The Electronic Journal of Information Systems Evaluation provides critical perspectives on topics relevant to Information Systems Evaluation, with an emphasis on the organisational and management implications
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Journal Article

Empirical Study on Knowledge Based Systems  pp11-20

Gabriela Avram

© Jan 2005 Volume 8 Issue 1, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp1 - 80

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Abstract

Knowledge‑based systems (KBSs) implement the heuristic human reasoning through specific techniques, procedures and mechanisms, in order to solve problems that do not have a traditional algorithmic solution. Research on this topic is being done in numerous organisations all over the world, from higher education laboratories to research institutes and software development organisations. A first research project, aimed at gathering information about the State‑of‑the‑Practice in building knowledge‑ based systems with practical applications, needed a preliminary study to ascertain if KBSs still exist today as a research topic, or the interest in them actually faded. The study was also required for finding organisations currently building KBSs for different domains. The project's aim was to catalogue the software andor knowledge engineering methods employed by the listed organisations, in order to draw a comprehensive image (State‑of‑the‑ Practice) of the field. The current paper contains the results of this preliminary study only. A second research project re‑used the results of the preliminary study, focusing on the study of KBSs' successful implementations as a basis for building a method that would allow practitioners to choose the most appropriate KM tools for each organisation's specific problems and situations. A trigger for this second project was the interest in studying the causes of KBSs rejection by the end‑users. An attempt to map the identified applications of KBSs to different phases of knowledge management lifecycle is also presented.

 

Keywords: knowledge-based systems, taxonomy, success, failure, knowledge management tools

 

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Journal Article

Improving the Benefits of IT Compliance Using Enterprise Management Information Systems  pp27-38

Renata Paola Dameri

© Jan 2009 Volume 12 Issue 1, ECIME 2008, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp1 - 118

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Abstract

During the latest years, IT governance has become more and more important. More of the attention on IT Governance is captured by compliance, owing to the recent financial scandals and the severe rules regarding information systems audit and control. Companies need to comply with these rules, but it requires important investments, considered not only strategic but necessary (Remenyi et. al. 2000). However, companies should analyse the compliance requirements to implement an IT governance system, not only to comply with legal rules, but also to improve the strategic alignment between IT and business and to optimise value creation by IT compliance investments (Ventrakaman and Henderson 1996, Van Grembergen 2003). However, companies have difficulties in implementing IT compliance initiatives, because they are complex and require an integrated approach all over the organization. But IT compliance initiatives often lack an integrated, strategic approach: they only try to comply with the increasing rules affecting IT operations, thereby limiting the value of compliance investments. To optimise IT compliance, companies should develop an IT compliance strategy, aiming not only to accomplish with regulations, but also to bring processes into compliance. That is, to realise a full integration between operations, risk control, data reliability. To reach this result, compliance automated solutions are indicated, like GCR (Governance, Risk and Compliance) applications. However, standard solutions fail to support specific problems and the individual value proposition of each company: an EIMS (Enterprise Information Management Systems), developed in house, allows automatically managed processes, data and information security, to access control and system performance and to improve data usability, in accordance with company specific organisation and needs. In this paper, IT compliance is introduced, to define how to orient it to value creation; GRC systems. EIM systems are described, with their different cost and benefits for companies. The aim of the paper is to define how to develop compliance automated systems, to save money and enhance information integration and value. Observations and conclusions derive from practical experience of the author, participating to a project of EIM implementation in a major Italian company.

 

Keywords: IT governance, risk management, accounting information systems, IT compliance, knowledge management

 

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Journal Article

Evaluation of Content Management Systems (CMS): a Supply Analysis  pp9-22

Clara Benevolo, Serena Negri

© Jan 2007 Volume 10 Issue 1, ECITE 2006 Special, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp1 - 122

