Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 35 Number 1 2018 pp. 1-11

Editorial Introduction

Zwass, Vladimir

This thirty-fifth volume of JMIS opens with the important Special Issue devoted to “Financial Information Systems and the Fintech Revolution.” The Special Issue brings to us six studies that illustrate what our field can contribute to the understanding and progress of a key phenomenon in the advanced information age we all live in. The guest editors, Peter Gomber, Robert J. Kauffman, Chris Parker, and Bruce W. Weber, have distinguished themselves as the thought leaders in the field both through their research and practice. The guest editors will introduce to you the articles they have included in the Special Issue, each of which makes a significant novel contribution to our knowledge about various aspects of financial information systems.

The financial technology (fintech) emerging on the foundation of the Internet-Web has been driving a fundamental change to the financial sector of our economy. The massive connectivity, the almost universal mobile accessibility, the computational capabilities growing exponentially in “the second half of the chessboard” driven inexorably by Moore’s law, the progress in artificial intelligence since its turn toward deep learning, are all mutually reinforcing and underwrite the Fintech Revolution we are witnessing. The revolution has been intensifying over past two decades, if we wish to date its origins to the launch of PayPal as a person-to-person (P2P) payment platform in 1998. As it is with revolutions, things change gradually and then suddenly, to repurpose the words of Ernest Hemingway.

Fintech startups, funded largely by venture capital (VC, another aspect of the modern financial sector), have led the charge. Indeed, several properties of VC make it especially suited to financing the uncertain investments in these startups: taking equity stakes rather than debt; and pooled investment in sequential tranches well-aligned with the rapid scalability of the intangibles-based businesses [1]. The fintech startups have innovated notably in areas such as payments and transaction processing; retail and investment banking; lending; insurance; international remittances; and advisory and money management. Among the direct major changes we see at present is the emergence of blockchain technology as a distributed ledger without central control that is becoming an infrastructure for many asset-management systems and potentially has the larger future in smart contracts and, indeed, reorganizing the foundations of organizations as we know them.

The incumbent banks, relying (and sometimes overrelying) on the advantages of bigness, resist the future of becoming utilities delivering commodity services to the upstart startups that would own the profitable client relationships. New and powerful phenomena such as nonbank banks, direct equity placements, crowdfunding, and ubiquitous touch points supported by the Internet of Things, are gaining scale and threatening to elude the traditional banks. Indeed, cryptocurrencies, whether Bitcoin, Ethereum, or one of their successors, may threaten the banks of issue. The existing banks are not sleeping at the switch, of course. The advantages of bigness, such as various forms of very considerable capital, scale of relationships with customers and clients, economies of scale and scope, and access to the lawmaking and regulatory processes, are always there. Innovation can be brought in by the acquisition of or partnership with truly innovative smaller companies, or fostered by attempting to adopt their ways. Citigroup, a leader among the mega-banks, has created Citi FinTech, as a skunkworks operation that is meant to instill financial innovation throughout the bank. Several banks have acquired robo-advisor startups and trading platforms, among other forms of fintech. The victors and the vanquished remain to be seen; the multifocal change is the only thing that is certain. There is one thing we know about revolutions: The outcomes cannot be foretold.

The financialization of our economy makes the present and future impacts of the Fintech Revolution reverberate throughout all industries. We can see that the massive gales of change are bringing inclusion to the unbanked, with identity systems, microcredit, and e-payments such as M-Pesa, and ubiquitous access via smartphones. We can see that it threatens many categories of well-populated and well-paying jobs. We hope to see that it will bring more new job categories that can offer many good workplaces.

As the articles included here in the Special Issue show, our discipline has much to offer to the understanding and, we hope, further development of fintech. In consequence, we can serve larger societal causes: expanding the inclusion of individuals in economic life and bridging digital divides, reducing friction and rents that hamper economic growth, and enhancing our experience as individuals in our financial lives. As can be seen here, Journal of Management Information Systems stands ready to provide leadership in the study of fintech.

