Monday, December 25, 2006
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
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Monday, October 23, 2006
I just returned from spending time at the University of Virginia (UVA). UVA is located in beautiful Charlottesville, Virginia. I got a lot of writing and thinking done during my time at UVA. In addition, I did have time to hang out my with sister and meet some old friends. Here are some pictures…
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 1:00 PM
Thursday, September 07, 2006
I will be chairing a panel at the International Conference on Information Systems. This is the second year in a row that I have organized a panel. The panel is titled: SOCIAL ACTIVISM IN IS RESEARCH: MAKING THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE. Panel members are Bob Galliers (Bentley College), Rick Watson (Univ of Georgia), Don McCubbrey (Univ of Denver), Michael Myers (University of Auckland), and Phillip Ein-Dor (Tel Aviv University). Here is a description of the panel:
Information Systems (IS) can play a salient role in the transformation of our societies, especially in less-developed (or under-served) communities. IS can be used to benefit citizens in these societies through improvements in education, government, healthcare, social, and entrepreneurial systems. It would be a mistake to think that under-served communities can develop without optimal deployment of IS, after all advanced societies depended on IS to boost their development. The realization that IS offers potential benefit to improve the livelihood of the less-privileged is not new or recent. However, what is not clear is what should be the role of IS researchers in addressing the needs of the under-served communities?
On a philanthropic level, we might all believe that IS researchers should get involved in addressing the needs of the under-served communities. However, this is not the same as being pragmatic and actually taking required steps to act in a tangible and measurable manner. Hence, the question is raised – is addressing the needs of the under-served communities a lofty ideal or an actionable proposal? It would be irresponsible to leave the issue as a lofty ideal. Hence, we should address the question - how can we transform it from a lofty ideal to an actionable proposal?
The answer lies in the taking steps to transform the structure of our academic community by re-examining the fundamentals – teaching, research, and service. Examining these fundamentals, we should ask how our current goals, incentives, and efforts are addressing the needs of the under-served communities. More specifically, we must look at to what degree we are being cognizant of the needs of under-served communities when we chart our goals, plan our efforts, and devise incentives. Moreover, we must also recognize that studying IS issues in under-served communities can inform and deepen our understanding of contemporary research issues. For example, the IT infrastructures in under-served communities will not resemble those of their counterparts in advanced societies. We should look at how these newer designs (e.g. wireless-based networks, digital libraries, etc) can revolutionize traditional practices in advanced societies. Hence, while IS research that has been conducted in advanced societies can contribute to efforts in the under-served communities, we must also appreciate the reality that IS deployments in under-served communities can in fact inform our current research problems, approaches, and even the practice of IS.
Unless we take steps to transform the current structure of academe to make significant impacts on how we conduct and disseminate research (e.g., appreciating the difficulty of solving messy problems in under-served communities), educate our students (e.g., engaging students in the generation of knowledge that can be consumed by under-served communities), and engage in societal efforts (e.g., rewarding efforts that are geared to building bridges between social organizations such as the U.N. UNESCO, World Bank, and the IS scholarly community), we risk being spectators to the impact of IS in under-served communities rather than directing this effort. This position is not only undesirable, but also will be irresponsible as we would be under-utilizing and mis-using the intellectual resources that have taken considerable effort to develop.
The goal of this panel will be to encourage change in the IS research community via the Association of Information Systems by debating methods for addressing the needs of the under-served communities. Some of the questions that will be discussed include:
1. How do we build IS research programs that make an impact on addressing the needs of the under-served communities?
2. Is use of IS a cause of development, or does the use of IS expand when communities are more developed? Or is it an iterative process: more development leads to greater use of IS, which in turn promotes greater development?
3. How do we deploy our current knowledge resources to better address the needs of the under-served communities?
4. How do we learn from the novelties of IS deployments in under-served communities to help inform research and practice in the advanced societies?
5. How do we engage stakeholders outside our research community to develop fruitful alliances to better achieve the goal of addressing the needs of the under-served communities?