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Abstract

Content management systems (CMS) provide an optimal solution by organising information and, mostly, creating and managing an enterprise's knowledge. Nevertheless there is a big confusion about the functionalities that characterise CMS and about the differences with less performing products such as web content management systems, document and records management systems and enterprise content management systems. This paper aims to show the mismatches between companies' needs and those information management products, which are often called CMS even if they are not. For this reason the authors first make a theoretical comparison between the functionalities of CMS and those of the systems they are often confused with. Then they show the results of an empirical research on 22 products offered by international vendors. By using an original scheme, enterprises' needs in terms of information collection, management and publication and of knowledge management are compared with the functionalities of the aforementioned systems. The result consists of performing definitions for CMS and the other systems for managing information. Content Management products are analysed, compared and evaluated by using a special table created to point out the actual functionalities of the products offered on the market, despite vendors' declarations. Moreover the highlights are displayed in a matrix to evaluate the level of personalisation‑flexibility of the different products. The paper conclusions show how, on the demand side, companies' needs are growing in a confused framework; at the same time the supply side keeps on feeding this confusion, reducing company satisfaction in regard to knowledge and information management.

 

Keywords: Content management, web content management, enterprise content management, knowledge management, ICT supply and demand

 

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Journal Article

A theoretical framework for exploring the influence of national culture on Web 2.0 adoption in corporate contexts  pp176-186

Andrew Barron, Dirk Schneckenberg

© Jan 2012 Volume 15 Issue 2, Editor: Shaun Pather, pp149 - 229

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Abstract

The purpose of this conceptual paper is to identify variables which help to explain cross‑country differences in adoption rates of Web 2.0 technologies in corporate contexts. The paper proposes a model which indicates how national cultural characteristics determine the evolution of Enterprise 2.0 business practices in different countries. The model is developed from a literature study, which combines insights on technology adoption, the Web 2.0 phenomenon and cross‑cultural management concepts. Based on this model, the paper assumes that Web 2.0 technologies may enjoy faster adoption rates in companies that operate in countries whose national cultures reject power distance, embrace collectivism, and accept uncertainty.

 

Keywords: Web 2.0, Enterprise 2.0, knowledge management, technology adoption, national culture

 

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Journal Article

Exploring the Alignment of Organisational Goals with KM: Cases in Four Irish Software SMEs  pp26-37

Ciara Heavin, Frederic Adam

© Jun 2013 Volume 16 Issue 1, ECIME 2012, Editor: Dr. David Sammon and Dr. Tadhg Nagle, pp1 - 84

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Abstract

Abstract: In the anticipation of the knowledge economy and the organisational pursuit of knowing what we know modern organisations have endeavoured to achieve varying levels of KM. It has typically been larger organisations that have possessed the econ omies of scale i.e. the financial resources to pursue this strategy, where they perceive they will lose their market share if they do not follow the trend. Smaller organisations have not had the same luxury. Ironically however, it is smaller organisations that have successfully managed knowledge for centuries. However there remains an absence of empirical evidence that highlights how SMEs operationalise their approach to KM, particularly in the high‑technology sectors. In view of the current financial ins tability, never has it been more important to focus on the knowledge capabilities of software SMEs where managing organisational knowledge is essential to the continued success of an SME. Pursuing a qualitative analysis approach using multiple case studie s in four Irish software SMEs, this study identifies sources of knowledge and occurrences of knowledge activities (KAs) as a means of understanding the firms approach to knowledge management (KM) and how this may be closely aligned to the organisatio ns greater strategic objectives thus providing them with greater flexibility to deal with environmental uncertainty. At the level of the cases, it was evident that software SMEs leverage KAs to serve their knowledge transfer needs. Unexpectedly, the find ings from this study indicate that these software SMEs were not good at knowledge creation activity. This may be attributed to the nature of the SME where a small number of key players i.e. founder/manager/head of development assumed responsibility for th is type of activity. Fundamentally, these software SMEs choose to leverage knowledge and KAs in order to serve the greater needs of the firm such as the need to develop a new software product, improve their customer relationships or ensure their position as an important cog in a larger organisation.

