OCIS Mission statement and renaming strategic exercise

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Dear OCIS members,

As many of you know, for the last two and a half years the division has engaged in an important strategic exercise to update its mission statement and perhaps as well change its name to reflect important new trends in scholarship and practice of great importance to our division members.

Here is an update on the progress of this important initiative, and to ask for your feedback on it.

Last year, a poll of the OCIS membership indicated that a new name could be useful. The most popular proposed name was: Communication, Technology, and Organizing (CTO), with 43% of the votes. Of note, though, 35% of survey respondents expressed an interest in keeping the current name for the division.

This year, to continue this important work, a task force was created, with the following members:

Abayomi Baiyere, Michael Barrett, Maria Binz-Scharf, Sabine Brunswicker, Jennifer Gibbs, Steven Johnson, Marco Marabelli, Likeobe Maruping, Molly Wasko, and Mary-Beth Watson Manheim.

Thank you all for your participation and great ideas!

Upon meetings and discussions, the task force concurred with the results of last year’s poll and considered that CTO would be a promising new name for the division. In addition, it worked well and hard to propose the following new mission statement for the division:

The Communication, Technology, and Organizing (CTO) [or Organizational Communication and Information Systems (OCIS)] Division of the Academy of Management (AOM) promotes an interdisciplinary approach to further the understanding of the behavioral, social, and economic processes at the intersection of communication, technology, and organizing.

It constitutes a vibrant, inclusive, and intellectually stimulating community, open to scholars from a wide range of disciplines, theoretical frameworks, and research methods, who are conducting cutting-edge research based on rigorous and creative scholarship.

Major topics of interest include: Organizational communication, information systems, distributed work, information and communication technologies, knowledge and innovation processes, organizational design and strategy, and IT impacts and outcomes.

Examples of submissions included in past programs have been related to, among others:  the changing nature of work, digital transformation, social networks, virtual teams, digital platforms, management of information systems, online communities, user-generated content and social media, big data, processes of digitalization, knowledge work, organizational innovation, organizational change, globalization, new organizational forms, IT diffusion and infrastructure, sharing economy, the quantified self. The CTO [or OCIS] Division is open to multiple methods and theories.

CTO [or OCIS]: Come for the research, stay for the network!

For comparison purposes, below is the current mission statement, last updated in 2003:

“OCIS focuses on the study of behavioral, economic, and social aspects of communication and information systems within and among organizations or institutions. Major topics include: interpersonal communication; verbal, nonverbal, and electronic communication; vertical, horizontal and diagonal communication; inter-group and intra-group communication; communication networks; applications of information technology in business and society; organizational adoption of communication and information technology; communication and information strategy and policy; communication and organizational culture; communication and information research methodology; managing information technology services; virtual teams, virtual work, and virtual organizations; the management of information systems professionals; e-communications; information systems development; managing IT-related organizational change; e-business, e-commerce, and e-markets; electronic value systems, value chains, and value webs; privacy and ethics; knowledge work, knowledge workers, and knowledge networks; IT infrastructure; governance of IT services; and organizational networks.”

At this point, it is crucial that all OCIS members provide their input on these developments:

* What do you think of the proposed name change for the division?

* What do you think of the proposed new mission statement for the division?

To make it easy for you to provide this feedback, we have created a short survey, available at: https://tinyurl.com/y83ft9mt

Your participation and input regarding the proposed changes by June 24th will be invaluable for the division: thank you very much in advance!

OCIS 2018 Doctoral Consortium

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The OCIS division of the Academy of Management is pleased to announce the 2018 Doctoral Consortium (DC), to be held in Chicago, IL on Friday, August 10, 2018. The consortium will provide an opportunity for doctoral students to network, receive feedback on their research and discuss career issues. All interested PhD students working on research in the areas of Organizational Communication, Information Science, or Information Systems are invited to apply.

Faculty advisers include:

– Maria Binz-Scharf, City College of New York, CUNY

– Katherine Chudoba, Utah State University

– Marya Doerfel, Rutgers University

– Ingrid Ericksen, Syracuse University

– Samer Faraj, McGill University

– Stephen Johnson, University of Virginia

– Anu Sivunen, University of Jyväskylä

– Jennifer Gibbs, University of California, Santa Barbara (faculty mentor and DC Chair/organizer)
Travel support is available for some students admitted to the consortium. Acceptance to the consortium will be based on a review of the application materials.

Preference for attendance and funding will be given to students who will have defended their dissertation proposals but not their dissertations by the date of the consortium, to those who have not previously participated in the OCIS consortium, and to those whose institutions or fields would not otherwise be represented.

The application includes:

1) A 5-page, double-spaced, 12-point abstract of the proposed dissertation research

2) A letter of recommendation from dissertation chair/advisor supporting the student’s participation in the Doctoral Consortium.

3) A 1-page informational document with: Name of applicant; PhD program university /school affiliation; Dissertation title; Expected completion date; Educational background; Professional background / prior work experience; Future career aspirations.

The due date for applications and letters of recommendation is May 1, 2018.

Please email all application materials as attachments in a single email to: gibbs@comm.ucsb.edu

 

For questions, please contact Jennifer Gibbs (gibbs@comm.ucsb.edu), this year’s OCIS Doctoral Consortium chair.

