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JOC Tables of Contents: 0102030405

Journal of Organizational Computing 5

Editors:Andrew B. Whinston
Publisher:Ablex Publishing
Standard No:ISSN 1054-1721
Links:Table of Contents
  1. JOC 1995 Volume 5 Issue 1
  2. JOC 1995 Volume 5 Issue 2
  3. JOC 1995 Volume 5 Issue 3
  4. JOC 1995 Volume 5 Issue 4

JOC 1995 Volume 5 Issue 1

The Effect of Team Composition on Decision Scheme, Information Search, and Perceived Complexity BIBAK 1-20
  H. Raghav Rao; Joon M. An
This study assesses the effect of team composition on decision schemes, perceived complexity, and external information search conducted during team problem-solving processes. The study draws on a systematic review of relevant literature in group psychology, organization behavior, and marketing science, and it is followed by a quasi-experimental study for verification of the propositions. The independent variable chosen is team composition: teams are classified into "experienced" teams and "inexperienced" teams. The intervening variables are external information search, decision schemes, and perceived complexity. The study has implications for team decision support system design.
Keywords: Team composition, Decision scheme, Information search, Perceived complexity
EBT: A Tool for Electronic Brainstorming Researchers BIBAKWeb Page 21-24
  Danial L. Clapper
EBT is a stand-alone electronic brainstorming tool designed specifically for researchers. It can be used for face-to-face as well as dispersed groups, and will work in a typical college computer lab LAN environment. Its features include anonymous and nonanonymous idea-generation modes, the ability to run multiple simultaneous sessions, and the option of generating a session logfile which indicates the originator and time of each idea generated during a session. EBT is available to researchers on the Internet via anonymous ftp.
Keywords: Electronic brainstorming, GSS, Group support systems, CMC, CSCW, Group tools, EMS
Desktop Multimedia Conferencing: IBMs Person to Person in Organizational Context BIBAK 25-29
  Schahram Dustdar
A trend in cooperative systems is the emergence of multimedia systems that aim to support synchronous cooperation in a manner which unifies both remote and colocated users. These systems combine information-sharing facilities provided in real time with video- and audiocommunication services. This review of IBM's desktop multimedia conferencing system Person to Person (P2P) presents the characteristics of its utilities. Further, it discusses some organizational impacts and implementation issues within an organizational context.
Keywords: Desktop multimedia conferencing, Organizational design, Organizational communication, CSCW
Dependent Variables for Organizational Computing Research: An Empirical Study BIBAK 31-51
  Clyde W. Holsapple; Wenhong Luo
An important area of organizational computing (OC) research involves empirical evaluation of OC systems. However, there has been insufficient work on identifying dependent variables that need to be measured to assess the impacts of such systems. We have previously suggested a framework from which various OC research models can be derived, each having five organization infrastructure purposes as dependent variables. In this article, we report on an empirical study conducted to verify that a) these five purposes are distinct dimensions of organizational performance and that b) collectively, they characterize the performance of an organization. The results show that the five purposes are considered to be important, distinct, and comprehensive factors in measuring organizational performance by management scholars.
Keywords: Organizational computing, Organization infrastructure, Organizational performance, Research methodology, Survey
The Role of Information Infrastructure and Intelligent Agents in Manufacturing Enterprises BIBAK 53-67
  Su-Shing Chen
Manufacturing is a complex application domain, traditionally a realm of engineers and factory workers. As we are in the information age, the manufacturing domain has become more dependent on information through the use of computers and computer-controlled machines. In the arena of advanced manufacturing, a number of concepts such as the "virtual corporation" and "virtual factory" have emerged, requiring that manufacturing be highly information-intensive and knowledge-based.
   This article examines the role of the information infrastructure and explores the use of intelligent agents in its implementation for advanced manufacturing enterprises. The information infrastructure forms a complex hierarchy of distributed, heterogeneous information systems. Intelligent agents play various roles at different levels of the hierarchy to provide interoperability, reliability, programmability, and controllability.
Keywords: Information infrastructure, Manufacturing enterprise, Intelligent agent

