Prosocial P2P lending platforms are a novel and powerful example of a digital social innovation (DSI) in which the operating model relies primarily on digital technologies and the overarching focus is on the “social” aspect of the innovation. These platforms establish a virtual connection between low-income individuals and lenders, helping the former access loans at low rates of interest. In realising their mission of fighting poverty, prosocial P2P lending platforms maintain a challenging hybrid – online and offline – focus. This paper explores how prosocial P2P lending platforms enact their hybrid orientation. It draws on an inductive qualitative study of Rang De, India's first prosocial P2P lending platform. The analysis highlights five clusters of actions: digital attention-building, digital credibility-building, digital empathy-building, intermediary relationship-building, and borrower relationship-building. The paper argues that significant strengths on the online side help establish a sustainable business model. A willingness and commitment to maintain a high degree of engagement with the complex offline world of low-income borrowers helps develop the model as an impactful social innovation.
Users develop habits in relation to information systems (IS) to reduce the cognitive and behavioural efforts needed for using them. However, when these systems have to be discontinued, users face challenges regarding how to stop relying on their legacy habits. Despite their importance, we know little about how legacy habits shape the way users discontinue a legacy system. Through a comparative case-study approach, in a large mortgage firm and an international telecommunication company, we identify three roles that these habits play during the discontinuance process. We demonstrate that legacy habits not only play an ‘inhibiting’ role by keeping users attached to legacy systems; they also play a ‘bridging’ role by acting as a common ground for users to start working with a new system and a ‘deterring’ role when users resent certain habits of working with the legacy systems, despite their orientation to keep relying on these habits. We contribute to the IS habit literature by extending the roles of legacy habits beyond an inhibiting role. We also enrich the conceptualisation of legacy habits beyond the individual level by showing that the socio-technical conditions in which the habits are embedded impact the emergence and evolution of their roles during the discontinuance process. We discuss the implications of our findings for theorising and managing IS discontinuance process.
Professional computing organisations, including the ACM, IEEE and INFORMS published statements supporting Black Lives Matter during the 2020 racial unrest in the United States. While the voices of these professional organisations are echoed from positions of power, the concerns of Black IS professors are silenced. In this opinion piece, we centre on the voices of Black professors who seek to thrive in an IS field where they are woefully underrepresented, tokenized, isolated, marginalised and excluded from positions of power. Building on the Black Lives Matter movement's momentum, we offer critical insights about our lived experiences and examine pertinent issues. These issues include systemic racism in the ivory tower and the performative nature of diversity work in the academy. In direct response to the Help the Association of Information Systems (AIS) Build a System that Provides Equality for All, we offer an inclusive framework for promoting transparency, justification, compliance and enforcement of the AIS's action plan for widening participation in IS.
Regulations, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), establish standards to protect patients' medical records from security breaches. Insiders' prosocial misbehaviour within healthcare organisations can cause significant damage to relevant stakeholders. Such behaviour without malicious intention needs to be better understood and carefully managed from the perspective of prosocial behaviour. For this study, a research model was developed that includes the factors influencing student nurses' intention to disclose patient health information. The model was empirically tested with nursing students in South Korea with a scenario-based experiment. We find that both altruistic (impact on others) and egoistic (impact on the self) motivations are significantly important in raising situational empathy. On the other hand, an egoistic motivation (impact on the self) significantly affects people's perception of their responsibility, which mediates the relationship between situational empathy and prosocial intention to disclose. The implications of our findings are discussed.
Globally, millions of individuals are victims of sex trafficking and are compelled to perform sexual acts through force, fraud, or coercion. Law enforcement agencies, non-profit organisations, and social entrepreneurs increasingly are using information technology as a resource to locate, identify, and rescue victims and find, arrest, and convict traffickers. In this qualitative case study, we partnered with a non-profit organisation that trains law enforcement officers to use information technology to counter sex trafficking. For this research study, we observed training courses, interviewed law enforcement officers and non-profit staff, and reviewed technology usage logs and other data sources. Some officers readily used the new information technology post-training, while others failed to use the new technology. Using conservation of resources theory as a sensitising lens, we identify two factors affecting the use of new technology post-training: the level of organisational resources available to individuals and the individual's perceptions of the new information technology as a resource. With these findings, we develop the Resources Model of Information Technology Use to explain how perceptions of organisational and technology resources affect information technology usage patterns and outcomes.
