B_AD 84007

Information Technology

Kent State University

Fall Semester 2004

Instructor: Dr. Jay Weinroth

(Note -- when printing this syllabus, you may want to go to page setup and select landscape format)


Course Syllabus

Part I -- logistics

  1. Class meetings and Office information. This class meets in BSA A404, Tuesday and Thursday, 1:45 to 3:00 p.m.. My office is A421. E-mail is jweinrot@bsa3.kent.edu and phone is 330 672-1150. If I am not able to answer your call please leave a message. You will also have my home e-mail to be used judiciously, but I will not copy the address to this public document.
  2. STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES: In accordance with University policy, if you have a documented disability and require accommodations to obtain equal access in this course, please contact the instructor at the beginning of the semester or when given an assignment for which an accommodation is required. Students with disabilities must verify their eligibility through the Office of Student Disability Services (SDS) in the Michael Schwartz Student Service Center (181 MSC) (672-3391).
  3. ENROLLMENT: It is the student's responsibility to ensure proper enrollment in classes. You are advised to review your official class schedule during the first two weeks of the semester to ensure proper enrollment. Should you determine an error in your class schedule, you have two weeks from the beginning of the semester to correct it with your advising office. If registration errors are not corrected by this date and you continue to attend and participate in classes for which you are not officially enrolled, you are advised that you will not receive a grade at the conclusion of the semester.
  4. Last day to drop an individual class. November ?? is the last date to drop an individual class without special permission. If you stop attending a class without officially dropping, the probable result will be a grade of F.
  5. Cheating -- any form of copying another student's work and submitting it as your own will result in one or more of the consequences specified in the university regulations, for all students responsible for the incident. Obviously where students are given a team assignment the two or more persons both attach their names to the work. It is a quasi-legal requirement to mention this in the syllabus. I do not really regard it as relevant for the students of this class.


Percent of final grade

Outline for research paper


Mid-semester draft of research paper


Final submission of research paper


Performance on editorial panel – outlines


Performance on editorial panel – mid-semester drafts


Performance on editorial panel – final submissions



(7). Academic complaints. University regulations, some of which are reprinted in your copy of the KSU telephone directory, govern many aspects of our classes, including academic complaints.


Part II Purpose and Format of the Course

B_AD 84007 was designed to familiarize the student with the environment of refereed journal research in the field of Information Systems/Information Technology. "Technology" is understood here in the sense that the Information Systems function in the business world is as often refereed to as IT as it is referenced as IS. We are still talking about the design, management, and use of computerized information systems for organizational objectives.

To this end, we will read and discuss a number of papers published in refereed journals, in order to understand several ways in which one can conduct some research that will fall successfully into some category that a reviewer and an editor regards as meriting publication. We will look for various papers published in refereed journals that are examples, respectively, of controlled laboratory experiment, survey, field study, case study, executive interviews, literature review coupled with theoretical model building, actual system development with testing and described usefulness.

We will have eight class sessions focusing on discussion of papers we have read. I expect you to bring to class sets of systematic notes (See the electronic handout "Notes on Refereed Journal Articles") for each of the articles scheduled for discussion. The rest of our class meetings will focus on writing for and performing editorial review services for an imaginary new journal in information systems. Based on shared interests, the class will be divided into two groups of approximately equal size. Collectively each of the two groups will function as groups of editorial reviewers. The instructor for the course will act as Senior Editor, a role that includes guiding the discussion of submitted papers when it gets off course. Each of the two groups will elect an Associate Editor. The Associate Editor will assign papers submitted for publication to the various members of the group in whatever manner seems effective. Thus, the members of the group will function as reviewers. This is an imitation of the refereed journal process. When someone submits a paper for possible publication, it is given a review by knowledgeable professionals who recommend accepting the paper, rejecting it, or suggesting a number of changes to the author.

The papers that each of the two editorial groups will be reviewing come from the other half of the class. Group 1 submits, individually, their papers to Panel 1. At the same time, the individuals in Group 1 are also the editorial members of Panel 2 and as such they review the papers submitted by the other half of the class.

