Decision, Operations and Information Technologies
The Robert H. Smith School of Business
University of Maryland
BMGT 808U, Spring 2008
Doctoral Seminar in Information Systems Research
Instructor: Anand Gopal
4307 Van Munching Hall
Class Meets: Wed, 10:00 – 12:30
Location: 4440 VMH
This is a seminar on information systems research and will cover theories and papers that are becoming
central to the IS field. While the bulk of the readings in the course are motivated by IS-specific issues,
they are often found in journals that are not IS – this is intentional and is meant to introduce a sense of
being a “business scholar” in you rather than an IS scholar. A primary goal of doctoral seminars is to
introduce the student to the process of becoming a consumer of research papers as well as to understand
how to produce (and publish) research. To that extent, your complete participation in all aspects of the
course is required.
While it is always hard to clearly compartmentalize existing research into neat topics, I have tried to
divide the readings in this class by theories. In each “bucket”, you will find the seminar readings for that
theoretical paradigm along with 2-3 papers that validate test that paradigm empirically. The focus is on
understanding the theoretical underpinnings first and then understand how these are tested using data.
Note that the readings provided are a representative sampling of the existing research in an area – you are
welcome to do a “deep dive” into these topics if you would like.
Since this is not your first doctoral seminar, I will not go into detail on the mechanics of the reading,
evaluating, judging and reviewing process for assigned research papers. More on this in person.
TEXTS AND READINGS
The readings for the course are composed of research papers and some book chapters. You are
responsible for locating and reading the research papers – most of them are available online. In some
cases, I will photocopy relevant chapters from textbooks if required. The one book that I recommend you
buy for the course is an excellent (and accessible) introduction to contract theory, listed below.
An Introduction to the Economics of Information: Incentives and Contracts by Ines Macho-Stadler,
J. David Perez-Castrillo, and Richard Watt (Paperback - April 20, 2001)
The readings for the class may also change as and when new information is revealed (to me and to you). I
will however do my best to give you some advance notice of the changes.
COURSE ASSIGNMENTS AND GRADING
There are three components to your grade in this class.
1. Research Proposal: at the end of the semester, you are required to turn in a research proposal
and/or paper that represent original, insightful and potentially publishable work. The proposal
will be a complete piece of work with theory, model, literature review, proposed (or completed)
data collection and a discussion of how it adds to current knowledge in the field. An interim
working proposal will be due in the middle of the semester. You will also present your paper at
the end of the semester. 40%
2. Class participation and lead discussion role in assigned papers. 30%
3. “Hail-Mary” Paper: I have often noticed that doctoral students tend to be very conservative in
choosing research topics – understandably, risk aversion suggests that you stick to existing topics
and extend these models incrementally rather than look for risky but potentially high-payoff
topics with little or no prior work. Therefore, witness the nth additional paper on TAM, the n+1th
paper on innovation diffusion and the n+2th paper on business value of IT. While these papers
are no doubt important, as a doctoral student, you are in the best position to take risks and venture
out into hitherto uncharted territory. This assignment is to force you to do so. You will prepare a
short paper (~20 pages) outlining a research idea, model or analysis on a topic that has less than 5
prior references1. Cross-disciplinary ideas are welcome, as are ideas using new and possible
novel methodologies. I will evaluate this paper on novelty and riskiness rather than on the
traditional factors of rigor, theoretical coherence and statistical defensibility. This paper is due
end of the semester though you’re welcome to talk to me about this anytime. 30%
CLASS DISCUSSION LEADERSHIP
A key aspect of preparing for an academic career is the ability to lead and direct an academic discussion.
Each student will adopt ownership of one paper in each session and lead the class discussion through the
relevant aspects of the paper. You are also required to read and understand the other papers in the session.
Students in class: Shun, Yixin, Oliver, Jiban and Dobin
If you want a great example of this, read John Nash’s seminal papers on games (Econometrica, 1950).