 

Keywords: Keywords: knowledge, knowledge management, KM, small and medium sized enterprises, SMEs, knowledge activity, KA, software, alignment and KM capabilities

 

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Journal Article

Wiki‑Based Knowledge Management in a Transport Consultancy, a Case Study  pp133-142

Robbert in 't-Hout, Jos Vrancken, Pieter Schrijnen

© Oct 2010 Volume 13 Issue 2, ICIME 2010, Editor: Shaun Pather and Corrie Uys, pp97 - 196

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Abstract

Developing a Municipal Traffic and Transport Plan (MTTP) is a long lasting and complex process. Many different disciplines are involved, as well as many stakeholders. The process may take more than two years. The larger municipalities in the Netherlands mostly develop their own plans. But for the medium sized and smaller municipalities private consultancies play a major role in the development of the MTTPs. This article describes a case study concerning improving the MTTP development process in such a consultancy. The company did reasonably well in the field, but could do better: a part of the knowledge present in the company wasn’t shared well enough, especially the exchange of knowledge and experience between senior and junior consultants which needed improvement. To improve the sharing, a wiki was developed. In interaction with the consultants a structure was proposed, allowing them to add the information they valued relevant for the development of the MTTPs. The wiki appeared to reveal not only explicit knowledge, but also tacit knowledge. On top of that, the tacit knowledge often was personal, subjective, and even divergent. The juniors were more eager to work with the wiki than the seniors. There still exists a difference between the generations in their ability and readiness to use ICT tools. Sharing the tacit knowledge, revealing the subjective perspectives of the consultants was confronting the company with its implicit learning styles. The staff of the company believed they worked with objective knowledge, and that only such knowledge was relevant in planning and decision making. The wiki revealed that the subjective aspects actually played a role within the company. After some interactions with the manager of the department, the structure of the wiki was adapted. One part of the wiki was meant for explicit, objective knowledge; the other part for tacit, subjective knowledge. Arrangements were made to create the role of moderator for the themes in the wiki ‑ seniors that could decide how to deal with the subjective information. The conclusion of this case can be that wikis aren’t just neutral tools. They need to be tuned to the learning styles that are available within the community that will use the tool. Pilots can help in revealing the way organisations deal with knowledge management. The article follows the chronology of the project. It starts with a short picture of the process of developing an MTTP and with a summary of the learning theories used to assess the challenges of the company. The article proceeds with the design of the wiki and the introduction of the first layout. It then describes the reactions from the consultants and the manager, and the adaptation of the wiki. The article ends with some conclusions on the way wikis can be designed.

 

Keywords: municipal traffic and transport planning, wiki, social software, knowledge management

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 13 Issue 2, ICIME 2010 / Oct 2010  pp97‑196

Editor: Shaun Pather, Corrie Uys

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Editorial

We have pleasure in presenting this special issue of EJISE.  As Information and Communications Technologies and the related Information Systems become ever more pervasive across all spheres of business, government and community based organizations, the scope of this journal has flexed to accommodate these varied settings in which pertinent research problems are located.   Consequently, in this special issue wide‑ranging problems related to the broad ambit of IS evaluation is reported on: 

As many countries continue to develop policies to enhance and sustain the growth of the SME sector, so too does the expenditure and consumption of IT amongst this category of business grow at an ever increasing rate thus warranting the attention of evaluation research. Avraam Papastathopoulos and Christina Beneki investigate an important concern with regards to the factors which are associated with the benefits from the adoption of ICTs amongst SMEs. In a study of the Greek SME sector the paper provides evidence that strategy plays a major role in the adoption and the appropriate use of ICTs.  Importantly their research also finds that prior entrepreneurial experience‑knowledge of ICT is significantly associated with the ICT performance. 

RFID technologies are increasingly used in a number of organisational settings for inventory control and management. Paul Golding and Vanesa Tennant contribute to our understanding of evaluation by proposing a methodology to evaluate the RFID inventory reader in a library.  Whilst the findings of this paper hone in on the application of RFID in a specific environment, the findings provide a basis for which evaluation of RFID in other similar contexts can take place, and thus adds to the conceptual base on RFID performance testing.

Notwithstanding many years of case studies and an increasing body of literature on ERP implementation and evaluation thereof questions continue to arise in respect of successful outcomes.  Brian O’Donovan and his co‑authors argue that during the ERP usage stage the intended efficiencies from ERP systems are not always realised. Having studied organisational memory mismatches and the resultant coping strategies their research posits that mismatches and short‑term coping strategies were found to contribute to ERP underperformance. 