6. How do we educate and equip future researchers (e.g. doctoral students) and practitioners (e.g. graduate and undergraduate students) to be sensitive to the needs of the under-served communities?
I look forward to seeing you at ICIS.
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 1:42 AM
Thursday, August 24, 2006
I have a paper accepted at the International Conference on Information Systems to be held in Milwaukee, December 10-13, 2006. The paper is titled, “Post-Adoption Switching Between Technology Substitutes: The Case Of Web Browsers” and is co-authored by Chen Ye, DongBack Seo, Sridhar Papagari, and Sanjeev Jha, all of whm are former doctoral colleagues of mine at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Here is the abtract of the paper:
In this study, we examine factors that influence users’ post-adoption switching between technology products that are near perfect substitutes. The recent introduction of Mozilla Firefox web browser provided an ideal empirical setting for this study. Drawing upon literature on post-adoption user behavior, consumer behavior, and online consumer research, we proposed a research model and validated it using cross-sectional field data collected from 306 users on their decisions to switch from Microsoft Internet Explorer to Mozilla Firefox. Findings suggest that user satisfaction and breadth of use of the incumbent product are negatively associated with switching behavior, and perceived ease of use, relative advantage, and perceived security of the substitute product are positively associated with switching behavior. This study contributes to both research and practice by advancing our understanding of users’ post-adoption behavior in general and their switching behavior on web-related technology products in specific.
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 10:52 PM
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Much of the work conducted in organizations occurs as projects. Project-based work is especially popular in the information technology domain. Statistics indicate that between 50% to 80% of IT projects are unsuccessful –– they either fail to deliver on time, overstep budgeted estimates of resources and time, do not meet customer requirements, or fall short of customer expectations. This alarming scenario is hardly surprising –– too many organizations tend to repeat the same mistakes too often, particularly in terms of knowledge transfer and reuse of the information derived from past projects. Some of the primary reasons for project failures are a result of poor knowledge management: lack of effective project estimation and budgeting, poor communication and information sharing practices, inadequate reuse of past experiences and lessons learned, and insufficient understanding of the technology, particularly its limitations. Other typical reasons are lack of consistency in management, lack of formal tracking, and lack of functional user involvement. The end result is overruns in cost and time through restarts or projects routinely abandoned before completion.
Establishing a Project Management Office (PMO) is one strategy that can be used to resolve these persistent problems –– it is a source of centralized integration and a repository of knowledge which can be used to inform more effective and efficient IT project management. A well-implemented PMO can resolve the most challenging project management issues by capturing and transferring knowledge, maximizing the power of cross-functional teams, regulating the demand of integrated technologies, and providing ownership and accountability for key efforts. Moreover, it can fully assess the impact and risk of change and provide projects with guidance on best practices and standards.
While Project Management Offices (PMOs) have become a mainstay in organizations, systematic research has not yet been undertaken to study their intricacies. In a recent project, Roberto Evaristo and I, conducted an exploratory and descriptive case study analysis of PMOs, based on our interviews with senior managers and directors of PMOs in 32 IT organizations. To read our findings please see - SOURCE: Desouza, K.C., and Evaristo, J.R. “Project Management Offices: A Case of Knowledge-based Archetypes,” International Journal of Information Management, Forthcoming.
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 5:01 PM
Friday, July 14, 2006
I have a new paper accepted for publication in the European Journal of Information Systems - Business Customer Communities and Knowledge Sharing: Exploratory Study of Critical Issues, co-authored with Pablo Erat, Anja Schäfer-Jugel, and Monika Kurzawa. Here is the abstract:
Businesses in knowledge intensive industries must appropriately engage with their customers in order to produce goods and services that are desired and valued in the marketplace. Engagement with customers calls for exchanging information and knowledge with customers and fostering exchanges between customers. Recent developments in the area of information and communication technologies (ICTs) have radically increased the variety of opportunities for improving customer engagement. In this paper, we will examine the use of ICTs to build Business Customer Communities (BCCs) to help an organization foster knowledge exchanges between its professional and institutional customers. We define BCCs as groups of business customers, which are deliberately enabled by a firm and share a long-term need to exchange work related knowledge through online and offline interaction. The objectives of this study are (1) to describe BCCs and outline their attributes and features, and (2) to contribute to the understanding of challenges associated with the enabling of BCC formation and how firms can overcome these challenges. As such, a contribution is made to the discussion of knowing in practice in customer communities, which rely in large part on ICT.