Introduction. Session 1, 30th January
Starbuck, W.H. 2005. “How Much Better Are the Most-Prestigious Journals? The Statistics of
Academic Publication”, Organization Science. Vol. 16, Iss. 2; pg. 180-203
Glick, W.H., Miller, C.C. and Cardinal, L.B. 2007. “Making a Life in the Field of Organization
Science”, Journal of Organizational Behavior. In Press
Tushman, M. and O’Reilly, C. 2007. “Research and Relevance: Implications for Pasteur’s
Quadrant for Doctoral Programs and Faculty Development”, Academy of Management Journal.
Vol. 50, 4. Pp. 769-774
Software Development, Cost Estimation and Economies of Scale, Session 2, 6th February
Jorgensen, M. and Shepperd, M. 2007. “A Systematic Review of Software Development Cost
Estimation Studies”, IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering. Vol. 33, 1. Pp. 33-55. Shun
J.E. Matson, B.E. Barrett, and J.M. Mellichamp, 1994. “Software Development Cost Estimation
Using Function Points,” IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering. Vol. 20. Pp. 275-287.
Banker, R.D. and Slaughter, S.A. 1997. “A Field Study of Scale Economies in Software
Maintenance”, Management Science. Vol. 43, 12. Pp. 1709-1726. Jiban
Mukhopadhyay, T., Vicinanza, S. and Prietula, M. 1992. "Examining the Feasibility of a Case-
based Reasoning Model for Software Effort Estimation," MIS Quarterly, Vol. 16, 2. Pp. 155-171.
Maxwell, K., Van Wassenhove, L. and Dutta, S. 1999. “Performance evaluation of general and
company specific models in software development effort estimation”, Management Science. Vol.
45, 6. Pp. 787-805. Oliver
Software Development Performance – Quality, Productivity, Cycle Time, Session 3, 13th February
Kekre, S., Krishnan, M.S. and Srinivasan, K. 1995. “Drivers of Customer Satisfaction for
Software Products: Implications for Design and Service Support”, Management Science. Vol. 41,
9. Pp. 1456-1470. Dobin
Guinan, P.J., Cooprider, J.G. and Faraj, S. 1998. “Enabling Software Development Team
Performance During Requirements Definition: A Behavioral versus Technical Approach”,
Information Systems Research. Vol. 9, 2. Pp. 101-125. Yixin
Krishnan, M. S., C. H. Kriebel, S. Kekre, T. Mukhopadhyay. 2000. “An Empirical Analysis of
Productivity and Quality in Software Products”, Management Science. Vol. 46, 6. Pp. 745-759.
Ravichandran, T. and Rai, A. 2000. “Quality management in systems development: An
organizational system perspective”, MIS Quarterly, Vol.24, 3. Pp 381-415. Shun
Slaughter, S.A., Levina, L., Balasubramaniam, R., Preis-Heje, J. and Baskerville, R. 2006.
“Aligning Software Processes With Strategy”, MIS Quarterly. Vol. 30, 4. Pp. 891-918. Jiban
Organizational Control, Session 4, 20th February
Ouchi, W.G. “A conceptual framework for the design of organizational control mechanisms,”
Management Science (25:9), 1979, pp. 833-848. Jiban
Eisenhardt, K.M. “Control: Organization and Economic Approaches,” Management Science (31:
2), 1985, pp. 134-149. Yixin
Henderson, J.C., and Lee, S. “Managing IS design teams: A control theories perspective,”
Management Science (38: 6), 1992, pp. 757-777. Shun
Choudhury, V. and Sabherwal, R. “Portfolios of Control in Outsourced Software Development
Projects”, Information Systems Research (14:3), 2003, pp. 291-314. Dobin
Kirsch, L.J., Sambamurthy, V., Ko, D-G., Purvis, R.L. “Controlling Information Systems
Development Projects: The View from the Client,” Information Systems Research (48: 4), 2002,
pp. 484 –498. Oliver
Kirsch, L.J. “Portfolios of control modes and IS project management,” Information Systems
Research (8: 3), 1997, pp. 215-239.
Kirsch, L.J. “The Management of Complex Tasks in Organizations: Controlling The Systems
Development Process,” Organization Science (7:1), 1996, pp. 1-21.