JOC 1995 Volume 5 Issue 2


Introduction to the Special Issue: WITS'92 BIB iii-iv
  Stuart E. Madnick; Veda C. Storey; Richard Y. Wang
Integrating Information from Global Systems: Dealing with the "On- and Off-Ramps" of the Information Superhighway BIBAK 69-82
  Stuart E. Madnick
The notion of an "information superhighway" has attracted considerable attention. It offers the possibility to access information from around the world in support of many important applications in areas such as finance, manufacturing, and transportation (e.g., global risk management, integrated supply chain management, and global in-transit visibility). Unfortunately, there are significant challenges to be overcome. One particular problem is context interchange, which can be thought of as dealing with the "on- and off-ramps" of the information superhighway. Each source of information and potential receiver of that information may operate with a different context. A context is the collection of implicit assumptions about the context definition (i.e., meaning) and context characteristics (i.e., quality) of the information. When the information moves from one context to another, it may be misinterpreted (e.g., sender expressed the price in French francs; receiver assumed that it meant U.S. dollars). This article describes various forms of context challenges and examples of potential context mediation services, such as data semantics acquisition, data quality attributes, and evolving semantics and quality, that can mitigate the problem.
Keywords: Global systems, Information superhighway, Information integration, Intelligent integration, Context interchange, Mediators, Data semantics, Data quality
Message Management Systems at Work: Prototypes for Business Communication BIBAK 83-100
  Scott A. Moore; Steven O. Kimbrough
In this article, we describe two applications based on a system for office communication that is more flexible and expressive than other systems. This system allows the computerization of tasks that previously required manual intervention because of each task's complexity. The applications, one automating office tasks and the other simulating a bicycle industry, highlight the system's ability to accommodate changes to the communication language. They also highlight the utility of both the formal language used by the system and the inferential model of communications used to interpret the messages.
Keywords: Electronic commerce, Office automation, Speech act theory, Communication tools, Electronic data interchange, Message management
A Qualitative Approach to Automatic Data Quality Judgment BIBAK 101-121
  Yeona Jang; Alexander T. Ishii; Richard Y. Wang
As the integration of information systems enables greater accessibility to multiple data sources, the issue of data quality becomes increasingly important. In general, data quality is determined by several factors, or quality parameters, which are often not independent of each other. As a consequence, it is often necessary to represent, and reason with, domain-specific knowledge about the relationships among quality parameters, if insightful judgments about the overall quality of data are to be made. This article presents a formulation of the data-quality judgment problem that is amenable to a "knowledge-based" approach, where a data consumer can input such domain-specific knowledge and then rely on an automated system to deduce information about overall data quality. A primary feature of this work is the notion of a data quality calculus. The data quality calculus is a data quality judgment framework based on a "census of needs," and provides a framework for deriving an overall data quality value from a collection of local relationships among quality parameters. By specifying new, or alternate, local relationships, individual data consumers can tailor the framework to reflect individual requirements. This customizability has the potential to be useful when various pieces of data come from different sources, some of which may be unfamiliar. Based on the calculus, it is possible to implement a data quality reasoner system that is capable of assisting data consumers in judging data quality.
Keywords: Data quality, Total data quality management, Ontological modeling, System design for data quality
Inference Channel Detection in Multilevel Relational Databases: A Graph-Based Approach BIBAK 123-138
  George T. Duncan; Ramayya Krishnan; Sumitra Mukherjee
In a multilevel relational (MLR) database, users are not allowed to access data classified at a level higher than their own security classification. However, it may be possible for a low-level user to infer high-level data. This article provides methods to detect and eliminate such inference channels. A graph-based representation of the database schema developed provides a convenient method for inference channel detection by reducing the problem to one of connectivity in the network. Inference channels are eliminated while imposing minimum restrictions on legitimate access using an algorithm based on minimum cut set identification. This approach is then extended to address the problems of abductive and probabilistic inference channels. An abductive inference channel is said to exist when information external to the database is used in the inference process. By demonstrating that only arcs between nodes in different strongly connected components may lead to abductive inference channels, the complexity of the problem of abductive inference channel detection is reduced. The uncertainty about the nature and extent of external information used in the inference process is captured by assigning subjective probabilities. Under the assumption of statistical independence, an algorithm based on identification of paths bounded in length is developed that is adequate for probabilistic inference channel detection. When this assumption is relaxed, upper bounds on the probability of the existence of inference channels is provided.
Keywords: Database security, Multilevel relational databases, Network optimization
Modeling Time-Performance Trade-Offs in Federated Databases BIBAK 139-166
  Abhirup Chatterjee; Arie Segev; Rakesh Chandra
One of the key roles played by information technology is to increase organizational productivity. However, an uncontrolled proliferation of heterogeneous DBMSs can affect the user in an adverse way. Query processing becomes a complicated problem in such an environment, as the same data item can have conflicting definitions and values in different databases. We introduce the Matching join for the heterogeneous environment where the tuples are compared of and joined if they match, where matching can be defined by the user's choice rules and weights. Matching joins are generally processing intensive and can interfere with the performance of the individual databases. The partitioning strategy introduced in this article can be used to reduce the query processing cost. This approach can also be applied to the general types of time-constrained queries.
Keywords: Federated database, Database management system, Rules, Approximation, Join, Graph theory, Weighted matching, Partitioning, Time constraints, Query optimization
A Classification of Semantic Conflicts in Heterogeneous Database Systems BIBAK 167-193
  Channah F. Naiman; Aris M. Ouksel
Increasingly companies are doing business in an environment replete with heterogeneous information systems which must cooperate. Cooperation between these systems presupposes the resolution of the semantic conflicts that are bound to occur. In this article, we propose a classification of semantic conflicts which can be used as the basis for the incremental discovery and resolution of these conflicts. We classify conflicts along the two dimensions of naming and abstraction, which, taken together, capture the semantic mapping of the conflict. We add a third dimension, level of heterogeneity, to assist in the schematic mapping between two databases. The classification provides a systematic representation of alternative semantic interpretations of conflicts during the reconciliation process. As a result, the design of query-directed dynamic reconciliation systems is possible. The classification is shown to be sound and minimal. Completeness is discussed.
Keywords: Heterogeneous database systems, Legacy systems, Semantic modeling, Classification of semantic conflicts, Context, Coordination, Reconciliation