In the first article in the general section, Taha Havakhor and Rajiv Sabherwal study virtual teams working on knowledge-intensive tasks, which they term virtual knowledge teams (VKT). In such units, exemplified by software-development teams, the coordination of expertise held by individual members is crucial to project success, while being challenged by geographical distribution and limited familiarity among the team members. The researchers investigate the mechanisms and processes through which information technology (IT) supports coordination of expertise and leads to enhanced team performance. The contribution of the study goes beyond its stated scope to showcase the processes that support IT deployment in knowledge-intensive work.

In e-commerce, social product-customization systems enable consumers to receive the opinions of their peers in the product configuration process to meet their own requirements. Input from others may be received either privately or publicly (via message boards). How influential is the input from peers? Is privately rendered input of greater consequence than that offered publicly? How do these factors influence the consumer’s evaluation of the customized product they receive? These are the issues investigated empirically by Tobias Schlager, Christian Hildebrand, Gerald Häubl, Nikolaus Franke, and Andreas Herrmann. The authors bring to bear theories of thinking styles and social impact to tease out the influential factors in a field study and four experiments. Their results contribute to the theories they deploy and have pragmatic value for online commerce.

Consumer reviews are a fundamental tool with which individuals cocreate value in e-commerce. They have been broadly used and intensely researched. As the reviews aggregate, they can increase the value of vendors and products, they can facilitate the selling process and decrease returns. They can also do the opposite—and here, deceptive reviews can be the deciding factor. The detection of such reviews is of great value to all involved in e-commerce. It is also difficult owing to the multiple and quite sophisticated methods of review manipulation. The authors of the concluding article in the issue, Naveen Kumar, Deepak Venugopal, Liangfei Qiu, and Subodha Kumar, deploy a machine-learning algorithm in order to consider multiple factors that help in review classification. The specific technique the researchers devise is hierarchical supervised learning that allows them to surface anomalies in the deceptive reviews. The technique itself is important, as would be the gain in platform confidence, should the method be applied to separate the wheat from the chaff. The authors demonstrate that their method is superior to what we now have.

As we begin the new volume of the Journal of Management Information Systems, it is my pleasure and privilege to thank our referees, the primary guarantors of the quality of the journal. Here are their names:

Ahmed Abbasi

Marc Adam

Ashish Agarwal

Hyung Jun Ahn

Manju Ahuja

Tolga Akcura

Oliver Alexy

Muhammad Aljukhadar

Gove Allen

Paul Alpar

Niek Althuizen

Kemal Altinkemer

Naveen Amblee

Corey Angst

Ofer Arazy

Kursad Asdemir

Norman Au

Yoris Au

Benoit A. Aubert

David Avison

Peter van Baalen

Hyunmi Baek

Akhilesh Bajaj

Hillol Bala

Dirk Baldwin

Subhajyoti Bandyopadhyay

Youngsok Bang

Gaurav Bansal

Reza Barkhi

Henri Barki

Jordan Barlow

Richard Baskerville

Genevieve Basselier

Dinesh Batra

Daniel Beimborn

D. France Belanger

Skip Benamati

Michel Benaroch

Izak Benbasat

Alexander Benlian

François Bergeron

Ganesh Bhatt

Sudip Bhattacharjee

David Biros

Ivo Blohm

Jesse Bockstedt

Riccardo Bonazzi

Antal van den Bosch

Indranil Bose

Tobias Brandt

Nicola Breugst

Glenn J. Browne

Sebastian Bruque

Scott Buffett

Burcu Bulgurcu

Judee Burgoon

Andrew Burton-Jones

Ashley Bush

Brian Butler

Terry A. Byrd

Sonia M. Camacho

Jinwei Cao

Lan Cao

Hasan Cavusoglu

Hsin-Lu Chang

Young Bong Chang

Mohamed-Hédi Charki

Sutirtha Chatterjee

Michael Chau

Patrick Chau

Aihui Chen

Andrew Chen

Daniel Chen

Guoqing Chen

Hong-Mei Chen

Hsinchun Chen

Jianqing Chen

Jin Chen

Kay-Yut Chen

Kuan Chen

Li Chen

Liwei Chen

Rui Chen

Hsing Kenneth Cheng

Xusen Cheng

Mike Cheung

Robert T.H. Chi

Roger Chiang

Benjamin Chiao

Ananth Chiravuri

Chaochang Chiu

Jong-min Choe

Ben Choi

H. Michael Chung

Sunghun Chung

Wingyan Chung

Theodore H. Clark

Isabelle Comyn-Wattiau

Randolph Cooper

Robert E. Crossler

Kevin Crowston

Qizhi Dai

John D’Arcy

Elizabeth Davidson

Gregory Dawson

Jason Dedrick

Benedict Dellaert

Chrysanthos Dellarocas

Haluk Demirkan

Tianjie Deng

Xuefei Deng

Amit Deokar

Sarv Devaraj

Debabrata Dey

Jens Dibbern

Su Dong

Tianxi Dong

Line Dubé

Peter Duchessi

Alina Dulipovici

Deborah E. Dunkle

Kaushik Dutta

Robert Easley

Dana Edberg

Christophe Elie-Dit-Cosaque

Aaron Elkins

Mike Eom

Sean B. Eom

J. Alberto Espinosa

Andrea Everard

Kelly Fadel

Ming Fan

Patrick Fan

Xiao Fang

Yu-Hui Fang

Yulin Fang

Dennis Fehrenbacher

Rei Fen

Jane Feng

Daniel R. Fesenmaier

Thomas A. Fischer

Jerry Fjermestad

Chris Forman

Chiara Francalanci

Mike Friedman

Johann Füller

Brent Furneaux

John Gallaugher

Gordon Gao

Hong Gao

Monica Garfield

Rajiv Garg

Ina Garnefeld

Edward J. Garrity

Abhijeet Ghoshal

Janis L. Gogan

Kim Huat Goh

Thomas Goh

Sigi Goode

Dale Goodhue

Anand Gopal

Ram D. Gopal

Nelson Granados

Peter Gray

Dawn G. Gregg

Shirley Gregor

Ulrike Gretzel

Robert K. Griffin

Michael D. Grigoriades

Bin Gu

Ken Guo

Xunhua Guo

Zhiling Guo

Saurabh Gupta

Nicole Haggerty

Jungpil Hahn

Ingoo Han

Kunsoo Han

Shu Han

Il-Horn Hann

Andrew Hardin

Matthew Hashim

Taha Havakhor

Irina Heimbach

Cheng-Suang Heng

Raymond Henry

Hemantha Herath

Tejaswini Herath

Traci Hess

Alan R. Hevner

Oliver Hinz

Susanna Ho

Richard Hoffman

Christian P. Hoffmann

Jason Hong

Kevin Hong

Weiyin Hong

Yili (Kevin) Hong

Zhe Hong

John A. Hoxmeier

Jeffrey Hu

Nan Hu

Paul Hu

Petra Hu

Qing Hu

Chun-Yao Huang

Ming-Hui Huang

Shiu-Li Huang

Wayne Huang

Xiaowen Huang

Thomas Huber

Kai Lung Hui

Wendy Hui

Ard Huizing

Ghiyong Im