In their paper Peter Weimann and co authors investigate the role of communications culture in a distributed team environment.  In assessing the role of ICTs in such an environment the paper argues that team member satisfaction and team success can only be accomplished if the communication culture in the company takes into account the technologies used and the distributed work setting. 

From amongst the various IS evaluation approaches, those apporaches which focus on the role of human stakeholders  are  worthy of a deeper understanding. Jeffrey Bagraim examines the multiple commitments of information technology knowledge workers and the related outcomes of such commitment. The results of his study challenges managers to review their assumptions about the organizational commitments of information technology knowledge workers.

Web 2.0 applications also receive attention in this issue.  Hooper and Evans investigate the value congruence of social networking services in New Zealand, and make an assessment of ethical information handling.  Their findings demonstrate significant shortcomings in the contractual relationships between the users and social networking services and they argue that this could be exploited in order to misuse personally identifiable data.

The paper by Racheal Lindsay and co‑authors discusses measures which are used to monitor data quality in the context of mobile devices in the UK police force.  Their findings show that whilst there are processes in place to verify data standards, these processes only take into consideration the structural completeness of data, and not other measurements of data quality, such as accuracy, timeliness, relevance, understandability and consistency.

Robbert in't Hout and coauthors studied how a wiki could be used to improve knowledge sharing.  The paper reports on a case study in which a consulting company was able to improve knowledge sharing amongst consultants during the devleopment of a Municipal Traffic and Transport Plan.  The findings  suggest that wikis need to be tuned to the learning styles that are available within the community that will use the tool.  In the context of knowledge sharing impolrtant lessons for wiki design are offered.

Finally, in a study of e‑government adoption, Rangarirai Matavire and co‑authors report on factors which inhibit the successful implementation of e‑government in South Africa. The findings of their research demonstrate that leadership, project fragmentation, perceived value of Information Technology, citizen inclusion and task co‑ordination are among the key inhibitors of e‑government success.

Shaun Pather and Corrie Uys

South Africa, October 2010

 

Keywords: affective commitment, boosting behaviour, communication culture, communication pattern, communication technology, data quality, e-Government, enterprise systems, entrepreneurial experience, ERP customising, ERP systems, ERP training, ERP usage, evaluation, grounded theory, helping behaviour, ICT-adoption, ICT-performance, ICT-strategy, interface design , knowledge management , law enforcement, library, mobile working, Municipal Traffic and Transport Planning, New Zealand Privacy Act 1993, ordinal regression, organisational memory, performance , personal security, personally identifiable information, privacy policies, RFID, social networking services , social software, South Africa, turnover intentions, value congruence, virtual teams, Wiki

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 10 Issue 1, ECITE 2006 Special / Jan 2007  pp1‑122

Editor: Dan Remenyi

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Editorial

Another edition of EJISE brings to the attention of the information systems community 10 more pieces of research into how information systems may be evaluated. The contributions in this issue are from 9 different countries and from a diverse range of universities and business schools.

When I first became actively interested in information systems’ evaluation in 1990 I had no idea of how wide and how deep an issue information systems evaluation was. I had thought that it was worth a few papers and maybe a book or two. Today my view is entirely different and I wonder if the community of information systems academics and practitioners will ever reach a point where by there will be a general agreement as to how to evaluate or assess information systems. My best guess would be that they probably will not.

However as it was put to me at the start of my university studies academics tend to have far more questions than answers and this may not necessarily be a ‘bad’ thing. If we continue to ask the right questions, even if we can’t find definitive answers we are effectively moving the frontier of knowledge forward. And that I suggest is, in the end, the most important objective of academe.

I hope that you will find a number of interesting topics among these 10 papers.

 

Keywords: IS integration, auditing, balanced score card, business process facilitation, case study, confidentiality, domain specific languages, e-Government project evaluation, enterprise information system, CEO framework, ex post evaluation, functional-operational match, ICT benefits, ICT evaluation, ICT project, information economics, Information System Architecture , IS outsourcing , IT evaluation, IT value assessment, knowledge management, meta-modelling tools, motivational factors, user satisfaction surveys, web content management, WLAN

 

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