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InPractice is an online newsletter targeted at our practitioner members. Published quarterly, InPractice showcases articles published in the AIS journals (JAIS, CAIS, PAJAIS, AIS THCI,TRR, and MISQE). Authors of newly uploaded eLibrary papers will be invited to voluntarily prepare and submit a brief synopsis of their paper targeting practitioners. Dennis Galletta serves as the AIS InPractice editor.

 

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Constraining Opportunism in Information Systems Consulting: A Three Nation Examination

Posted By Administration, Friday, October 11, 2019

By Richard T. Watson, Gregory S. Dawson, Marie-Claude Boudreau, Yan Li, Hongyun Zhang, Wei (Wayne) Huang, and Ibrahim Al-Jabri

Problem

  • Opportunism, devious self-interest behavior, is a persistent social problem. Attempts to restrict opportunism, such as legal and ethical codes, have shaped societies for millennia.
  • Opportunism differs from mere profit maximizing because it takes advantage of a trusting relationship to advance self-interest.
  • According to a previous study by three of the authors, a majority of IS consultants and their clients have observed opportunism.
  • Such practices might include breaking promises, being untruthful, or not acting in the other party’s best interests.
  • Information asymmetry, when one party knows more about a situation than another, is the root cause of opportunism.

Summary

  • This article examines the relative effectiveness of eight different constraint mechanisms on IS consultants in China, Saudi Arabia, and the United States, for seven types of projects with different levels of information asymmetry, tacit knowledge, and explicit knowledge.
  • Generally, consulting clients in the United States believe that social constraints are more effective, while those in China and Saudi Arabia favor legal constraints.
  • The research suggests that these findings are a result of differences in legal systems and the foundations of social norm formation.

Take-Aways

  • When information asymmetry is high, clients should use one or more social constraints
  • When information asymmetry is low, clients should use a legal constraint
  • For complex engagements, clients should use an advisor firm to constrain opportunism
  • Clients should develop project relevant tacit knowledge prior to a consulting engagement to lower information asymmetry
  • Consultants should recognize that national differences can impact how clients select and deploy constraint options

Learn more at: https://aisel.aisnet.org/jais/vol20/iss7/12/

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Addressing Key Challenges to Making Enterprise Blockchain Applications a Reality

Posted By Administration, Friday, September 20, 2019

by Mary Lacity in MIS Quarterly Executive September 2018, Volume 17, Number 3, pp. 201-222.

- Blockchain adoption frequently promises more value than what is delivered.
- Challenges include identifying standards, government regulation, governance models, and ecosystem viability.
- A study of three organizations reveals their strategies for successful adoption.
- Five key questions should be asked when considering a blockchain application:
     1. Is a blockchain the right solution?
     2. How are blockchain standards being established?
     3. How can a blockchain solution comply with legislation given the regulatory uncertainty?
     4. How should a blockchain solution be governed?
     5. How can a viable ecosystem be established?

Summary:
Daunting challenges in blockchain standards, regulations, shared governance models, and viable ecosystems impede progress. There is currently a gap between the business value that is promised and how much is delivered. Lacity describes the strategies that three organizations are pursuing to address those challenges. The organizations are LO3 Energy, a startup; Moog, Inc., a traditional enterprise, and the Center for Supply Chain Studies, a nonprofit organization serving as industry consortium coordinator. Answering the five questions above can help managers know whether their organizations should lead, be fast followers, or take a slower pace in exploring enterprise blockchains.

Learn more at https://aisel.aisnet.org/misqe/vol17/iss3/3/.

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A Ten-Step Decision Path to Determine when to use Blockchain Technologies

Posted By Administration, Friday, September 20, 2019

By Asger B. Pedersen, Marten Risius, and Roman Beck In MIS Quarterly Executive June 2019

General take-aways:
- Blockchain technology provides a bewildering set of options without much guidance.
- Firms must decide not only the feasibility of using blockchain technology but also which type of system to use: permissionless public blockchain, permissioned public blockchain, or a permissioned private blockchain.
- Ten decision steps can be followed to narrow the options dramatically. The ten questions are described in detail and address issues such as whether there is a need for sharing data publicly or with multiple parties, if it is desirable to use third parties, whether there are conflicts of interest or differing or changing rules, if logs are needed, and how consensus is determined.

Summary:
Recent research on blockchain technology shows faster growth of its adoption in tracking supply chain activities than in banking and financial services. This study focused on how maritime shipping can realize benefits of blockchains, especially by consulting a new managerial framework to assess feasibility and also determine what type of system to implement. A ten-step yes/no decision process provides guidance on whether a block chain is required, and if so, recommends a permissionless public blockchain, permissioned public blockchain, or a permissioned private blockchain. Knowing the type of needed blockchain system will prevent the loss of valuable time and will reduce expenses in their application.

Learn more at https://aisel.aisnet.org/misqe/vol18/iss2/3/.

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BBVA's Data Monetization Journey

Posted By AIS, Friday, September 20, 2019

by Elena Alfaro, Marco Bressan, Fabien Girardin, Juan Murillo, Ida Someh, and Barbara H. Wixom In MIS Quarterly Executive June 2019, Vol. 18, No. 2, pp. 117-128.

General take-aways:
- Data monetization efforts can have tremendous revenue enhancing and cost reduction impacts on firms.
- A firm with 16 monetization efforts were studied in this paper.
- Actions that led to their successful efforts were:
        1. Balance short term goals and long-term capability creation
        2. Invest in social good projects
        3. Assess the value and impact of data science projects
        4. Educate all employees about data science
        5. Compensate data scientists with high nonmonetary benefits

Summary:
BBVA, a global financial group, established a data science center of excellence to lead its data monetization activities. In 16 monetization projects over three years, they sold information solutions, improved business operations, and wrapped products with analytics features. Their impacts were to raise revenues, lower costs, and increase their capabilities and credibility. This summary of their activities and experiences can be helpful for many other firms.

Learn more at https://aisel.aisnet.org/misqe/vol18/iss2/4/.

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