Gretchen I. Irwin

Anja Ischebeck

Varghese Jacob

Bharat A. Jain

Hemant Jain

Jeevan Jaisingh

Tabitha James

Dietmar Jannach

Jeff Jenkins

Matthew Jensen

James J. Jiang

Qiqi Jiang

Zhengrui Jiang

Zhenhui Jiang

Monica Johar

Alice Johnson

Eric Johnson

Emmanuel Josserand

Surinder Kahai

Arnold Kamis

Atreyi Kankanhalli

P.K. Kannan

Maurits Kaptein

Prasanna Karhade

Jahangir Karimi

Michael Kattan

Timothy Kayworth

Weiling Ke

Mark Keith

Peter Kenning

William J. Kettinger

Lara Khansa

Moutaz Khouja

Melody Y. Kiang

Byung Cho Kim

Dan J. Kim

Dongmin Kim

Hee-Woong Kim

Keongtae Kim

Kihoon Kim

Seung Hyun Kim

Young-Gul Kim

Ruth King

Rajiv Kishore

Gary Klein

Richard Klein

Sven Kleinknecht

Stefan Knoll

Cenk Kocas

Chang Koh

Rajiv Kohli

Tobias Kollman

Praveen K. Kopalle

Kenneth A. Kozar

Ramayya Krishnan

Uday Kulkarni

Akhil Kumar

Ram Kumar

Subodha Kumar

Jason Kuruzovich

Juhee Kwon

Simon S.K. Lam

Guido Lang

Karl R. Lang

Kai R. Larsen

Michael Lash

Benjiang Lee

ByungJoon Lee

Byungtae Lee

Daniel Lee

Dong-Joo Lee

Gene Moo Lee

Goonwoong Lee

Gwanhoo Lee

Heeseok Lee

Ho Geun Lee

Jong Seok Lee

Jungwoo Lee

Thomas Lee

Yang Lee

Youngjin Lee

Pierre-Majorique Léger

Jan Marco Leimeister

Chen Li

Dahui Li

Jiexun Li

Mengxiang Li

Seth Li

Shengli Li

Ting Li

Weifeng Li

Xiaotong Li

Xin Li

XinXin Li

Xitong Li

Yan Li

Demin Liang

Huigang Liang

Nan (Peter) Liang

Ting-Peng Liang

Paul Licker

John Lim

Shi Ying Lim

Aleck Lin

Fu-ren Lin

Mei Lin

Zhijie Lin

Charles Zhechao Liu

Jun Liu

Ying Liu

Yipeng Liu

Alexandre Lopes

Paul B. Lowry

Benjiang Lu

Jingdu Lu

Henry C. Lucas Jr.

Stephan Ludwig

Xueming Luo

Andy Luse

Christoph Lutz

Mark Lycett

Dan Ma

Xiao Ma

Jane M. Mackay

Massimo Magni

Pruthikrai Mahatanankoon

M. Adam Mahmood

Bin Mai

Yogesh Malhotra

Deepa Mani

Ravi Mantena

Kent Marett

Panos Markopoulos

Likoebe M. Maruping

Anne P. Massey

Lars Mathiassen

Sabine Matook

Kurt Matzler

Kristina McElheran

Ephraim R. McLean

Nigel Melville

Nirup Menon

Thomas Meservy

Randy Minas

Shaila Miranda

Dinesh Mirchandani

Abhay Nath Mishra

Stephanie Missonier

Prasenjit Mitra

Kannan Mohan

William Money

Ali R. Montazemi

Ramiro Montealegre

Alan Montgomery

Greg Moody

Jolene Morrison

Barin N. Nag

Fiona Nah

Ravi Narayanaswamy

Derek Nazareth

Matthew Nelson

R. Ryan Nelson

Boon Siong Neo

Derrick Neufeld

Dirk Neumann

Dorit Nevo

Saggi Nevo

Michael Newman

Tingting Nian

Mark Nissen

Dmitri Nizovtsev

Oded Nov

Joo Hee Oh

Lih-Bin Oh

Onook Oh

Wonseok Oh

Bob O’Keefe

Lorne Olfman

James Oliver

Benoit Otjacques

Bob Otondo

Peter Otto

Eric Overby

Zafer D. Ozdemir

Gautam Pant

Manoj Parameswaran

Michael Parent

Insu Park

SungJune Park

Craig Parker

Bhavik K. Pathak

Praveen Pathak

Ravi Patnayakuni

Souren Paul

David J. Pauleen

Kenneth Peffers

Robin Pennington

Christoph Peters

Chee-Wei Phang

Roger A. Pick

Selwyn Piramuthu

Huseyin Polat

Jean-Charles Pomerol

Jaana Porra

Constance Porter

Clay Posey

John H. Prager

David Preston

Jeffrey Proudfoot

Sandeep Purao

Jessica Pye

Hamed Qahri-Saremi

Liangfei Qiu

Lingyun Qiu

Wen Guang Qu

Xin Xue Qu

Arik Ragowsky

Rex Kelly Rainer Jr.

