Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 16 Number 1 1999 pp. 3-9

Editorial Introduction

Zwass, Vladimir


SEVERAL PAPERS OPENING THE PRESENT ISSUE RELATE TO ORGANIZATIONAL knowledge management. Information systems that offer support in this area, known as knowledge management systems, have become possible with the growing capabilities of computer systems and, in particular, with exponentially expanding connectivity among them. This support has become necessary as organizational knowledge has been recognized to be a principal source of competitive advantage. A broad organizational initiative is called for in leveraging knowledge to achieve strategic goals. Knowledge management has been defined as the development and operation of organizational methods, procedures, and information systems that are used to collect and share the knowledge and experience of the members of the organization, as well as to elaborate and disseminate external knowledge, and to bring this knowledge to bear on problems and opportunities [5].

Corporate knowledge spans a vast area that covers, among other things, know-how, much of it in the realm of tacit knowledge, the distributed stores of electronic documents, and intellectual property. Companies in different lines of business, such as Arthur Andersen, Monsanto, and Buckman Labs, have become exemplars in strategically deploying knowledge management with extensive information system support. A vast array of software products for the purpose have come to the market. Various products in this category enable corporate knowledge portals, tap into the enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to provide the knowledge needed to carry out business processes, provide access to firms' experts by expertise profiling, automatically tag, classify, and index electronic documents to make them available over intranets, organize group memories, and serve myriad other tasks that integrate the networks of organizational knowledge. Yet software products do not knowledge management make, as our definition given above will tell you. Much thinking about organizational knowledge as a resource, possibly reflected on balance sheets [2], and much system thinking and information system building needs to be done.

The Special Section devoted to data mining, whose Guest Editors are H. Michael Chung and Paul Gray, highlights the techniques that can lead to the discovery of new elements of organizational knowledge from databases. The three papers included in the Special Section make distinct contributions here. The first of them offers a prototype system that assists users in hypothesizing relationships among data in databases and in obtaining an initial indication of the hypotheses validity, and thus in potentially expanding the organizational store of knowledge if the hypotheses are later verified. The second paper studies the adequacy of the well-known data-classification methods for the data that belong to multiple categories. The final paper of the section uses a data-mining approach to develop bankruptcy prediction models suitable, respectively, for a normally operating economy and for crisis conditions prevailing recently in some parts of the world; the predictions are accompanied by an explanation of conclusions, which knowledge is highly useful to financing institutions. In their introduction, the Special Section Guest Editors offer a fine introduction indeed both to the data mining and to the research on the subject. Recent market valuation of companies with vast data warehouses available for data mining tells us about its strategic importance [1].

In the paper that opens the general section of the issue, Timo K. K„k"l„ and Kalle I. Koota present a conceptual design and a prototype of an information system expressly developed from the standpoint of supporting the creation of organizational knowledge and fostering double-loop learning. The paper is deeply rooted in philosophical and other theoretical work that it invokes-it is indeed a paper with a point of view. The work specifies and exemplifies with a prototype the design principles of an information system that would facilitate the sharing of organizational knowledge about work processes and refining it during the reflective practice with the use of the system. This raises the bar for higher-level performance in the future. The authors also discuss the tenets of a knowledge-based organization that would benefit most from such an information system and of the methods for work-process benchmarking that would serve to continually ratchet up the organization's performance.

The work in the area of knowledge management overlaps with that on the information system support for organizational memory. An organization may develop an Organizational Memory Information System (OMIS) to manage its own appropriated knowledge effectively in all its aspects. The underpinning of an OMIS is a broad design theory, grounded in the competing values model of organizational effectiveness, within which many contingency-dependent implementations are possible [4]. The process of an OMIS development can take many paths; indeed, considering the nature of the system and the fact that it emerges over a long period of time, it would be surprising if any two such trajectories coincided. Nevertheless, in his paper, Fons Wijnhoven is able to identify several variables that form an origin of a contingency-based theory of OMIS development. He partly induces this contingency framework from the analysis of three cases. Wijnhoven also discusses the relationships between the support of organizational memory and knowledge management.

Taken together, the above papers make a collective contribution to help us think about the information system support for organizational knowledge management more conceptually, yet without departing from the organizational realities.

In the next paper, Magid Igbaria and Tor Guimaraes empirically compare the intentions of telecommuters and those of office dwellers to quit their job. The authors develop a research model that relates job stressors to the overall satisfaction levels, and thus to the turnover intention. With information technology the essential enabler in telecommuting, the results the authors obtain are both interesting theoretically and highly relevant to MIS managers' thinking.

Surinder S. Kahai and Randolph B. Cooper study the effect of the use of computer-mediated communication systems, a class of information systems that includes group support systems, on the outcome of a group process. More specifically, they study the effect of the aspects surrounding the problem-solving communication on the agreement ("yes, I want this") or acceptance ("OK, I will go along for now") by participants. The difference between the two attitudes with respect to the implementation of a decision is clear. This work helps us draw certain conclusions as to how to promote a true agreement rather than end up with acquiescence and possible subversion of a decision through counterimplemention.