Financial technology (fintech) is seen as possessing significant potential to provide the poor access to financial services and help them escape the clutches of poverty. Surprisingly, Information Systems (IS) research has engaged little with fintech's promise of fostering financial inclusion for the poor. In the spirit of ‘making a better world with ICTs’, conducting ‘responsible IS research for a better world’ and ‘understanding and tackling societal grand challenges through management research’, we advance a framework for guiding IS research on fintech-led financial inclusion. Drawing on the IS literature and Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D) scholarship, we extrapolate five areas of research that can better illuminate fintech's contributions to financial inclusion: (a) business strategies for fintech-led financial inclusion; (b) digital artifacts of fintech-led financial inclusion; (c) business environment of fintech-led financial inclusion; (d) microfoundations of fintech for financial inclusion; (e) developmental impacts of fintech. We conclude with a discussion of how the five areas offer opportunities for impactful research on fintech and the promise of building a financially inclusive society.
Initial research on using crowdsourcing as a collaborative method for helping individuals identify phishing messages has shown promising results. However, the vast majority of crowdsourcing research has focussed on crowdsourced system components broadly and understanding individuals' motivation in contributing to crowdsourced systems. Little research has examined the features of crowdsourced systems that influence whether individuals utilise this information, particularly in the context of warnings for phishing emails. Thus, the present study examined four features related to warnings derived from a mock crowdsourced anti-phishing warning system that 438 participants were provided to aid in their evaluation of a series of email messages: the number of times an email message was reported as being potentially suspicious, the source of the reports, the accuracy rate of the warnings (based on reports) and the disclosure of the accuracy rate. The results showed that crowdsourcing features work together to encourage warning acceptance and reduce anxiety. Accuracy rate demonstrated the most prominent effects on outcomes related to judgement accuracy, adherence to warning recommendations and anxiety with system use. The results are discussed regarding implications for organisations considering the design and implementation of crowdsourced phishing warning systems that facilitate accurate recommendations.
In globally distributed environments, gaps exist between an organisational-level decision to migrate IT-enabled tasks and the actual execution of strategy since a high-level consensus does not always specify the precise sequencing and pacing of task migration in detail. This absence of operational-level detailing can trigger status-led enactments of power. Drawing on a qualitative case study of a distributed finance function in a global logistics firm, this paper explores how high-status business units (BU) frame their task migration actions and contrasts it with how a low-status support unit frames and accounts for the actions of high-status BUs. The findings show how high-status BUs frame their own actions as protecting, supporting and monitoring the migrated tasks while the low-status support unit frames the same set of actions as resisting, interfering and hypercriticizing. Theoretically, the paper suggests that during the implementation of task migration strategies, frames deployed by a low-status unit considers its weaker position of power and serves to neutralise conflict with the more powerful, higher-status unit.
Losing the ability to communicate inhibits social contact, creates feelings of frustration and isolation and complicates personal comfort and medical care. Progressive diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and multiple sclerosis (MS) can cause severe motor disabilities that make communication through traditional means difficult, slow, and exhausting, even with the support of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems. Using a design science research approach, we seek to improve the communication process for individuals with severe motor disabilities. We develop a series of design requirements to inform the creation and evaluation of an artefact, an AAC system that incorporates context-aware user profiles to improve the communication process for individuals with severe motor disabilities. We derive prescriptive knowledge through the creation of design principles based on our findings and justify these design principles using the lens of media synchronicity theory (MST). This research identifies opportunities for further research related to MST and provides insights to inform those designing communication systems for individuals that rely on AAC systems.