Each student in the class will submit work to the reviewers in the other half of the class in three stages – outline, mid-semester working draft, and final draft of the paper. Note that the student as researcher will be required to submit to the board of reviewers both the outline in electronic form and an electronic or a hard copy version of the notes that he/she has made on a number of articles. Again, see the four examples of these notes elsewhere on this web site.

Note that a major responsibility of each student as author is to make available to the rest of the class a small number (typically 2 or 3) of important published papers from the literature relevant to his or her ongoing research paper. You may do this by giving us a reliable online source, including the university library database, or by providing hard copies if online access is not readily available. We need access to these background papers in a timely fashion, that is, in time for the review panel to have read them before they evaluate your outline. At the same time, you must make access available to these papers for the whole class.

At each stage the student will receive a critique from the reviewers and incorporate the recommended changes in her or his ongoing work. At each stage the work of every student will be posted on this web site and everyone will have the opportunity to follow the progress of everyone’s work. Each time an editorial board of reviewers presents their critique of what they have received, we will all have had the opportunity to read the work that is being discussed.

At the end of our class on 14 October, for example, Panel 1 will be graded by the other half of the class on how well they have done their jobs. As Senior Editor, the instructor’s ratings will count equally with the average of those of the class, and the two resulting ratings will be further averaged. Then Panel 1 will receive a total number of points to divide among themselves towards their grades depending on how the group rates each member’s performance.

Similarly, in addition to giving good comments offering guidance to the author for further work on the paper, Panel 1 will give a grade, in points, to each author in Group 1, and similarly for Panel 2 and Group 2. Again, the instructor, as Senior Editor, has a vote equal to that of each Panel and the resulting two assignments of points earned will be averaged.



Part III Access at Kent State to refereed journals

  1. You can find some of these journals on the second floor of our library. Papers from past years are bound in large hard cover volumes. Issues from the current year are in a special area on the second floor. You can also avail yourself of the holdings of various other libraries that will honor your Kent State student ID, such as Akron. Hard copy versions of these journals are becoming more rare every year, in contrast with electronic copies.
  2. You can request the loan of various articles directly from the librarians working in our Interlibrary Loan offices.
  3. You can access much of what you will want to read and, as far as I as instructor am concered, all you need to read in this course on line from the Kent State Libraries web site. Their site is www.library.kent.edu. There you will want to click on the link for Alphabetical List of Databases. From there select B and then go to Business Source Premier and click either on On Campus or Off Campus as needed. On Campus works in the college computer lab. Call the Reference librarians to find out what password you need if you are going to work Off Campus. Printing can be tricky. Often you need to print via the icon on the lower menu bar (the one directly part of the screen presentation of the article) rather than via the print command under the File menu.
  4. Finally, some journals are stricter at protecting their recent material than are others. You will see that in some instances the journal’s on line link ends up offering you the opportunity to pay for receiving a copy of the article. In these cases you will see that our library’s web site provides you with the alternative of getting the article through interlibrary loan. There will be a charge, but less than the journal itself wants to charge you.

But the bottom line on this is that I am NOT requiring you in this course to use any article from a refereed journal that you cannot access for free on line. If you are desperately curious to get an article unavailable online into your hands, the library will help you, for a fee. If you are seriously going to consider submitting your paper to a real journal, you may find it worthwhile to pay for some articles. However, I will accept your work – and I expect our in-course editorial boards to do the same – from issues that are a year or two old if those are the only ones you can get on line without paying. There is plenty of very good work you can do on that basis, and, after all, we are practicing here. Finally, some journals are much more generous than others about making their current or at least recent work available on line. I have given them my preference in the assigned readings.



access all of these assigned readings on line through the KSU library database. Use Business Source Premier, and type in the title of the article in the search window for subject. You can then print the article.

Note that you may choose to write your own research paper for this course in any one of these modes of approach, as well as others. It is not necessary to plan to engage in new data gathering unless you have a special reason to do so.


1. Liging Zhang, R. et al, "Self-adaptive blind source separation based on activation functions adaptation," IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks, Mar 2004, Vol. 15, issue 2, p.233. This is a well written example of a type of research paper that does no actual new investigation, but presents a theory related to an important controversy in the literature.

2. Zhou, L. et al, "A comparison of classification methods for predicting deception in computer-mediated communication," Journal of Management Information Systems, Spring 2004, Vol.20 issue 4, p. 139. Exact contrast with the previous paper – detailed investigative work.


