Digital creativity (DC) stands for employee's generation of useful and fresh ideas through the use of digital technologies, which is one of the prominent consequences of effective digital technology use. Drawing insights from the tripartite view of technology use (ie, technology, individual and task elements) and the social role lens, our study proposes and tests an integrative theoretical framework to understand how female and male employees progress from ambidextrous learning in digital technology use to DC. We first interviewed five frontline employees and then surveyed 221 employees that were different from the interview sample from eight organisations. All participants utilised a similar version of internet-of-things (IoT) in their daily work. We find that (a) exploitative use has a stronger influence on DC for women than for men, while explorative use displays a higher impact on DC for men than for women, and (b) technology digital affordance (TDA), digital knowledge (DK), and task variety (TV) exhibit significant influences on both exploitative and explorative uses to varying extents. The post-hoc analysis reveals that exploitative use mediates the influences of TDA and DK on DC only for women; explorative use mediates the impacts of TDA and TV on DC only for men. Our study advances the understandings of the downstream impact of technology use in the digital context.
This research examines the socially significant issue of doctors' resistance to healthcare information technology (HIT) from the radical power perspective. It adopts Bourdieu's social practice theory to examine the interaction of HIT with the reproduction of doctors' historically rooted social standing through the doctor-patient-interaction (D-P-I) practice. Findings from our ethnographic enquiry at a large corporate healthcare organisation in India link doctors' historically rooted social standing to the symbolic recognition of their embodied emotional capital existing in tandem with their habitus. The symbolic recognition of emotional capital provided a better valorisation of clinical capital and allowed the accumulation of other forms of capital—institutionalised capital, social capital and economic capital—that formed doctors' capital structure and contributed to their social status. Doctors produced emotional capital by putting their habitus into practice and, in the process, reproduced its symbolic status and their social status linked to it. HIT challenged doctors to put their habitus into practice, thereby creating a perception of threat to emotional capital. Doctors' HIT resistance was a conservation strategy to reproduce their historically rooted higher social status. Findings from this study contribute to the literature on Power and IT resistance.
In software platform ecosystems, the technological and structural peculiarities vest the platform owner with an extremely powerful position that puts any complementor at the mercy of the platform owner's actions. Paradoxically, it is the self-determination and proactivity of the complementors that determine the ecosystem's success through their surprising outside innovations. This study addresses this power paradox by unpacking the power dynamics between platform owners and complementors. Based on an exploratory multiple-case study of six platform partnerships, we find that power in platform ecosystems unfolds as a reciprocal process of three interlocking cycles, in which both the platform owner and the complementors take an active role. The modus operandi of power in platform ecosystems is a “central power cycle” in which the complementors repeatedly evaluate whether to accept or reject the platform owner's domination power. Thriving partnerships sustain this central power cycle over time, which requires that the platform owner and the complementors dynamically adapt their wielding of power to the changing needs of the partnership (partnership adaptation cycle) or the ecosystem (ecosystem redefinition cycle). For the platform owner, this entails the occasional use of manipulation to favour a particular partnership or redefining the ecosystem's framework and sporadically wielding coercion in favour of the broader ecosystem. For the complementor, this entails over-subjectification to entice the platform owner to wield its power in favour of their partnership. Our findings have important implications for platform ecosystem and power theory, as well as managerial practice.
E-participation platforms create spaces and opportunities for participation and collaboration between governments and citizens. This paper aims to investigate the role of power on formal e-participation platforms and digital spaces that are controlled by the governments. Although those types of platforms have been increasing in numerous countries, they have been criticised as often leading to a lack of or decrease in citizen engagement. We propose a relational view that examines how power is related to the use of resources in practice, that is, to resourcing. To explore this issue, we examine citizens' participation on three urban mobility platforms in three major Brazilian cities. Our study makes two main contributions. First, we contribute to the literature on e-participation by explaining how a relational view of power helps to understand the nature and consequences of citizen participation in public policy-making. Second, we integrate the concept of resourcing as both a source and constitutive element of relational power. We propose a process-based model of resourcing as power that opens the black box of resourcing through the identification of three distinct phases in time: resourcing IN, resourcing WITHIN and resourcing OUT.
The discontinuance of volitional IS (i.e., information systems adopted, used and discontinued at will) has recently attracted remarkable attention from academics and practitioners alike. However, most research to date has been ahistorical. Ignoring the temporal progression can be problematic when the phenomenon under investigation is dynamic and evolving. To balance this, we adopt a stage modelling approach to understand the process ending with the technology use being discontinued by users of a popular crowdsourcing platform. Two questions guided our investigation: (1) Why do users discontinue using an IS they have volitionally adopted and used? (2) How does IS discontinuance occur over time in such context? We develop a stage model demonstrating that five stages are critical in understanding IS discontinuance: IS framing, goal pursuit, frame disruption, dormancy and quitting, after which possible switching denotes a new cycle. Furthermore, we identify two frames that help us understand why different users interpret and evaluate the technology differently – namely, the gain frame and the hedonic frame. On one hand, a gain frame is linked to the goal of improving one's resources and thus directs the user's attention to the technology's instrumental value. On the other hand, a hedonic frame is linked to the goal of having fun and thus directs the user's attention to the technology's enjoyment value. But, most importantly, we show that the technology's use lifecycle as a whole from initial use to discontinuance is shaped and guided by the user's dominant frame. Our insights elicit a number of important theoretical and practical implications.