Over the last two decades, agile software development (ASD) has garnered much attention in both research and practice. Several ASD methods and techniques have been developed and studied. In particular, researchers have provided several theoretical perspectives on ASD and contributed rich insights to the ASD practice. Still, despite calls for a more unified theoretical understanding of ASD, a theoretical core of ASD has not been identified. This paper offers a theoretical core of ASD research, clarifying what is essential and what is less essential for IS agility, hoping to spark a scholarly discussion, and provides implications of such a core for understanding method tailoring.
The need for inter-organisational information systems projects, which are complex undertakings often riddled with poorly understood power struggles and conflicts that hinder project success, has increased in previous decades. Through the lenses of systemic and episodic power, together with an organisational conflict model, this longitudinal, qualitative case study explores the dynamics of power and conflict and their effects in an inter-organisational information systems development project. This study highlights that the bureaucratic, social and technical setup of the project forms a foundational system from which specific power practices emerge, in this case, the practices of hiding, storytelling and bargaining. The power practices have both restrictive and productive effects on conflict, but the practices cannot easily escape the confines of the foundational system and continue to cause the resurfacing of different manifestations of latent conflict inherent in the system. As a result, both ‘power to’ (systemic power) and ‘power over’ (episodic power) can escalate project conflict, and rational conflict management for gaining ‘win-win’ resolutions may not be in the stakeholders' interests. Thus, strategies for openly managing political conflicts should be considered.
Conceptual models capture knowledge about domains of reality. Therefore, conceptual models and their modelling constructs should be based on theories about the world—that is, they should be grounded in ontology. Identity is fundamental to ontology and conceptual modelling because it addresses the very existence of objects and conceptual systems in general. Classification involves grouping objects that share similarities and delineating them from objects that fall under other concepts (qualitative identity). However, among objects that fall under the same concept, we must also distinguish between individual objects (individual identity). In this paper, we analyze the ontological question of identity, focusing specifically on institutional identity, which is the identity of socially constructed institutional objects. An institutional entity is a language construct that is ‘spoken into existence’. We elaborate on how institutional identity changes how we understand conceptual modelling and the models produced. We show that different models result if we base modelling on a property-based conception of identity compared to an institutional one. We use the Bunge-Wand-Weber principles, which embrace a property-based view of identity, as an anchor to the existing literature to point out how this type of ontology sidesteps identity in general and institutional identity in particular. We contribute theoretically by providing the first in-depth ontological analysis of what the notion of institutional identity can bring to conceptual modelling. We also contribute a solid ontological grounding of identity management and the identity of things in digital infrastructures.
Western worldviews dominate the information systems (IS) literature, accepted and taken for granted as the natural way of doing things. While diversity in terms of gender and ethnicity has been studied in the IS field, there is scant research on the experiences of Indigenous information technology (IT) professionals. This study uses narrative inquiry to provide temporal, contextualised accounts of IT professional experiences from the Indigenous (Māori) community in Aotearoa, New Zealand. These accounts demonstrate how participants actively draw from their culture to enact their professional activities. We identify three cultural elements that differentiate the practices of Māori IT professionals from Western approaches that dominate the IS literature: whakapapa (genealogical connections), tikanga (customary traditions) and tino rangatiratanga (collective cultural determination). Further, we theorise how Indigenous IT professionals capitalise on the re-presentational power of digital artefacts as a vehicle for cultural re-affirmation to project their Indigenous identity in contemporary society. Our findings are useful for attempts to enhance Indigenous representation in the IT workforce and for designing systems and artefacts that are relevant to and inclusive for Indigenous communities.