3. Kohli, R. and Devaraj, S., "Measuring information technology payoff: a meta-analysis of structural variables in firm-level empirical research," Information Systems Research, June 2003, Vol. 14, issue 2, p. 127. This is one of many papers that address the "productivity paradox." It is also an example of a research paper done strictly as meta-analysis.

4. Peace, A. et al, "Software piracy in the workplace: a model and empirical test," Journal of Management Information Systems, Summer 2003. Vol.20 issue 1, p. 153. This is an example of the traditional research paper; theoretical model connects literature and derived new data gathering.

5. Galliers, R. and Meadows, M., "A discipline divided: globalization and parochialism in information systems research," Communications of AIS, Vol. 2003 issue 11, p.108. This is discussion of the discipline of IS research (meta-research), not of a specific research issue. Very valuable for our course.

6. Pavlia, P. et al, "Management information systems research: what’s there in a methodology?", Communications of AIS, Vol. 2003, issue 11, p. 289. More meta-research.

7. Van der Aaist, W. and Kumar, A., "XML-based scheme definition for support of interorganizational workflow," Information Systems Research, Mar 2003, Vol. 14 issue 1, p.23. Papers based on actual program development are important in IS research. Besides, this paper addresses information management issues as well.

8. Sussman, S. et al, "Informational influence in organizations: an integrated approach to knowledge adoption," Information Systems Research, Mar 2003, Vol. 14, issue 1, p. 47. Addresses the topic of Knowledge Management; applies the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM); classic structure for research paper.

9. Berthon, P.et al, "Potential research space in MIS: a framework for envisioning and evaluating research replication, extension, and generation," Information Systems Research, Dec. 2002, vol. 13, issue 4, p. 146. More meta-research. An issue of momentous importance and seldom addressed in our discipline – if an explanation is scientific, then the experiment can be replicated.

10. Sipior, J. et al, "A strategic response to the broad spectrum of internet abuse," Information Systems Management, Fall 2002, Vol. 19 issue 4, p. 71. Refereed practitioner journal, but good paper. Topic of internet privacy issues.

11. Buchholz, R.et al, "Internet privacy: individual rights and the common good," SAM Advanced Management Journal, Winter 2002, vol. 67, issue 1, p. 34.

12. Bejot, M., "European treatment of internet privacy issues," Journal of Internet Law, Jan 2001, vol. 4 issue 7, p. 1. Good opportunity to get look beyond a perspective limited to the U.S. business community.

13. Gefen, D., "What makes an ERP implementation relationship worthwhile: linking trust mechanisms and ERP Usefulness," Journal of Management Information Systems, Summer 2004, vol. 21, issue 1, p. 263. Topic of Enterprise Resource Planning systems, related to productivity paradox research – whether IS investment simply cannot be shown to be productive or whether we still are not doing the research correctly.

14. Dixon, D., "The truce between LEAN and IT, Industrial Engineer: IE, June 2004, vol. 36, issue 6, p. 42. This is related to ERP topic. While strictly a trade journal piece, this paper provides very good basic information concerning Lean Manufacturing approaches compared with ERP.

15. Ramiller, N. and Swanson, E., "Organizing visions for information technology and the information systems executive responses," Journal of Management Information Systems, Summer 2003, vol. 20 issue 1, p. 13. Topic of data warehousing. It is a bit more difficult to access papers on line on this topic than on some others.

16. Lightner, N., "What users want in e-commerce design: effects of age, education and income," Ergonomics, January 2003, vol. 46, issue 1-3, p. 153. Topic of user satisfaction.

17. Kujala, S., "User involvement: a review of the benefits and challenges," Behaviour & Information Technology, Jan 2003, vol. 22, issue 1, p. 1. User satisfaction.

18. Sobiesiak, R., "DB2 universal database: a case study of a successful user-centered design program," International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, September 2002, vol. 14 issue 3, p. 279. User satisfaction. Case study methodology example.

19. Downing, C. et al, "The value of outsourcing: a field study," Information Systems Management, Winter 2003, vol. 20 issue 1, p. 86. Topic of outsourcing the IS function. Also example of field study methodology, although practitioner journal.