The paper by Choong Nyoung Kim and Raymond McLeod, Jr., makes a contribution to the area of expert modeling, that is, modeling how decisions are made by a human expert. The authors compare the performance of several models with that of human experts and analyze the results with respect to predictive validity innovatively using a concept of the validity of the decision strategy. This work can lead to a further refinement of expert-system performance.

The adoption of technologies in less-developed countries (LDCs) is heavily dependent on the role that these countries' institutions, as well as the international community, play-or fail to play. Ramiro Montealegre empirically validates a temporal model of institutional intervention in the adoption of information technologies in LDCs derived from [3]. Montealegre analyzes the process of the adoption of the Internet in four Latin American countries. He introduces a convincing argument that a number of deficiencies that would appear inevitably to delay such an adoption can in fact be overcome if a number of right institutional actions are undertaken. This is certainly a word to the wise.

As the Journal enters its sixteenth year of publication, which will bring us into a new millenium to boot, it is my pleasure and privilege to uphold our tradition and thank the Editorial Board, authors, readers, and technical editors of JMIS for their contribution. As always, particular thanks are offered to the Journal's reviewers, who are the primary guarantors of its quality.

These are the referees of the Journal of Management Information Systems:

Tarek K. Abdel-Hamid

Ritu Agarwal

Pervaiz Alam

Murugan Anandarajan

Urton Anderson

Lynda M. Applegate

Gad Ariav

Yiorgos D. Athanassatos

Paul Attewell

Barbro Back

Yannis Bakos

P.R. Balasubramanian

Dirk Baldwin

Dinesh Batra

Salvatore Belardo

Michael Benaroch

Francois Bergeron

Bijoy Bordoloi

Bruce E. Breeding

Carol V. Brown

Robert M. Brown

Terry A. Byrd

Anthony G. Cahill

Edward G. Cale, Jr.

John V. Carlis

Judith Carlisle

Sven Carlsson

Erran Carmel

Houston H. Carr

William J. Carroll

Robert P. Cerveny

Patrick Chau

Hong-Mei Chen

Minder Chen

Hsing Kenneth Cheng

Robert T.H. Chi

Roger Chiang

William C. Chismar

Jong-min Choe

Joobin Choobineh

H. Michael Chung

Jon D. Clark

Roger Clarke

Sue Conger

Randy Cooper

Timothy P. Cronan

David C. Croson

Paul Cule

Ronald Dattero

Donald L. Davis

Alan Dennis

Sandra Dewitz

Ali Dogramaci

Brian L. Dos Santos

Peter Duchessi

Phillip Ein-Dor

Omar A. El Sawy

Gregg Elofson

Hyun B. Eom

Steven Feiner

Kirk Fiedler

Jerry Fjermestad

Michael Flam

Steven W. Floyd

Edward Fox

Nelson Fraiman

Richard Furuta

Michael J. Gallivan

Edward J. Garrity

Bezalel Gavish

Erol Gelenbe

Mark Ginsburg

Janis L. Gogan

Jerry Golub

Martin D. Goslar

Paul Gray

Gary I. Green

Saul Greenberg

Robert K. Griffin

Michael D. Grigoriades

Varun Grover

Tor Guimaraes

Jatinder N.D. Gupta

Joanne E. Hale

Jacob Hagouel

Il-Horn Hann

Paul Hart

Stephen Hayne

Roxanne Starr Hiltz

Rudy Hirschheim

Lorin M. Hitt

Richard Hoffman

Qing Hu

Cary T. Hughes

Ard Huizing

E. Gerald Hurst

Tomasz Imielinski

Gretchen I. Irwin

Tomas Isakowitz

Bharat A. Jain

Marius A. Janson

Matthias Jarke

Sirkka L. Jarvenpaa

Per V. Jenster

Linda Ellis Johnson

Roy Jones

Stef Joosten

Kailash Joshi

Charles Kacmar

Surinder Kahai

Timo Kakola

Ajit Kambil

P.K. Kannan

Jahangir Karimi

Michael Kattan

Mark Keil

Robert T. Keim

Chris Kemerer

Julie E. Kendall

William J. Kettinger

Omar E.M. Khalil

Melody Y. Kiang

Ruth C. King

Gary Klein

Esther Koster

Kenneth A. Kozar

Ramayya Krishnan

Uday Kulkarni

Ram Kumar

Mary C. Lacity

Simon S.K. Lam

Gwynne Larsen

Tor J. Larsen

Heeseok Lee

Ho Geun Lee

Jungwoo Lee

Dorothy Leidner

Richard Leifer

Mary Jane Lenard

Hugo Levecq

Ting-Peng Liang

Jack M. Ligon

Yihwa Irene Liou

Astrid Lipp

Henry C. Lucas, Jr.