OCIS nominations are open

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Dear OCIS Members,
The OCIS Division is accepting nominations for several important volunteer roles.  We will be electing members to the following positions:
Program Chair Elect  (1)
Representative-at-Large (2)
International Representative-at-Large  (2)
Student Representative-at-Large (1)
Please visit the OCIS website to see the duties of each position.  https://ocis.aom.org/about-2/executive-committee-role-descriptions/
Having served the OCIS Division for 5 years, I can confirm that this is serious and important work, but also that it is a lot of fun to get to know and work with many talented colleagues in our division!   I strongly encourage you to take this opportunity to nominate yourself or a colleague who is willing and able to contribute to the leadership of OCIS.
To nominate candidates, please visit https://apps.aom.org/DivNomination and follow the  instructions to log-in to your Academy profile. Once you log-in, select ‘Nominate Now’ for Organizational Communication and Information Systems.
Self-nominations are accepted and encouraged!
Nominations will remain open until February 28.
For more info please contact, Mary Beth Watson-Manheim (OCIS Past Division Chair): mbwm@uic.edu

Call for reviewers – – 2018 Annual Meeting

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Call for reviewers: it is extremely important that you register as a reviewer for the OCIS community. Please click here to register. We will ask you to review a maximum of 2-3 papers. Please contact Ola Henfridsson, the OCIS Program Chair, for more information.

OCIS 2017 Keynote, featuring Professor Marshall Van Alstyne (Boston University)

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Platform Firms Always Beat Product Firms

By Yukun Yang (OCIS Student Member), Maheshwar Boodraj (OCIS Student Member), and Abayomi Baiyere (OCIS Student Representative-at-Large) – slides available upon request, email Marco

On Monday, August 7, 2017, Professor Marshall Van Alstyne (Boston University) masterfully delivered the OCIS keynote at the 77th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. His keynote – entitled “Platform Ecosystems: How Networks Invert the Firm” – focused on three key ideas: we will see a rise in large and gigantic firms, platform firms always beat product firms, and network effects invert the firm.

In support of these ideas, Professor Van Alstyne illustrated that Walt Disney (which has 195,000 employees) has a market capitalization of $178 billion, while Facebook (which has only 20,000 employees) has a market capitalization of $489 billion – more than double. Also, Uber (founded in 2009) has a market capitalization of $62 billion, while BMW (founded over 100 years ago) has a market capitalization of $60 billion. In essence, platform firms are generating far more value with much fewer employees in significantly less time than product firms.

Professor Van Alstyne went on to argue that the product business model is broken. He shared the well-known example of Apple and Microsoft. Specifically, while Apple had the better product, Microsoft had the better ecosystem, and consequently, Microsoft enjoyed tremendous success in the 1980s and 1990s by garnering the ideas and contributions of third-parties. Professor Van Alstyne further argued that you do not have to be a high-tech firm to develop a platform. For example, McCormick (a spice firm) created a platform around spice by using their research lab to identify consumers’ flavor profiles and then provided recipes that matched these flavor profiles. Consumers then modified these recipes and uploaded them, which created more value for other consumers. McCormick then sold this data to consumer packaging firms and other firms that created ecosystems where users can create more value for other users.

When talking about the power of platforms, Professor Van Alstyne emphasized the importance of network effects – the idea that platforms become more valuable as more people use them. This increased usage creates the opportunity for firms to monetize the transactions that flow through their platforms. Further, because network effects cannot be scaled as easily inside the firm as they can outside the firm, firms must shift their focus from inside the firm to outside the firm. Firms can accomplish this transition by focusing exclusively on building platforms (such as Airbnb and Uber) or by building platforms on top of products (such as Apple and Samsung). This new focus changes the role of firms from creating products internally to selecting and curating products from external sources.

Professor Van Alstyne provided detailed examples of how platform business models change nearly everything we have learned in business school. In marketing, businesses have shifted from outbound messaging to inbound messaging. For example, Warby Parker ships five pairs of glasses chosen for its customers and encourages them to take and post pictures online to get votes from their friends, which creates viral marketing exposure. In human resources, the emphasis has shifted from employees to contractors, from internal experts to external crowds, and from subordinate dictation to community persuasion. For example, TripAdvisor provides advice from travelers which replaces travel agents. In operations and logistics, value creation has shifted from internal to external servicing. For example, Apple augments its traditional value network with platform value networks to remain innovative, while Airbnb exclusively uses platform value networks to become the world’s largest hotelier. In finance, community corporate valuation models that underestimate market expansion due to network effects fail to invest. For example, Instagram was sold for $1 billion, not because of the contributions from its 13 employees, but from the 30 million users it owned.

In R&D and innovation, platforms open themselves to third-party contributions. For example, while Myspace tried to create every feature on its own, Facebook focused on creating a robust platform that allowed outside developers to build new applications. In information technology, support has shifted from inside the firm to outside the firm. For example, Jeff Bezos (Amazon’s CEO) mandated that all teams expose their data and communicate through interfaces and that all interfaces designed in-house must be externalizable. In strategy, the goal of the firm has shifted from control, entry barriers, and differentiation to more valuable market strategies. For example, Salesforce knew that it was hard to compete with Oracle and SAP, so it used customer innovations to create AppExchange –the world’s leading business app marketplace.

What does the future hold? According to Professor Van Alstyne, we can expect to see more and more things becoming platforms. For example, cars as platforms, blockchain and finance as platforms, cities as platforms, internet of things as platforms, energy/smart grids as platforms, architecture and building information modeling as platforms, education as platforms, and healthcare as platforms. In closing, Professor Van Alstyne re-emphasized that we will see a rise in large and gigantic firms driven by demand-side economies of scale, that platform firms will always beat product firms because they create value proportional to their use, and network effects invert the firm allowing them to scale from outside the firm.

 

This summary (and the presentation) draw on the following work:

 

Parker, G., Van Alstyne, M. W., & Jiang, X. (2016). “Platform ecosystems: How developers invert the firm.” MIS Quarterly 41 (1), 255-266

Van Alstyne, M. W., Parker, G. G., & Choudary, S. P. (2016). “Pipelines, platforms, and the new rules of strategy.” Harvard Business Review94(4), 54-62.