Coordination Theory, Session 5, 27th February
Van de Ven, A. H., L. A. Delbecq, and R. J. Koenig. 1976. “Determinants of coordination modes
within organizations”, American Sociological Review. Vol. 41. Pp. 322-338. Dobin
Malone, T.W., and Crowston, K. 1994. "The Interdisciplinary Study of Coordination",
Computing Surveys. Vol. 26, 1. Pp 87-119. Oliver
Faraj, S., and Sproull, L. "Coordinating expertise in software development teams,". 2000.
Management Science. Vol. 46, 12. Pp. 1554-1568. Yixin
Nidomolu, S. 1995. "The Effect of Coordination and Uncertainty on Software Project
Performance: Residual Performance Risk as an Intervening Variable," Information Systems
Research. Vol. 6, 3. Pp 191-219. Jiban
Espinosa, J.A., Slaughter, S.A., Kraut, R.E. and Herbsleb, J.D. 2007. “Familiarity, Complexity,
and Team Performance in Geographically Distributed Software Development”, Organization
Science. Vol. 18, 4. Pp. 613-634. Shun
Kraut, R.E., and Streeter, L.A. "Coordination in software development," Communications of the
ACM (38:3) 1995, pp 69-81.
Herbsleb, J.D.a.M., A. "An Empirical Study of Speed and Communication in Globally
Distributed Software Development," IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering (29:6) 2003, pp
Transaction Cost Theory, Session 6, 5th March
Williamson, O.E. 1979. “Transaction-Cost Economics: The Governance of Contractual
Relations”. Journal of Law and Economics. Vol. 22, 2. Pp. 233 - 261. Shun
Ghosal, S., and Morgan, P. 1996. “Bad for Practice: A Critique of Transaction Cost Theory,”
Academy of Management Review, Vol. 21, pp. 13-47. Jiban
Ang, S. and Straub, D. 1998, "Production and Transaction Economies and IS Outsourcing: A
Study of the U.S. Banking Industry," MIS Quarterly, Vol. 22, 4, pp. 535-552. Oliver
Zaheer, A. and Venkatraman, N. 1994. “Determinants of Electronic Integration in the Insurance
Industry: An Empirical Test”. Management Science. Vol. 40, 5. pp. 549 - 565. Yixin
Clemons, E.K., Reddi, S.P. and Row, M.C. 1993. “The Impact of Information Technology on
the Organization of Economic Activity: The “Move to the Middle” Hypothesis”. Journal of
Management Information Systems. Vol. 10, 2. pp. 9 - 35. Dobin
Malone, T.W., Yates, J. and Benjamin, R.I. 1987. “Electronic Markets and Electronic
Hierarchies”. Communications of the ACM, Vol. 30. pp. 484 - 497.
Behavioral Agency Theory, Session 7, 12th March
Eisenhardt, K. 1989. "Agency Theory: An Assessment and Review," The Academy of
Management Review, Vol. 14, 1, pp. 57-76. Yixin
Oh, W., Gallivan, M., and Kim, J., 2006, “The Market's Perception of the Transactional Risks of
Information Technology Outsourcing Announcements,” Journal of Management Information
Systems, Vol. 22, 4, pp. 271-303. Dobin
Roth, K. and O’Donnell, S. 1996. “Foreign Subsidiary Compensation Strategy: An Agency
Theory Perspective”. Academy of Management Journal. Vol. 39, 3. Pp. 678-703. Jiban
Umanath, N.S., Ray, M.R. and Campbell, T.L. 1993. “The Impact of Perceived Environmental
Uncertainty and Perceived Agent Effectiveness on the Composition of Compensation Contracts”.
Management Science. Vol. 39, 1. Pp. 32-45. Oliver
Spring Break, 19th March, No class
Contract Theory, Session 8, 26th March
Macho-Stadler and Perez-Castrillo - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3 and Chapter 4
Allen, D. and Lueck, D. 1992. “Contract Choice in Modern Agriculture: Cash-Rent versus
Cropshare”. Journal of Law and Economics. Vol. 35, 2. Pp. 397-426. Yixin
Crocker, K.J. and Reynolds, K.J. 1993. “The Efficiency of Incomplete Contracts: An Empirical
Analysis of Air Force Engine Procurement”. Rand Journal of Economics. 24, 2. Pp.126-147.