Researchers and developers constantly seek novel ways to create engaging applications that are able to retain their users over the long term, make them desire to spend time using the application or go back to using it after a break. With this aim, video games can be an insightful source of inspiration, as they are specifically designed to maximise playing time, increase players' intentions of playing during the day or enhance their willingness to replay. In a gaming context, ‘time’ is an important factor for engagement because game designers can design the game time to retain players in the game environment. Drawing on social practice theory, which is increasingly used in Information Systems (IS) research, I conducted an ethnographic study in World of Warcraft (WoW) to understand how various temporalities are produced within a video game and the effects that they have on players' engagement. The findings show that game temporalities stem from the complex interaction between the design features of the game and the norms, routines and expectations that are part of the game practices. Moreover, these temporalities can engender temporal experiences that may stimulate engagement in various ways. The study contributes to IS literature by proposing a novel understanding of how time can be intentionally designed to sustain user engagement. Finally, it suggests that ‘time design’ in video games could inspire designs in broader IS contexts, such as in the gamification of online communities, crowdsourcing platforms and crowd working systems.
Establishing IT governance arrangements is a deeply political process, where relationships of power play a crucial role. While the importance of power relationships is widely acknowledged in IS literature, specific mechanisms whereby the consequences of power relationships affect IT governance arrangements are still under-researched. This study investigates the way power relationships are inscribed in the governance of digital identity systems in Denmark and the United Kingdom, where public and private actors are involved. Drawing on the theoretical lens of circuits of power, we contribute to research on the role of power in IT governance by identifying two distinct mechanisms of power inscription into IT governance: power cultivation and power limitation.
This article responds to increasing discourses on digital social innovation (DSI) from the perspectives of women entrepreneurs. Using the individual differences theory of gender and information technology (IDTGIT), this research explores how digital technology is used by women entrepreneurs to create opportunities in response to the challenges associated with individual identity, individual influences, social influences and structural influences. We also extend the IDTGIT by exploring how technology is used by women entrepreneurs in their DSI ventures and how technology facilitates the social impact of such ventures. This paper draws on a qualitative study using interviews with 17 women entrepreneurs in Australia, and our findings indicate that individual identity, individual influences and social and structural influences play a significant role in inhibiting women entrepreneurs' business ventures but technology helps to create opportunities for women entrepreneurs to address these factors. We also found that technology plays a role in helping women entrepreneurs to pursue social innovation in two different ways: through social innovation that is embodied by technology and social innovation that is enabled by technology. Our findings further indicate the social impact of DSI in the areas of education, employment, environment and climate, community development and progress and healthcare. The theoretical and practical implications of DSI for women entrepreneurs are provided.
Digital platforms hold a central position in today's world economy and are said to offer a great potential for the economies and societies in the global South. Yet, to date, the scholarly literature on digital platforms has largely concentrated on business while their developmental implications remain understudied. In part, this is because digital platforms are a challenging research object due to their lack of conceptual definition, their spread across different regions and industries, and their intertwined nature with institutions, actors and digital technologies. The purpose of this article is to contribute to the ongoing debate in information systems and ICT4D research to understand what digital platforms mean for development. To do so, we first define what digital platforms are and differentiate between transaction and innovation platforms, and explain their key characteristics in terms of purpose, research foundations, material properties and business models. We add the socio-technical context digital platforms operate and the linkages to developmental outcomes. We then conduct an extensive review to explore what current areas, developmental goals, tensions and issues emerge in the literature on platforms and development and identify relevant gaps in our knowledge. We later elaborate on six research questions to advance the studies on digital platforms for development: on indigenous innovation, digital platforms and institutions, on exacerbation of inequalities, on alternative forms of value, on the dark side of platforms and on the applicability of the platform typology for development.
Enterprise architecture (EA) is a systematic way of designing, planning, and implementing process and technology changes to address the complexity of information system (IS) landscapes. EA is operationalized when architecture visions move towards realization through concrete projects. We report a case study on the dynamics of operationalizing EA in the Norwegian hospital sector by exploring different EA project trajectories. Our empirical context is an institutionally pluralistic setting where multiple logics coexist. We show that the distinct logic of EA is added to the institutional context and we find that tensions among existing medical, technical, and managerial logics and EA principles and assumptions emerge. We contribute to the under-researched topic of EA operationalization by suggesting a model that demonstrates how the meeting of multiple institutional logics can lead to varying degrees of differentiation or even disassociation from EA visions during decision-taking in projects. Furthermore, we advance extant research on IS projects' implementation in institutionally pluralistic settings by providing an empirical account of actors' interactions and project leadership arrangements that contribute to the persistence of coexisting logics in a dynamic equilibrium.