20. Rajkumar, T. and Mani, R., "Offshore software development," Information Systems Management, Spring 2001, vol. 18 issue 2, p. 63.

21. Zhu, K., "The complementarity of information technology infrastructure and e-commerce capability: a resource-based assessment of their business value," Journal of Management Information Systems, summer 2004, vol. 21 issue 1, p. 167. Topic of e-commerce. Also involves perspective of the "Resource Based View" of management.

22. Filson, D, "The impact of e-commerce strategies on firm value: lessons learned from Amazon.com and its early competitors," Journal of Business, april 2004, vol. 77, p. 135.

Part V Some examples of taking systematic notes on refereed journal articles. Access the article on the library data base and note how these notes reflect the important content.

Example # 1

Authors: Harding, William T. Assoc. Prof. Texas A & M

Reed. Anita J., doctoral student U of S. Fla; Gray, Robed L., Chair IS W. New Engl College

Journal: Information Systems Management, Summer 2001, Vol. 18, Issue 3

Title: Cookies and Web Bugs: What They Are and How They Work Together

Journal Type: Refereed/Practitioner

9 pp. w/ references

Question: What is the technology; what benefits & what threats

Method: explains & demos the technology; quotes & summarizes spokespersons

Method details: none

Findings: Web bugs can be detected

Synchronized servers at marketer sites can read cookie data from cookies from other cookies on your hard drive; could make personal info available to those not authorized

Conclusion: Synchronized cookies may bring vast invasion of privacy

Action: Follow up their references

Do search on "Web bugs" and on "Synchronization"

Example # 2

Authors: Venkatesh, Viswanath, Asst. Prof of IT, U of Md, several good journals; Morris, Michael, Asst. Prof of IS, Wright-Patterson Inst, good journals

Journal: MIS Quarterly, March 00, Vol. 24, Issue 1

Title: Why Don't Men Ever Stop to Ask for Directions? Gender, Social Influence, and Their Role in Technology Acceptance and Usage Behavior

Journal Type: Refereed/Academic

12 pp plus tables & references

Question: How do gender, social influence, and usage over time impact the Technology Acceptance Model of Davis et al

Method: field study

Method details: 342 workers across 5 organizations being introduced to new info retrieval systems completed questionnaires during training, one month later, and three months later; also their usage of new systems tracked by number of log-ons; linear regression software (PLS) used to analyze statistical significance of six hypotheses


Differences in organizations and personal data did not affect results

Initially men placed greater emphasis on Usefulness

Initially women placed greater emphasis on Ease of Use

Initially, Social Influence was significant for women but not for men

Over time, emphasis on Usefulness & Ease of Use continued

Over time, significance of Social Influence declined

Differences in actual usage were seen not to be influenced directly by attitudes about U or UOE, but only through Behavioral Intention

Conclusion: Perhaps Men and Women need different approaches in training in order to accept new technology, or at least individuals who differ in terms of sensitivity versus action-orientation do. This may be helpful with respect to the costly problem of unused new technology.


Search under "Gender" + "Technology acceptance"

Read Davis, MISQ, Vol 13, issue 3, 1989, pp. 319-339

Contact editors or authors – Means for Men vs Women on EOU appear reversed?

Gefen et al investigates gender and technology acceptance but NOT new technology.

There is no other gender-oriented research with respect to tech acceptance, to date!



Example # 3

Authors: Bharadwaj, Anandhi, Asst Prof of IT at Emory, several papers in quantitative journals of high quality

Journal: MIS Quarterly, Mar 00, Vol. 24, Issue 1

Title: A Resource-Based Perspective on Information Technology Capability and Firm Performance: An Empirical Investigation

Journal Type: Refereed/Academic

13 pp plus tables & references

Question(s): How can the resource-based view theoretical approach be applied to data to result in a reliable analysis of the relation between IT capability and business performance, in the face of inconclusive results to date

Method: the first part of the paper is a long theoretical exposition of what could be the components of organizational infrastructure needed for IT capability to give a firm sustained competitive advantage

The second part applies a matched-pairs statistical technique to existing data on two sets of firms, in order to test two hypotheses

Method details:

Variables to be compared are traditional accounting data, such as ROI, taken from the Compustat database