Banerjee, A.V. and Duflo, E. 2000. “Reputation Effects and the Limits of Contracting: A Study
of the Indian Software Industry”. Quarterly Journal of Economics. Vol. 115(3). Pp. 989-1017.
Kalnins, A. and Mayer, K.J. 2004. “Relationships and Hybrid Contracts: An Analysis of Contract
Choice in Information Technology”. Journal of Law, Economics and Organization. Vol. 20, 1.
Pp. 207-229. Oliver
Gopal, A. and Sivaramakrishnan, K. 2008. “On Selecting Appropriate Contract Types for
Offshore Software Projects: The Case of Fixed Price versus Time and Materials Contracts”,
Forthcoming, Information Systems Research. 2008. Shun
Institutional Theory, Session 9, 2nd April
DiMaggio, P.J. and Powell, W.W. 1983. “The Iron Cage Revisited: Institutional Isomorphism
and Collective Rationality in Organizational Fields”. American Sociological Review, Vol.48,
Meyer, J.W. and Rowan, B. 1983, “Institutionalized Organizations: Formal Structure as Myth and
Ceremony”. American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 83, 2, Pp. 340-363. Dobin
Ang, S. and Cummings, L.L. 1997. “Strategic Responses to Institutional Influences on
Information Systems Outsourcing”, Organization Science, Vol. 8, 3. Pp. 235-256.Oliver
Eisenhardt, K.M. 1988. “Agency and Institutional Theory Explanations: The Case of Retail Sales
Compensation”. Academy of Management Journal. Vol. 31, 3. Pp. 488-511. Shun
Teo, H.H., Wei, K.K., and Benbasat, I. 2003. “Predicting Intention to Adopt Interorganizational
Linkages: An Institutional Perspective”. MIS Quarterly. Vol. 27, 1. Pp. 1-31. Jiban
Relational Exchange Theory, Session 10, 9th April
Ring, P.S. and Van de Ven, A.H. 1992. “Structuring Co-operative Relationships between
Organizations”, Strategic Management Journal. Vol. 13. Pp. 483-498. Oliver
Poppo, L. and Zenger, T. 2002. “Do formal contracts and relational governance function as
substitutes or complements?”, Strategic Management Journal. Vol. 23. 8. Pp. 707. Shun
Zaheer A, Venkatraman N. 1995. Relational governance as an interorganizational strategy: an
empirical test of the role of trust in economic exchange. Strategic Management Journal 16(5):
Artz, K.W. and Brush, T.H. 2000. “Asset specificity, uncertainty and relational norms: An
examination of coordination costs in collaborative strategic alliances”, Journal of Economic
Behavior & Organization. Vol. 41, 4; pp. 337. Yixin
Crocker, K.J. and Masten, S.E. 1991. “Pretia Ex Machina? Prices and Process in Long-Term
Contracts”, Journal of Law and Economics. Vol. 34, 1. Pp. 69-100. Jiban
Signaling Theory, Session 11, 16th April
Macho-Stadler and Perez-Castrillo - Chapter 5
King, A.A., Lenox, M.J and Terlaak, A. 2005. “The Strategic Use of Decentralized Institutions:
Exploring Certification with the ISO 14001 Management Standard”. Academy of Management
Journal. Vol. 48, 6. Pp. 1090-1106. Oliver
Basuroy, S., Desai, K and Talukdar, D. 2006. “An Empirical Investigation of Signaling in the
Motion Picture Industry”. Journal of Marketing Research. Vol. 43, 2; Pp. 1. Jiban
Wimmer, B.S. and Chezum, B. 2003. “An empirical examination of quality certification in a
"lemons market"”, Economic Inquiry. Vol. 41, 2. Pp. 279-292. Shun
Gopal, A. and Gao, G. “Certification in the Indian Offshore Services Industry”. Working Paper.
University of Maryland. Dobin
Contingency Theory / Information Processing, Session 12, 23rd April
Technology, Innovation and Productivity, Session 13, 30th April
Study Break, No Class, 7th May
Project Presentations, 14th May