Category Archives: Information Systems

A Typology of Complaints about eBay Sellers

Gregg, Dawn G. & Scott, Judy
Communications of the ACM Vol. 51, Issue 4, p. 69-74

This research shows that reputation systems serve an important function in today’s online world. Results of this study indicate that more than 97% of complaints do allege serious problems with the seller. Comments often indicate that sellers lack business training and clear commerce standards, like proper communication skills (44.2%) and appropriate return policies (10.5%). However, a greater proportion of the complaints contain allegations of fraud. This study shows that 69.7% of negative comments posted in eBay’s feedback forum indicate that the seller may have defrauded the buyer by failing to deliver the item, misrepresenting the item in the product description, selling illegal goods, by adding charges after the close of the auction, or by shill bidding. This rate of fraud is twenty times higher than the rate quoted by eBay. This makes reputation systems important to both online auction houses and to law enforcement as they try to combat rising levels of online auction fraud.

Efficiency evaluation of data warehouse operations

Mannino, Michael, Hong, Sa Neung and Choi, In Jun
Decision Support Systems Vol 44, Issue 4, Pages 883-898

We evaluate an efficiency model for data warehouse operations using data from USA and non-USA-based (mostly Korean) organizations. The analysis indicates wide dispersions in operational efficiency, industry and region differences, large differences in labor budgets between efficient and inefficient firms, few organizations efficient in both refresh processing and query production, and difficulty of providing some variables. Follow-up interviews provide insights about the value of efficiency comparisons of information technology organizations and suggestions to improve the model. Using this analysis, we propose a framework containing data warehouse characteristics and firm characteristics to explain IT operational efficiency at the subfirm level.

The Role of Information Systems Resources in ERP Capability Building and Business Process Outcomes

Karimi, Jahangir, Somers, Toni M., and Bhattacherjee, Anol
Journal of Management Information Systems Vol. 24, Issue 2, p. 221-260

Many enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementation projects fail despite huge investments. To explain such failures, we draw on the resource-based view (RBV) of the firm to define various dimensions of information systems (IS) resources. Using resource-picking and capability-building arguments, we examine the relationships between IS resources and ERP capabilities to find out whether they have complementary effects on outcomes. Empirical results from a survey of manufacturing firms that recently implemented ERP systems support the hypothesized model. For IS research, this study further develops the complementary and capability-building roles of IS resources, integrates RBV into our current knowledge of ERP implementation, and provides theoretical explanations for when or under what conditions building ERP capabilities has the highest impact on business process outcomes. For IS practice, it emphasizes the importance of IS resources in building ERP capabilities, provides preliminary measures for IS resource dimensions, and demonstrates their impact on firms’ ERP capabilities and consequent business process outcomes.

The Impact of ERP Implementation on Business Process Outcomes: A Factor-Based Study

Karimi, Jahangir, Somers, Toni M., and Bhattacherjee, Anol
Journal of Management Information Systems Vol. 24, Issue 1, p. 101-134

Failures in large-scale information technology implementation are abundantly documented in the practitioner literature. In this study, we examine why some firms benefit more from enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementation than others. We look at ERP implementation from a technological diffusion perspective, and investigate under what contextual conditions the extent of ERP implementation has the greatest effect on business process outcomes. Using empirical data, we find that the extent of ERP implementation influences business process outcomes, and both ERP radicalness and delivery system play moderating roles. For information systems (IS) practice, this study helps managers direct their attention to the most promising factors, provides insights into how to manage their complex interactions, and elaborates on their differential effects on business process outcomes. For IS research, it integrates innovation diffusion theory into our current knowledge of ERP implementation and provides theoretical explanations for ERP implementation failures.

Nurse Scheduling: From Academia to Implementation or Not?

Kellogg, Deborah L. and Walczak, Steven
Interfaces Vol. 37, Issue 4, p. 355-369

The scheduling of nursing staff is a long-standing problem with myriads of research models published by academia. The exploratory research that we discuss examines the models that academia has produced and the models that hospitals have actually used. We use data from many sources, including research articles, e-mail and telephone surveys, an industry database, and a software source catalog. Only 30 percent of systems that research articles discuss are implemented, and there is very little academic involvement in systems that third-party vendors offer. We examine causes for the research-application gap and discuss directions for future academic research to make it more applicable.

eLearning Agents

Gregg, Dawn G.
The Learning Organization Vol. 14 Issue 4, pp. 300-312

Purpose – This paper illustrates the advantages of using intelligent agents to facilitate the location and customization of appropriate e-learning resources and to foster collaboration in e-learning environments.

Design/methodology/approach – This paper proposes an e-learning environment that can be used to provide customized learning. It utilizes a set of interacting agents that can personalize instruction based on an individual’s prior knowledge as well as their cognitive and learning needs. The e-learning agents monitor the e-learning environment and improve learning and collaboration based on learners’ prior knowledge, social characteristics and learning style.