China is widely considered a world leader in e-commerce. In recent years, e-commerce in China has made significant progress and gone through rounds after rounds of innovations. Technological advancements have enabled the integration of online and offline channels, allowing consumers to choose their preferred shopping channel. Thus, competition and cooperation between online and offline channels have become important issues. Drawing on confirmation bias theory and the unique cultural lens (low uncertainty avoidance and a high level of cynicism) that exists in China, we conceptualize online prejudice and propose a model to analyse how it affects channel selection. A scenario-based survey, along with an explorative pre-study, was conducted to test our hypotheses. The results showed that prejudice toward the online channel does exist in China. Further, this online prejudice mediates the relationship between perceived uncertainty and channel selection. That is, uncertainty can induce consumers' online prejudice, which in turn predicts their channel selection behaviour. Furthermore, the mediating effect of online prejudice is contingent upon product type (i.e., experience products vs. search products).
Issues of power are often neglected in information systems (IS) studies and under-theorised in IS research. Systems development methods (SDMs) are commonly used in the IT industry to coordinate the activities between developers and clients. The role of power in the relationship between clients and systems developers remains an important topic of research in information systems development (ISD). Yet, despite the importance of understanding this relationship better, there has only been a limited number of studies exploring the role that an SDM can play in influencing this relationship. What is not widely acknowledged or researched is how different forms of power are inscribed in and enacted through an SDM. The aim of this paper is to advance our understanding of different forms of power—here, obtrusive and unobtrusive power—to show how ISD concepts provide structures during the enactment of an SDM and thereby influence relationships between developers and clients. We present qualitative results from an exploratory case study within an IT division of a large international bank and interpret the results using Clegg's (1989) circuits of power (CoP). Our analysis shows that developers feel disempowered in relation to the client, with developers playing a cooperative but submissive role. Prior SDM enactment studies have either not encountered or not recognised cases where obtrusive and unobtrusive forms of power inscribed within the SDM directly determine the relationship between developers and the client. Our results are presented as a set of propositions explaining how obtrusive and unobtrusive power is inscribed in the SDM and the effect such inscription has on the enactment of the SDM.
Reward-based crowdfunding platforms – in which campaigns exchange rewards for financial backing to develop a product or service – are one of the fastest-growing segments of the crowdfunding industry. We use an extension of social exchange theory (SET) called the resource theory of social exchange (RTSE) to examine resource exchanges through rewards on Kickstarter. A resource exchange occurs when a project backer and project creator exchange money (ie, financial backing) for a reward (eg, a thank you or a t-shirt). A project creator can develop a reward portfolio that contains various types of resources, which in the RTSE are categorised as love, status, information, money, goods and services. Our study provides a comprehensive examination of resource exchange on a major reward-based crowd funding platform, answering the call to investigate the effects of a key element of such platforms – rewards. We find that the types of resources project creators include in the reward portfolios they offer should be carefully considered. Specifically, our results indicate it is more beneficial to offer rewards that contain universal and concrete resources (eg, goods, services) than resources that are particularistic and symbolic (eg, love, status). However, the positive effect of offering universal and concrete resources as rewards is diminished as the fundraising goal is increased, which suggests that the optimal design of the reward portfolio is contingent on other characteristics of the campaign. Moreover, our findings reveal that while it is advantageous to offer more rewards, it is disadvantageous to offer too many different types of resources across those rewards. Overall, our study adds depth to the understanding of resource exchange in reward-based crowdfunding and provides practical insight into how to design reward portfolios.