This paper investigates the embeddedness of digital entrepreneurship in the entrepreneurs' indigenous value system by examining the influence of ‘Ubuntu’ on digital entrepreneurship activities in the South African context. We do so through an interpretive field study of two innovation clusters in South Africa. Our findings reveal Ubuntu as the basis of a community orientation to digital entrepreneurship that offers an alternative to the prevalent heroic view in which digital entrepreneurship narratives are centred around the individual entrepreneur(s). They also highlight the tensions faced by digital entrepreneurs as they attempt to uphold the Ubuntu values of humility, reciprocity, and benevolence while operating in a competitive and fast-paced environment. In addition, our study indicates that the way entrepreneurs draw on their indigenous value system is dynamic, giving rise to what we call digital Ubuntu, reflecting a reworking of Ubuntu values into their increasingly digital reality. The concept of digital Ubuntu brings to light how indigenous values can become entangled with the capabilities of digital technologies and highlights the need for indigenous perspectives to advance our understanding of the diversity of digital phenomena, such as digital entrepreneurship, across cultural contexts.
New assistive technology (AT) is at our disposal for improving the everyday life of people in need. Yet, the current way how AT is produced and provisioned is hindering certain marginalised groups in the population, particularly elderly people, to get access to it. To expedite time-to-market, reduce costs, and increase accessibility to otherwise unattainable AT, we explore if do-it-yourself (DIY) could be a feasible and desirable alternative to commercial applications. We provide answers to the following research questions: (1) For whom does the DIY approach work in the context of assistive technology? (2) Under which circumstances do DIY work? and (3) How can researchers make DIY a satisfying experience? The evidence we collected during the “iCare” project suggests that DIY attracts both, elderly people with a need-based motive and a hedonic motive. It also shows that a participatory approach and an early engagement with potential users, their family members, and informal caregivers is beneficial for improving design and use-related aspects of the AT and the DIY intervention.
Digital platforms are restructuring how many companies and industries function, including humanitarian organisations that operate in complex environments and serve vulnerable populations. To date, however, there has been limited study of their use in humanitarian and particularly refugee contexts. This paper seeks to address this gap by drawing on the concept of platformisation to study the opportunities and challenges arising from UNHCR's transition from a closed transactional system to an open innovation platform focusing on core processes of identification, value creation and platform governance that are relevant for refugee management and protection. Our empirical study captures the perspectives of the UNHCR, organisational stakeholders and refugees in the world's largest refugee camp in Northern Uganda with regards to UNHCR's strategy towards platform openness. We find that UNHCR's data transformation strategy introduces the potential for increasing institutional value in the form of more effective service delivery to refugees. However, these technological opportunities do not necessarily translate to greater value if they do not mesh with current work practices, incentives and activities of service provider organisations and refugees. Our study helps identify opportunities to address these constraints, primarily through improving understanding of the emergent governance-related tensions that exist for digital platforms for development and surfacing existing issues of exclusion and vulnerability. We conclude with insights for the broader theorisation of identification platforms and with recommendations for policies and practices that together might help realise the potential value creation introduced through the platformisation of identification systems.
The development and utilisation of new information and communication technologies presents opportunities and risks, which bring ethical issues to the forefront. Any attempt to minimise the potential negative consequences to individuals, organisations and society resulting from the use of these technologies is challenging. In order to address these challenges, this paper presents an ethics-by-design approach that has been developed and implemented in the context of Decision Supports Systems for Emergency Management. Such systems help manage large and cross-border disasters by supporting decision makers to respond on emergencies in a reasonable way by taking follow-up actions into account. The approach taken in this paper specifically provides means to support the ethical dimensions of these decisions. Actions taken during disasters can have ramifications that persist long after a disaster has passed. The ethics-by-design approach presented here not only informs the design of systems, but also considers the role and training of the decision makers in the design process. The paper builds on the literature on ethics in information systems and makes a contribution to theory by providing a framework to ensure ethical considerations are embedded into the design of systems.
Digital identity platforms are widely regarded as important means to improve social protection systems. Yet these platforms have been implicated in the production of a range of unintended outcomes for development beneficiaries. To clarify how digital identity platforms enable the production of one such outcome that we call degenerative, because it causes target systems to deteriorate, we conduct a case study of the incorporation of Aadhaar, the world's largest digital identity platform, in India's primary food security scheme. Based on the data from two South Indian states, we show how the incorporation produced degenerative effects in the access, monitoring, and policy layers of the social protection system. These effects lead us to theorise how Aadhaar enabled the degenerative outcome via exclusion, distortion, and redirection, making public distribution of subsidised goods displaceable in favour of cash transfers.
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.