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 6:49 AM
Saturday, June 24, 2006
I have a new article that is going to be published in VINE: The Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems
The article details the new frontiers of knowledge management research, and is based on the introduction of my book New Frontiers of Knowledge Management Here is an excerpt...
Here are my thoughts on some areas that are in dire need of attention by knowledge management scholars.
The first is the study of knowledge dynamics at the societal and economic level. We are witnessing transformations in our global economies at an extraordinary pace. The rise of India and China as superpowers is to be respected and even admired; these economies are shaping up to be true knowledge economies. The growth of these economies is heavily tied into their knowledge-based sectors, such as software engineering and information technology. Research is needed to study these changing power dynamics from a socio-economic perspective to help inform policy decisions, both at the local and international levels.
Second, we must study the role of knowledge management in the eradication of poverty and the improvement of social welfare. If knowledge is the true source of competitive advantage at the individual and organizational levels, one must then seek out its role in tackling societal problems. How will the future of libraries, a critical repository and delivery agent of knowledge, be shaped? How should we use techniques identified in the knowledge management literature (e.g. communities of practice) to help share global relief efforts and educational programs?
Third, at the organizational level we must begin to focus our attentions on the age of co-opetition. This is where there is blurring lines between competitors and collaborators. No more do we have easy decisions as to make regarding with whom should we share knowledge or hoard it from. We may be competing and cooperating with the same organization at the same time. The issue of co-opetition needs to be seriously consider as we design knowledge transfer strategies and also when considering the management of innovation projects. Today, there is a big movement to bring customer and business partners into the innovation circles in what is becoming known as open innovation projects. If we are to bring these entities into the innovation process then we must be able to manage the creation, storage, transfer, and application of knowledge in all its forms, including intellectual property.
Fourth, knowledge management researchers may find it fruitful to examine issues of knowledge creation and commercialization in the context of industry-academia alliances. Industry-academia alliances have been the cornerstone of knowledge commercialization and innovation in developed economies. Yet, today, due to pressures, especially cutbacks on education expenses, it is even more important that these alliances be successful and fruitful for both parties. There are several interesting issues to examine. While industry looks to gain from the commercialization of knowledge into products and services, academia has a role to play in the development of science for the benefit of societies, while preserving their integrity and independence. Industry wants to get access to knowledge that is ripe for development, while academia has policies in place to preserve the manner in which research is executed, so how can we design processes that simultaneously address the needs of both industry and academia?
Finally, I would like to suggest that we as knowledge management scholars take a close and hard look at how we manage knowledge within academia. I am the first to admit that we seldom practice what we preach. We tell organizations to make environments conducive to the sharing of knowledge, yet we allow journal articles to get stale in the review process for years, we ask for environments where failures are not shunned upon, yet we never publish such work in our own journals. If organizations are to take us seriously, we must first practice what we preach.
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 10:47 PM
Saturday, June 17, 2006
Monday, January 02, 2006
I will be giving a lecture at the Intelligence and Ethics Conference in Washington, D.C. Jan 27-28, 2006.
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 4:07 PM
I am working on completing my sixth book - Agile Information Systems. This book will assemble critical thinking on how do we design, develop, and manage agile information systems.
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 11:58 AM
Sunday, January 01, 2006
During the Winter Quarter, I will teach INFO 300: Intellectual Foundations of Informatics. This class will examine some of the seminal concepts in how we think of information. In addition, we will survey informational issues in crisis management, governmental affairs, knowledge management, etc.
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 7:06 AM