JOC 1995 Volume 5 Issue 3

SPECIAL ISSUE: Economics of Information Systems

Introduction to the Special Issue on Economics of Information Systems BIB 195-196
  Anitesh Barua; William B. Richmond
Outsourcing Information System Functions: An Organization Economics Perspective BIBAK 197-217
  Paul Alpar; Aditya N. Saharia
Outsourcing of information systems functions has become a frequently chosen alternative of providing information systems services. This is true across many industries and all firm sizes. Practitioners have developed a number of guidelines relating to outsourcing. While many of these guidelines seem plausible their underlying economic reasons are often not identified because they are not based on any theory. We analyze outsourcing of information systems functions using the transaction cost economics framework. The framework allows us to incorporate production as well as coordination costs in evaluating the outsourcing option.
Keywords: IS outsourcing, Organization economics, Transaction cost, Markets, Hierarchies, Asset specificity
The Decision to Outsource IS Processing Under Internal Information Asymmetry and Conflicting Objectives BIBAK 219-253
  Eric T. G. Wang; Terry Barron
The central management's decision to outsource an organization's information processing to an external supplier is studied. The internal computing resource is represented by a queuing model; its manager has private information about the department's cost and has objectives that may differ from those of the organization. Outsourcing decision rules are derived for both the cost center and profit center organizational forms for the internal department. With a cost center, the IS manager must report on the department's cost parameter, which models his or her private information, in order for the central management to make its decision; a mechanism design approach is used to ensure truthful reporting. The decision is shown to be quite complex, depending in part on the shape of the long-run marginal cost function for the internal department, thus requiring considerable knowledge on the part of the central management. Full and no outsourcing are the most frequent outcomes, but partial outsourcing is optimal in one case. Various other implications are discussed, including the distortion of the decision caused by the information asymmetry and the beneficial effects of even the threat of outsourcing on the internal department's efficiency. In contrast, the decision rule for a profit center is very simple: The internal department should be retained as long as it can at least break even in the face of the external competition. Thus, very limited communication between the IS manager and central management suffices in this case. Again, full, partial, and no outsourcing are all possible as the optimal decision. The efficiency of the profit center can also be expected to be improved by the presence of the external source as the result of a reduction in its monopoly power.
Keywords: Management of information systems, Outsourcing, Information asymmetry, Mechanism design, Capacity choice, Cost center, Profit center
An Empirical Study of the Business Value of the U.S. Airlines' Computerized Reservations Systems BIBAK 255-275
  Rajiv D. Banker; Holly H. Johnston
The U.S. airlines' computerized reservations systems (CRSs) have frequently been cited as examples of the successful use of information technologies (ITs) for strategic purposes. Recent literature contains logical arguments and anecdotal evidence which suggest that the carriers that have invested in the systems have been able to use them, in concert with other operating and marketing strategies, to achieve competitive advantage. However, very little rigorous, model-based empirical evidence has been brought to bear on this issue. The purpose of this article is to develop economic models for examining the business value of the CRSs and to provide empirical evidence regarding that value during the early 1980s. The modelling builds upon previous research aimed at estimating the business value of ITs and is generalizable to estimating the value of ITs in other settings. We find that increases in the use of the CRSs were associated with more highly significant increases in their owners' shares of air passenger traffic than reductions in the costs of reservations and sales labor and travel agent commissions. Also, the associations for the two leading CRSs, American's Sabre and United's Apollo, were stronger and more highly significant than those for Delta's DATASII, Eastern's SODA, and TWA's PARS.
