Organizational Communication & Information Systems OCIS

Journal of Information Technology (JIT) September 2020 Issue (35:3) Published

  • 1.  Journal of Information Technology (JIT) September 2020 Issue (35:3) Published

    Posted 09-17-2020 06:12
    Dear colleagues,
    The September 2020 issue of the Journal of Information Technology (JIT) has been published. This is the TOC:
    pp. 182–194
    Data mining fool's gold
    Gary Smith
    The scientific method is based on the rigorous testing of falsifiable conjectures. Data mining, in contrast, puts data before theory by searching for statistical patterns without being constrained by prespecified hypotheses. Artificial intelligence and machine learning systems, for example, often rely on data-mining algorithms to construct models with little or no human guidance. However, a plethora of patterns are inevitable in large data sets, and computer algorithms have no effective way of assessing whether the patterns they unearth are truly useful or meaningless coincidences. While data mining sometimes discovers useful relationships, the data deluge has caused the number of possible patterns that can be discovered relative to the number that are genuinely useful to grow exponentially-which makes it increasingly likely that what data mining unearths is likely to be fool's gold.

    pp. 195–213
    Social media in times of crisis: Learning from Hurricane Harvey for the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic response
    Milad Mirbabaie, Deborah Bunker, Stefan Stieglitz, Julian Marx, Christian Ehnis
    In recent times societal crises such as the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak have given rise to a tension between formal 'command and control' and informal social media activated self-organising information and communication systems that are utilised for crisis management decision-making. Social media distrust affects the dissemination of disaster information as it entails shifts in media perception and participation but also changes in the way individuals and organisations make sense of information in critical situations. So far, a little considered notion in this domain is the concept of sense-giving. Originating from organisational theory, it is used to explain the mechanisms behind intentional information provision that fosters collective meaning creation. In our study, we seek to understand the potential impact of sense-giving from Twitter crisis communication generated during the Hurricane Harvey disaster event. Social network and content analyses performed with a dataset of 9,414,463 tweets yielded insights into how sense-giving occurs during a large-scale disaster event. Theoretically, we specified (1) perpetual sense-giving, which relies primarily on topical authority and frequency; as well as (2) intermittent sense-giving, which occurs from high value of message content and leverage of popularity, that is, retweets. Our findings emphasise the importance of information-rich actors in communication networks and the leverage of their influence in crises such as coronavirus disease 2019 to reduce social media distrust and facilitate sense-making.
    pp. 214–231
    Protecting a whale in a sea of phish
    Daniel Pienta, Jason Bennett Thatcher, Allen Johnston
    Whaling is one of the most financially damaging, well-known, effective cyberattacks employed by sophisticated cybercriminals. Although whaling largely consists of sending a simplistic email message to a whale (i.e. a high-value target in an organization), it can result in large payoffs for cybercriminals, in terms of money or data stolen from organizations. While a legitimate cybersecurity threat, little information security research has directed attention toward whaling. In this study, we begin to provide an initial understanding of what makes whaling such a pernicious problem for organizations, executives, or celebrities (e.g. whales), and those charged with protecting them. We do this by defining whaling, delineating it from general phishing and spear phishing, presenting real-world cases of whaling, and provide guidance on future information security research on whaling. We find that whaling is far more complex than general phishing and spear phishing, spans multiple domains (e.g. work and personal), and potentially results in spillover effects that ripple across the organization. We conclude with a discussion of promising future directions for whaling and information security research.
    pp. 232–250
    Paradox and the negotiation of tensions in globally distributed work
    Jade Wendy Brooks, MN Ravishankar, Ilan Oshri

    Tensions are a major source of communication problems, coordination issues, and conflict in globally distributed work. In this article, we argue that extant literature falls short of addressing tensions in globally distributed work at two levels. First, it fails to fully account for the intrinsic and entrenched nature of tensions in globally distributed work, suggesting instead that they can be resolved or made to disappear. Second, it does not examine the key interactions among different kinds of tensions. Drawing on qualitative data from a distributed finance organization and applying concepts from paradox theory, we show how globally distributed units negotiate knowledge, power, and identity tensions in collaborative work. The findings illuminate how a sequential enactment of both formal and informal solutions can better address tensions and generate collaborative opportunities in globally distributed work. Building on the findings, we develop a phasal model of tension evolution and management in globally distributed work which explains how tensions evolve from a phase of suppression through to a phase of attenuation. We demonstrate the interactions of knowledge–power–identity tensions against a background of defensive, interactive, and collaborative behaviors, and suggest several practical implications for globally distributed work practice.
    pp. 251–269
    Boundary resources have been shown to enable the arm's-length relationships between platform owners and third-party developers that underlie digital innovation in platform ecosystems. While boundary resources that are owned by open-source communities and small-scale software vendors are also critical components in the digital infrastructure, their role in digital innovation has yet to be systematically explored. In particular, software libraries are popular boundary resources that provide functionality without the need for continued interaction with their owners. They are used extensively by commercial vendors to enable customization of their software products, by communities to disseminate open-source software, and by big-tech platform owners to provide functionality that does not involve control. This article reports on the deployment of such software libraries in the web and mobile (Android) contexts by 107 start-up companies in London. Our findings show that libraries owned by big-tech companies, product vendors, and communities coexist; that the deployment of big-tech libraries is unaffected by the scale of the deploying start-up; and that context evolution paths are consequential for library deployment. These findings portray a balanced picture of digital infrastructure as neither the community-based utopia of early open-source research nor the dystopia of the recent digital dominance literature.
    pp. 270–282
    Theory borrowing in IT-rich contexts: Lessons from IS strategy research
    Mohammad Moeini, Boyka Simeonova, Robert D Galliers, Alex Wilson
    While indigenous theorizing in information systems has clear merits, theory borrowing will not, and should not, be eschewed given its appeal and usefulness. In this article, we aim at increasing our understanding of modifying of borrowed theories in IT-rich contexts. We present a framework in which we discuss how two recontextualization approaches of specification and distinction help with increasing the IT-richness of borrowed constructs and relationships. In doing so, we use several illustrative examples from information systems strategy. The framework can be used by researchers as a tool to explore the multitude of ways in which a theory from another discipline can yield the understanding of IT phenomena.
    Special Issue Call for Papers: 
    Editors: Danny Gozman, Kalle Lyytinen, Tom Butler
    Emerging Technologies and IS Sourcing (deadline 2021-02-26 / abstract 2020-09-30)
    Editors: Julia Kotlarsky, Ilan Oshri, Oliver Krancher, Rajiv Sabherwal
    Subscribe to receive JIT's special issue call for papers and online-first publications alerts:
    JIT homepage (note, we are publishing now with SAGE, not Palgrave/Springer as previously)
    Best wishes,


    Dr Daniel Schlagwein
    Associate Professor | The University of Sydney
    Co-Editor-in-Chief | Journal of Information Technology