Findings – e-Learning agents should allow discovery of new learning objects more easily, allow learners to customize materials presented to improve learning outcomes, and improve collaboration in the e-learning environment.

Originality/value – Little prior research has been done on the use of agents in e-learning environments. This paper proposes a set of e-learning agents that, if implemented in online education or training environments, should provide tangible benefits to organizations.

An empirical analysis of open source software developers’ motivations and continuance intentions.

Wu, Chorng-Guang, Gerlach, James H., and Young, Clifford E.
Information & Management Vol. 44, Issue 3, p. 253-262

We investigated open source software (OSS) developers’ intentions to continue their involvement in future projects. The research goal was to analyze the motivations of OSS developers systematically and identify those factors that influenced their continuation. A work motivation model for OSS developers was proposed and a research model was empirically validated using data from a field survey of 148 OSS participants. The results showed that OSS developers’ feelings of satisfaction and their intentions to continue with OSS development was influenced by both helping behavior and economic incentives and also that adequate motivators existed, though OSS developers did not benefit equally and there was substantial room to improve their experiences as OSS developers.

Mobility, Business Process Management, Software Sourcing, and Maturity Model Trends: Propositions for the IS Organization of the Future

Scott, Judy E.
Information Systems Management Vol. 24 Issue 2, p. 139-145

In this article, I argue that increased mobility, a continued emphasis on business process management, expanded options for the sourcing of enterprise system software, and IS maturity models are trends that will require new capabilities and skills for tomorrow’s IS organization.

Exploiting the Information Web

Gregg, Dawn G. and Walczak, Steven

IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, Part C. Vol. 37 Issue 1 pp. 109-125

The World Wide Web is an increasingly important data source for business decision making; however, extracting information from the Web remains one of the challenging issues related to Web business intelligence applications. To use heterogeneous Web data for decision making, documents containing relevant data must be located and the data of interest within the documents must be identified and extracted. Currently most automatic information extraction systems can only cope with a limited set of document formats or do not adapt well to changes in document structure, as a result, many real-world data sources with complex document structures cannot be consistently interpreted using a single information extraction system. This paper presents an adaptive information extraction system prototype that combines multiple information extraction approaches to allow more accurate and resilient data extraction for a wide variety of Web sources. The Amorphic Web information extraction system prototype can locate data of interest based on domain-knowledge or page structure, can automatically generate a wrapper for a data source, and can detect when the structure of a Web-based resource has changed and act on this to search the updated resource to locate the desired data. The prototype Amorphic information extraction system demonstrated improved information extraction accuracy when compared with traditional data extraction approaches.

Effective Knowledge Management Systems for a Clinical Nursing Setting

Ghosh, Biswadip and Scott, Judy E.

Information Systems Management Vol. 24, Issue 1, p. 73-84

Given the critical role of nurses as knowledge workers in a hospital environment, this study investigates the knowledge management processes and organizational enablers associated with effective knowledge management systems (KMS) for a clinical nursing setting. The interview and survey findings shed light on how to effectively design and deploy a clinical KMS in a hospital nursing environment.

Economics of first-contact email advertising

Gopala, Ram D., Tripathib, Arvind K. & Walter, Zhiping D.
Decision Support Systems Vol. 42 Issue 3, p. 1366-1382

Since the advent of the Internet, email has emerged as an important new form of personal communication. The focus of this research is on commercial advertising through the email channel. We analyze the underlying economics of a business model termed admediation that facilitates effective first-contact email advertising. Admediary is a trusted third party that facilitates a mutually desirable communication between buyers and sellers via email, and operates under the ‘opt-in’ mode widely supported by the consumer advocacy groups. Our analytical model examines the incentive structures for all participating entities, and derives pricing strategies, profit implications and characteristics of the email lists. We develop and model a form of price discrimination we term sequential elimination price discrimination that can be practiced via email. Our results indicate that the transactions facilitated by the admediary can create significant value whereby every participating entity realizes increased benefits. These findings underscore the potential of admediation to restore email as an effective communication media for online advertising.

Market Decision Making for Online Auction Sellers: Profit Maximization versus Socialization Perspective, A Modified TAM Approach

Walczak, Steven, Gregg, Dawn G. and Berrinberg, Joy

Journal of Electronic Commerce Research Vol. 7, Issue 4, p. 199-220

The purpose of this investigation is to identify factors in the decision making processes used by online auction sellers to select their online auction sales channel. Examining these decision factors will aid in creating a model of online auction seller channel evaluation mechanisms including economic and social factors and may be used by online auction services and intermediaries to maximize their market potential by increasing the perceived value of the various economic or social factors influencing seller outlet selection. An exploratory survey analysis is used to identify the components that online seller’s use for online channel selection.