Kalle Lyytinen

William McCarthy

Jane M. Mackay

Roy McKelvey

Ephraim R. McLean

Poppy L. McLeod

Gregory Madey

Simha R. Magal

Mo A. Mahmood

David Maier

Ji-Ye Mao

Salvatore T. March

Anne P. Massey

Charles H. Mawhinney

Roberto J. Mejias

Robert Minch

Shaila Miranda

Rajesh Mirani

William H. Money

Ali R. Montazemi

Janette Moody

Ajay S. Mookerjee

Scott Moore

Michael D. Myers

Kathleen Mykytyn

Peter P. Mykytyn, Jr.

Barin N. Nag

Murli Nagasundaram

R. Ryan Nelson

Boon Siong Neo

Rosalie Ocker

Lorne Olfman

James Oliver

Levent Orman

Richard Orwig

Jonathan W. Palmer

Raymond R. Panko

Lee Papayanopoulos

Michael Parent

Diane Parente

Daniel Pariveni

Kenneth Peffers

Norman Pendegraft

Mark Pendergast

Roger A. Pick

Leo L. Pipino

Robert Plant

Steven Poltrock

Gerald Post

Jayesh Prasad

G. Premkumar

Sandeep Purao

S. Raghunathan

T.S. Raghunathan

Arik Ragowsky

Arun Rai

Rex Kelly Rainer, Jr.

Sudha Ram

K.S. Raman

B. Ramesh

Richard G. Ramirez

Renu Ramnarayanan

H.R. Rao

R. Ravichandran

T. Ravichandran

Sury Ravindran

Amy W.Ray

Louis Raymond

Paul Resnick

William B. Richmond

Frederick Riggins

Daniel Robey

Michael C. Row

David L. Russell

Young U. Ryu

Timo Saarinen

Rajiv Sabherwal

Sharon Salveter

G. Lawrence Sanders

Radhika Santhanam

John Satzinger

Carol Saunders

Naveed Saleem

George Schell

K.D. Schenk

Irmtraud S. Seeborg

Arie Segev

Kishore Sengupta

Vikram Sethi

Kenneth C. Sevcik

Dennis G. Severance

Theresa M. Shaft

Steven Sheetz

Jim Sheffield

Olivia Sheng

Michael Shields

J.P. Shim

Siew Kien Sia

Mark S. Silver

Atish P. Sinha

Peggy C. Smith

Charles A. Snyder

Eric W. Stein

John M. Stevens

Veda Storey

Ashok Subramanian

Girish Subramanian

Ramesh Subramanian

Ephraim Sudit

Robert T. Sumichrast

Shankar Sunarajan

Arun Sundararajan

Julius Surkis

Edward J. Szewczak

Kar Yan Tam

Bernard C.Y. Tan

Mohan R. Tanniru

Alfred Taudes

David P. Tegarden

James T.C. Teng

Hock-Hai Teo

Thompson Teo

Matthew Thatcher

Ron Thompson

James Y.L. Thong

John Tillquist

Leon van der Torre

Jonathan K. Trower

Duane Truex

Jon A. Turner

Brad Tuttle

Craig K. Tyran

N.S. Umanath

Ari Vepsalainen

Boris S. Verkhovsky

Iris Vessey

Ajay Vinze

Jason Wang

Michael S. Wang

Shouhong Wang

Y. Richard Wang

Yu-ming Wang

Carol Watson

Richard Watson

Mary Beth Watson-Manheim

Aaron Watters

Bruce Weber

Peter Weill

Charles E. Wells

Larry West

J. Christopher Westland

Seungjin Whang

Michael E. Whitman

George Widmeyer

Kristoff K. Wolyniec

Hans Wortmann

Surya B. Yadav

Beck Yang

Chee Sing Yap

Evangelos Yfantis

Ilze Zigurs

Moshe Zviran

I trust you will find the papers interesting.




1. Brannigan, M. Quintiles seeks mother lode in health "data mining." Wall Street Journal (March 2, 1999), B4.

2. Edvinson, L., and Malone, M.S. Intellectual Capital: Realizing Your Company's True Value by Finding Its Hidden Brainpower. New York: HarperBusiness, 1997.

3. King, J.L.; Gurbaxani, V.; Kraemer, K.L.; McFarlan, F.W.; Raman, K.S.; and Yap, C.S. Institutional factors in information technology innovation. Information Systems Research, 5, 2 (June 1994), 139-169.

4. Stein, E.W., and Zwass, V. Actualizing organizational memory with information systems. Information Systems Research, 6, 2 (June 1995), 85-117.

5. Zwass, V. Foundations of Information Systems. Boston: Irwin/McGraw-Hill, 1998.

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