Keywords: Computerized reservations systems, Airlines, Information technology, Strategic information systems
Managerial Incentives and the Value of Information Systems Timeliness BIBAK 277-294
  Rajiv M. Dewan; Sanjeev Dewan
The emergence of "time-based competition" is making timeliness an increasingly important attribute of information systems in modern business organizations. This article focuses on the decision support role of information systems and examines the time value of information in delegated decision settings. We extend the principal-agent model to incorporate the timing of information in the agent's decision-making process. The analysis demonstrates that while more timely information results in higher value in the absence of incentive conflicts, more timely information is not necessarily more valuable in settings with incentive conflict. This potentially adverse impact of managerial incentives on the value of timeliness has to be considered in designing information systems. Consideration of user incentives may result in designing information systems that do not completely satisfy individual user "requirements," perhaps through suitable access restrictions.
Keywords: Timeliness, Incentive conflict, Principal-agent model, Delay cost, Information systems design
Optimal Policies for Subsidizing Supplier Interorganizational System Adoption BIBAK 295-325
  Frederick J. Riggins; Tridas Mukhopadhyay; Charles H. Kriebel
We develop a static two-stage model of network externalities where the buyer has adequate information about the suppliers' costs to join the network such that it is able to make differential subsidy payments. If the expected network size is small, suppliers encounter negative externalities as the buyer rewards the suppliers joining the system, but at a decreasing rate. On the other hand, if the expected network size is large, the buyer can exert increasing pressure on the few remaining suppliers to join the network, thus forcing positive externalities on these suppliers. We show that if the buyer can make differential subsidy payments, it may need to subsidize only a fraction of the nonjoiners up to a "spontaneous expansion point," after which the positive externalities force the remaining suppliers to join the network. We also examine a dynamic model where the suppliers' costs to join the network decrease over time. We show that in this case, the buyer should incorporate a "bang-bang" strategy, such that after some specified time period the buyer should immediately pay for the costs to join the network of all suppliers needed to reach the spontaneous expansion point.
Keywords: Differential subsidy payments, Electronic data interchange, Interorganizational systems, Network externalities
Bypass Trading and Market Quality in Electronic Securities Exchanges BIBAK 327-353
  Bruce W. Weber
Electronic financial markets use information technology to disseminate prices, quantities, and buyer and supplier identities. Increased visibility and market transparency have recognized benefits, but may introduce imperfections, and create profitable opportunities to "bypass" established exchanges. In the U.S., dissemination of real-time securities market information has equipped several firms to develop competing, off-exchange trading mechanisms that rely on central market price data, but whose transactions bypass the established market. Significant trading away from the principal market may reduce market quality and increase transactions costs. A simulation model of trading in a continuous auction market (similar to the market structure of the New York Stock Exchange) is used to examine the effects of increasing levels of trading activity through an off-exchange dealer. The results indicate competition from an alternative trading venue has mixed effects on the trading costs borne by investors -- raising costs for some and lowering them for others. Contrary to U.S. regulatory goals, off-market trading expands the role of profit-seeking dealers and lowers the probability that some investors' orders will execute.
Keywords: Electronic markets and transactions costs, Regulation of securities trading, Dealers and financial intermediaries, Market structure and market quality, Computer simulation of markets

