads by revisiting the concept of identity. In Chapter 3, using the concept of leading, I shift to the community aspect of digital nomadism and explore a prominent community to unpack emerging directions for organising the global digital nomad movement. In Chapter 4, I analyse a set of digital nomad work practices and show how they are performed as appropriate in practice by elaborating on the concept of legitimation. In Chapter 5, I trace my own journey in becoming a process-oriented information systems researcher by reflecting on five methodological moves that I have followed to study digital nomad work. This dissertation aims to extend our understanding of new forms of digital work by reimagining organisational concepts via the performative process perspective. First, I develop an in-depth understanding of digital nomad work that goes beyond the existing research on digital work in conventional organisational settings and precarious gig work. Second, I propose the idea of “working as becoming” based on the performative process perspective, according to which work is always changing and does not have an underlying core or essence that remains stable. Third, by experimenting with several novel methodological practices grounded in the performative process perspective, this dissertation contributes to the development of process-sensitive research methods.