One set of firms selected for study because ranked by Information Week as having superior IT capability

The other set was matched with these by industry and average annual sales


In each pair, profit ratios were significantly higher (statistically) for the IT leaders

In each pair, some costs of business were significantly lower for the IT leaders, but some were not

Conclusion: the fact that this study has partial success in demonstrating some empirical relations between IT capability and business performance can be construed as evidence for the view that other studies that fail to show this positive relationship are partly flawed in their research design

On 'practical' level, the study shows managers that the goal is not merely to invest in IT but rather to do so only with a strategy that shapes the role of IT as a part of the firm's unique capabilities


Follow up her references to papers that show inconclusive results for IT investment, and see if her critique of their research fits




Example # 4

Authors: Orlikowski, Wanda, frequent author, editor, MIT

Iacono, Suzanne, National Science Foundation

Journal: Information Systems Research, June 01, Vol. 12, Issue 2

Title: A Resource-Based Perspective on Information Technology Capability and Firm Performance: An Empirical Investigation

Journal Type: Refereed/Academic

13 pp plus references

Question(s): How can a research method be pursued that focuses on "the IT Artifact"?

Method: review of papers in ISR over past 10 years

Proposal of a new method of research


Method details:

188 articles were examined

Findings: Five views of IT were discovered in the literature -- IT as a tool; IT's measured as something else (proxy); IT as a form of system (ensemble); IT as computational processes; IT as a secondary topic (Nominal)

Conclusion: the systems approach, which is the only one that actually focuses on what constitutes IT, was used in only 12% of the articles

We need a focused theory of IT, and that theory will always be oriented to the social context of use of the particular system

Action: Contrast this study with patterns in other journals



Part VI Schedule of classes and assignments.

Week 1 31-Aug

1. Introduction to the course


2. Discuss assigned readings # 1,2

Determine panels -- examine author & reviewer criteria

Week 2 7-Sept

3. Discuss and

identify individual research topics


4. Discuss assigned readings # 3,4,5

Week 3 14-Sept

5. Discuss assigned readings # 6,7,8


6. Discuss assigned readings # 9,10,11

Week 4 21-Sept

7. Discuss assigned readings # 12,13


8. Discuss assigned readings # 14,15,16

Week 5 28-Sept

9. Author group 1 submits outlines (electronically?)

Discuss assigned readings # 17,18,19


10. Discuss assigned readings # 20,21,22

Week 6 5-Oct

11. Author group 2 submits outlines

Preliminary discussion of reviews -- panel 1 ONLY


12. Preliminary discussion of reviews -- panel 2 ONLY

Week 7 12-Oct

13. Panel 1 presents reviews of outlines


14. Panel 1 presents reviews of outlines

Week 8 19-Oct

15. Panel 2 presents reviews of outlines


16. Panel 2 presents reviews of outlines

Week 9 26-Oct

17. TENTATIVE -- Discussion with Dr. Booth on preliminary planning of statistical tests when designing research


18. No class meeting – complete first drafts

Week 10 2-Nov

19. Author group 1 submits mid-semester drafts

TENTATIVE -- Discussion with Dr. Faley on design of survey research. Alternative for today is general discussion of progress and problems in papers.


20. Author group 2 submits mid-semester drafts

Preliminary discussion of reviews – panel 1 ONLY

Week 11 9-Nov

21. Preliminary discussion of reviews – panel 2 only


Veteran's Day -- no class

Week 12 16-Nov

22. Panel 1 presents reviews of mid-semester drafts


23. Panel 1 presents reviews of mid-semester drafts -- continued

Week 13 23-Nov

24. Panel 2 presents reviews of mid-semester drafts

Class meets from 1:00 to 3:00


Thanksgiving -- no class

Week 14 30-Nov

25. Author group 1 – final drafts submitted



26. Author group 2 - Final drafts submitted

Preliminary discussion of reviews – Panel 1 ONLY

Week 15 7-Dec

27. Preliminary discussion of reviews – Panel 2 ONLY


28. Panel 1 presents reviews of final drafts

Class meets from 1:00 to 3:00

Finals Week 14-Dec

Panel 2 presents reviews of final drafts

classroom reserved from 1:00 to 4:00