JOC 1995 Volume 5 Issue 4

Nonverbal Cues in Computer-Mediated Communication, and the Effect of Chronemics on Relational Communication BIBAK 355-378
  Joseph B. Walther; Lisa C. Tidwell
Computer-mediated communication (CMC) has been described as lacking nonverbal cues, which affects the nature of interpersonal interaction via the medium. Yet much CMC conveys nonverbal cues in terms of chronemics, or time-related messages. Different uses of time signals in electronic mail were hypothesized to affect interpersonal perceptions of CMC senders and respondents. An experiment altered the time stamps in replicated e-mail messages in order to assess two time variations: (a) the time of day a message was sent and (b) the time lag until a reply was received. Results revealed significant interactions among these variables, and the task-orientation or socioemotional orientation of the verbal messages, which affected perceptions of communicators' intimacy/liking or dominance/submissiveness. Findings extend recent theories regarding social attributions and the adaptation of social cues in CMC behavior.
Keywords: Computer-mediated communication, Electronic mail, Temporal factors, Interpersonal judgments, Dominance, Intimacy/liking
Using Quiddities for Detecting Semantic Conflicts in Information Systems BIBAK 379-400
  Hemant K. Bhargava
When multiple people are involved in designing an information systems application, there can be conflicts in terminologies used by them for various elements represented in the application. These problems are recognized in database design, federated databases, knowledge-based systems, mathematical modeling systems, and cooperative work systems. A computer-based method for detecting such naming conflicts, once the users have declared certain additional information for all of the represented elements, is presented. The approach extends earlier work by Bhargava, Kimbrough, and Krishnan in the context of model integration. There is a description of how this additional information (called quiddity) is to be formulated and represented, and several automated procedures are presented that detect naming conflicts on the basis of this information. The practical utility of this approach is also discussed.
Keywords: Schema integration, Quiddities, Semantic conflicts, Collaborative computing
Collaborative Computing for Decision Support in Cardiovascular Consulting BIBAK 401-416
  Alexander B. Bordetsky; Pavel J. Levy
Vascular medicine is a newly developing discipline heavily based on geographically distributed consulting, and there is thus a strong need for computerized decision support in doctor-to-doctor collaboration for the management of vascular patients. The latest achievements in collaborative and multimedia computing for group decision support are incorporated into cardiovascular consulting. Feasibility analysis of the two basic components is addressed: (a) the communication system of collaborative computing as identified subject to the specifics of data flow and networking in geographically distributed cardiovascular consulting; and (b) the structure and representations for intelligent software agents that enable transfer of individual expert cardiovascular knowledge, support group brainstorming, and maintain the ongoing learning of group experience and analysis of patients cases.
Keywords: Groupware, Distributed decision support, Desktop videoconferencing, Knowledge-based agents, Cardiovascular consulting
Creating a Collaboratory in Cyberspace: Theoretical Foundation and an Implementation BIBAK 417-442
  Anitesh Barua; Ramnath Chellappa; Andrew B. Whinston
Internet applications such as the World Wide Web (WWW) have created the possibility of developing global collaborative platforms for supporting interactions between professionals and academics in various disciplines. While Web browsers such as Mosaic and Netscape have revolutionized the way we use the Internet, we envision the need for a theory-based approach to the development of Collaboratories on the Internet. Based on complementarity theory, we provide a conceptual foundation for designing Collaboratories which maximize users' value through the judicious choice of complementary design factors. We emphasize the need for developments in the area of "open" collaborative systems, and suggest that analyzing the design problem from a complementarity theory standpoint can lead to useful insights regarding the value users derive from the system. We also describe the design and an early implementation of an MIS Collaboratory, which uses this theoretical foundation to organize information and to provide a forum for document-centric, multimedia interactions between users. While the prototype focuses on the MIS discipline, we believe that the general principles of our design are applicable to other areas as well.
Keywords: Collaboration, Rich interactions, Information access, Internet, World Wide Web (WWW), Complementarity, Open systems