A framework for data warehouse refresh policies

Michael V. Mannino and Zhiping Walter
Decision Support Systems Vol. 42 Issue 1, p. 121-143

In a field study to explore influences on data warehouse refresh policies, we interviewed data warehouse administrators from 13 organizations about data warehouse details and organizational background. The dominant refresh strategy reported was daily refresh during nonbusiness hours with some deviations due to operational decision making and data source availability. As a result of the study, we developed a framework consisting of short-term and long-term influences of refresh policies along with traditional information system success variables influenced by refresh policies. The framework suggests the need for research about process design, data timeliness valuation, and optimal refresh policy design.

Adaptive Web Information Extraction

Gregg, Dawn G. & Walczak, Steven

Communications of the ACM Vol. 49, Issue 5, p. 78-84

Extracting information from Web pages for internal applications is difficult. An effective Web information extraction system needs to interpret a wide variety of HTML pages and adapt to changes without breaking. An information extraction system should recognize different Web page structures and act on this knowledge to modify the information extraction techniques employed. In addition, the system should be customizable for a variety of domains and data-object types. This paper examines the characteristics of effective Web information extraction systems. This paper also presents a prototype adaptive Web information extraction system for building intelligent systems for mining information from Web pages.

The Role of Reputation Systems in Reducing Online Auction Fraud

Gregg, Dawn G. & Scott, Judy
International Journal of Electronic Commerce Vol. 10 Issue 3, p. 97-122

Online auctions are one of the most profitablesuccessful types of e-businesses; however, online auctions also provide an avenue for unscrupulous sellers to perpetrate fraud. Online auction fraud is currently the most frequently reported crime committed over the Internet. This research investigates whether online reputation systems are a useful mechanism for potential buyers to avoid fraudulent auctions. Content analysis of complaints posted in an online auction reputation system is used to improve our understanding of online auction fraud and the role of reputation systems in documenting, predicting, and reducing fraud. Results of this study show that the number of fraud allegations found in an online reputation system significantly exceeds the number of fraud allegations made through official channels. It also demonstrates that recent negative feedback posted in an online reputation system is useful in predicting future online auction fraud. Finally, results of this study suggest that experienced online auction buyers are in a better position to use using reputation system data to avoid potentially fraudulent auctions.

Efficient allocation of online grocery orders

Scott, C.H. & Scott, Judy
International Journal of Productivity and Quality Management Vol. 1, Issue 1/2, p. 88-102

Despite some initial setbacks, the online grocery business is viable and growing. In this paper, we discuss the industry’s value proposition, its business models, the various quality issues faced by an e-grocer and the trade-offs faced in the selection of a highly efficient fulfilment strategy. Brick and click grocers usually choose fulfilment from stores rather than distribution centres. However, store fulfilment is vulnerable to congestion and ‘trolley rage’ when pickers of online orders get in the way of traditional shoppers. We propose a management science model for efficient allocation of online grocery orders. The model shows the impact of delivery budget and overall utilisation on store congestion. Contrary to current practice, which typically allocates orders to the nearest store, our model shows the optimal solution. Practitioners can use the model to prevent customer dissatisfaction while researchers will find this study provides a basis for future model extensions and fine-tuning.

Auction Advisor: Online Auction Recommendation and Bidding Decision Support System

Gregg, Dawn G. & Walczak, Steven

Decision Support Systems, Vol. 41 Issue 2, pp. 449-471

Online auctions are proving themselves as a viable alternative in the C2C and B2C marketplace. Several thousand new items are placed for auction every day and determining which items to bid on or when and where to sell an item are difficult questions to answer for online auction participants. This paper presents a multi-agent Auction Advisor system designed to collect data related to online auctions and use the data to help improve the decision making of auction participants. A simulation of applied Auction Advisor recommendations and a small research study that used subjects making real purchases at online auctions both indicate that online auction buyers and sellers achieve tangible benefit from the current information acquired by and recommendations made by the Auction Advisor agents.

Modeling online service discontinuation with nonparametric agents

Walczak, Steven & Parthasarathy, Madhavan
Information Systems and E-Business Management Vol. 4, Issue 1, p. 49 – 70

The internet and world wide web are an increasingly important resource, both as a market and as an information source, to both individual users and business entities. An estimated 120 million active web users exist in the United States alone. Access to these electronic marketplaces and information sources is accomplished through either a direct internet connection or through a service provider. Internet service providers (ISPs) enable internet and web access for most of these users either via dial-up modems (62.2 percent), or DSL connections (17 percent). Customers of ISPs frequently switch or discontinue service. The model selection perspective is used to extend previous work in this area through the development of a multi-agent system with neural network wrappers. The nonparametric (neural network) agents identify over 92 percent of those users that either stop or change service, which is a 15 percent increase over previous models.