Volume 3 Number 3
You will need a free Acrobat PDF format reader to read these articles.
Click here for information.


Click on Title  below to view the article



Detecting Data Errors in Organizational Settings: 
Examining the Generalizability of Experimental Findings

Barbara D. Klein
University of Michigan-Dearborn

Experiments show that giving users incentives helps them detect errors in data and that expectations about the base rate of errors in data improve error detection.  However, experimental findings are often criticized as not being generalizable to organizational settings. The study reported here examines the generalizability of experimental findings on user detection of data errors. A field interview study was conducted to examine this question. Twenty interviews were conducted with users of information systems in a variety of organizational settings. The findings of the field interview study show that strong informal incentives, perceptions about the materiality of data errors, and perceptions about the base rate of errors in data affect the detection of data errors in organizational settings.  


Do We Need to Impose More Regulation Upon the World Wide Web? -A Metasystem Analysis 

John P. van Gigch

Every day a new problem attributable to the World Wide Web’s lack of formal structure and/or organization is made public. What arguably could be represented as one of its main strengths is rapidly turning out to be one of its most flagrant weaknesses. The intent of this article is to show the need to establish a more formal organization than presently exists over the World Wide Web. (This article will use the terms the Internet and Cyberspace interchangeably.) It is proposed that this formal organization take the form of a metacontrol system--to be explained-- and rely, at least in part, for this control to self-regulate. The so-called metasystem system would be responsible for preventing some of the unanticipated situations that take place in cyberspace and that, due to the web’s lack of maturity, have not been encountered heretofore. Some activities, such as the denial-of-service (DoS) attacks, may well be illicit. Others, like the question of establishing a world-wide democratic board to administer the Internet’s address system, are so new that there are no technical, legal or political precedents to ensure its design will succeed. What is needed is a formal, over-arching control system, i.e. a “metasystem,” to arbitrate over controversies, decide on the legality of new policies and, in general, act as a metalevel controller over the activities of the virtual community called Cyberspace. The World Wide Web Consortium has emerged as a possible candidate for this role.

This paper uses control theory to define both the problem and the proposed solution. Cyberspace lacks a metacontroller that can be used to resolve the many problems that arise when a new organizational configuration, such as the Internet, is created and when questions surface about the extent to which new activities interfere with individual or corporate freedoms.


Knowledge Management Systems: A Comparison of Law Firms and Consulting Firms

Petter Gottschalk 
Norwegian School of Management 

This paper reports results from a survey of Norwegian law firms on the use of information technology to support inter-organizational knowledge management. Two predictors of IT support were significant: firm cooperation and knowledge cooperation. Inter-organizational trust was not a significant predictor. Software and systems most frequently used include word processing, electronic mail and legal databases. It has been argued that law firms are old fashioned and not ready for extensive use of information technology. An impression is created that other professional service firms such as consulting firms are much more advanced. To evaluate the relative performance of law firms in the area of IT support for knowledge trans-fer an identical survey was conducted among a limited number of consulting firms in Norway. Survey results indicate that the average IT use in consulting firms was slightly higher than in law firms, but the most interesting differences were found in the different systems and software used rather than the level of IT use. Consulting firms are high-level users of general information sources on the Internet, while law firms are high-level users of structured information in databases.


Introduction to Special Series on Tools, Techniques, and Technologies for Promoting Organizational Learning 

Shirley A. Becker
Florida Institute of Technology

A brief introduction to the following series of articles, editing by Dr. Becker, on Tools, Techniques, and Technologies for Promoting Organizational Learning. 

Organizational Learning Through the Collection of “Lessons Learned”

Joseph V. Vandeville
Northrop Grumman Corporation

This paper provides an approach for organizational learning through the collection of "Lessons Learned." The approach focuses on organizations in the Information Technology area, but is applicable to any organization having defined processes and a mechanism for process improvement. This approach ties the lessons learned program to the process infrastructure used by the organization to collect lessons that can be acted upon by the company’s process improvement program

Learning from the World Wide Web: Using Organizational Profiles in Information Searches

Anthony Scime
State University of New York
College at Brockport

The World Wide Web provides access to a great deal of information on a vast array of subjects. Individuals search the Web as part of their organizational responsibilities to keep informed and to help solve business problems. These searches for information are accomplished by selecting a Web search engine and developing a keyword query. Keyword queries tend to return many irrelevant hits and typically each search is conducted independently of queries preformed at an earlier date or queries preformed by others. The searches have no organizational context beyond the personal knowledge of the searcher. This lack of organizational context limits the ability of the search to use the experience of other searches and does not contribute to organizational learning. Presented in this paper is an architecture for query construction and results refinement using organizational experience and knowledge. A searcher initially designs a Web query with assistance from an organizational thesaurus and previously constructed queries. After the query has returned results, organizational historical knowledge on source quality assists in determining sufficient quality results to assist in problem solution.

A Contextual Integration of Individual and Organizational Learning Perspectives as Part of IS Analysis

Peter M. Bednar
Sheffield Hallam University & Lund University

The Strategic Systemic Thinking (SST) framework is presented as a stepping stone towards enabling the refocusing of organizational analysis in Information Systems (IS). The paper introduces some of the fundamental assumptions regarding the objectives of the SST framework; such as sense making as learning processes build upon communicative actions. The main concepts of the SST framework are presented, which are focused on developing a learning organization inclusive of having a constructive dialogue mechanism. The SST framework includes constructive dialogue as a means of gaining access to the existing but unreleased individual and group competencies for improved IS analysis.



Using the Web to Enable Industry-University Collaboration: An Action Research Study of a Course Partnership

Ned Kock
Temple University

Camille Auspitz & Brad King
Day & Zimmermann, Inc.

This paper discusses a course partnership involving Day & Zimmermann, Inc. (DZI), a large engineering and professional services company, and Temple University. The course was taught between the months of May and July of 1999 and its main goal was to teach students business process redesign concepts and techniques. These concepts and techniques were used to redesign five business processes from DZI's information technology organization. DZI's CIO and a senior manager, who played the key role of project manager, championed the course partnership. A Web site with bulletin boards, multimedia components and static content was used to support the partnership. The paper investigates the use of Web-based collaboration technologies in combination with communication behavior norms and face-to-face meetings, and its effect on the success of the partnership.