Balaraman Rajan

Vandana Ramachandran

Arkalgud Ramaprasad

Bala Ramesh

R. Ravichandran

Gautam Ray

Louis Raymond

Blaize Horner Reich

Bruce Reinig

Fei Ren

Yuqing Ren

Paul Resnick

Hyuen-Suk Rhee

Amir Riaz

William B. Richmond

Christoph Riedl

René Riedl

Lionel Robert

Nicholas Roberts

Michael Rogich

Huaxia Rui

Ko de Ruyter

Sherry D. Ryan

Young U. Ryu

Michael Sacks

Khawaja Saeed

Rajib Saha

Otavio Sanchez

G. Lawrence Sanders

Radhika Santhanam

Pallab Sanyal

Saonee Sarker

Surendra Sarnikar

Carol Saunders

Kevin Scheibe

George Schell

Hans J. Scholl

Petra Schubert

Judy Scott

Eric See-To

Ravi Sen

Sagnika Sen

Sylvain Sénécal

Alexander Serenko

Nainika Seth

Vikram Sethi

Theresa M. Shaft

Zhe Shan

Tushar Shanker

Jim Sheffield

Hong Sheng

Zhan Shi

Hung-Pin Shih

Siew Kien Sia

Keng Siau

Anna Sidorova

Mark Silver

Harpreet Singh

Param Vir Singh

Atish P. Sinha

Sumit Sircar

Bernd Skiera

Stefan Smolnik

Jaeki Song

Scott Spangler

William E. Spangler

Rajendra P. Srivastava

Shirish C. Srivastava

Thomas F. Stafford

Eric W. Stein

Dennis Steininger

Dick Stenmark

Stefan Stieglitz

Theofanis C. Stratopoulos

Diane M. Strong

Ayoung Su

Mani Subramani

Chandra Subramaniam

Ramanath Subramanyam

Eung-Kyo Suh

Daewon Sun

Heshan Sun

Arun Sundararajan

Shankar Sundaresan

Juliana Sutanto

Paul P. Tallon

Chee-Wee Tan

Chuan-Hoo Tan

Yao-Hua Tan

Xinlin Tang

Mohan R. Tanniru

Monideepa Tarafdar

Nolan Taylor

Orkun Temizkan

Gary F. Templeton

Hock Hai Teo

Thompson Teo

Matthew Thatcher

Ferdinand Thies

Dominic Thomas

Ron Thompson

James Y.L. Thong

Ryad Titah

Torrie Wu Tong

Monica Chiarini Tremblay

Manuel Trenz

Dimitrios Tsekouras

Yanbin Tu

Ofir Turel

Tuure Tuunanen

Doug Twitchell

Nathan W. Twyman

Sonja Utz

Rustam Vahidov

Ganesan Vaidyanathan

Goetz Viering

Padmal Vitharana

Radu Vlas

Douglas Vogel

Sebastian Voigt

Jan vom Brocke

Heinz-Theo Wagner

Eric Walden

Jeffrey Wall

Joseph Walls

Zhiping Walter

Bin Wang

Chong (Alex) Wang

Eric T.G. Wang

Jingguo Wang

Michael S. Wang

Qiu-Hong Wang

Shouhong Wang

Sophia Wang

Weiquan Wang

Yinglei Wang

Y. Richard Wang

Deepa Wani

Sidne Ward

Mary Beth Watson-Manheim

Sunil Wattal

Thomas Weber

Chih-Ping Wei

Markus Weinmann

Tim Weitzel

John Wells

Robert West

Jonathan Whitaker

Michael E. Whitman

Jeffrey L. Whitten

George Widmeyer

Rolf Wigand

Fons Wijnhoven

E. Vance Wilson

Robert Winter

Christopher Wolfe

Christina Wong

Charles A. Wood

Hans Wortmann

Ryan Wright

Dazhong Wu

Choon Ling Xia

Lan Xia

Mingdi Xin

David Xu

Heng Xu

Hongjiang Xu

Kefeng Xu

Lizhen Xu

Peng Xu

Yunjie (Calvin) Xu

Ling Xue

Lucy Yan

Yinping Yang

Zhiyong Yang

Oliver Yao

Cheng Yi

Denny Yin

Zhitao Yin

Byungjoon Yoo

Yufei Yuan

Wei T. Yue

Fatemeh (Mariam) Zahedi

Chun Zeng

Dongsong Zhang

Han Zhang

Jennifer Zhang

John Zhang

Ping Zhang

Xiaoquan Zhang

Yulei Zhang

Zhu Zhang

Huimin Zhao

Kexin Zhao

J. Leon Zhao

Kang Zhao

Xia Zhao

Dmitry Zhdanov

Lina Zhou

Wenqi Zhou

Yilu Zhou

Zhongyun Zhou

Hongwei Zhu

Wenqi Zhu

Youlong Zhuang

Moshe Zviran

Let us now turn our attention to the papers.