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1309 E. 10th Street
Professor of Information Systems
John T. Chambers Chair of Internet Systems
Fellow of the Association for Information Systems
Past President, Association for Information Systems
Digital Humans, Artificial Intelligence, Collaboration Technologies, Data Communications
PhD, Business Administration, University of Arizona, 1991
MBA, Queen's University, 1984
BS, Computer Science, Acadia University, 1982
Co-Founder, NameInsights.com 2015-present
Co-Founder, Courseload, Inc., 2005-2015
Co-Founder, TCBWorks, 1995-1997
Programmer Analyst, Government of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, 1977
Awards, Honors & Certificates
Best Paper in AIS Transactions on Human Computer Interaction, 2015
Kelley Research Award Full Rank 2002, 2014
Best Social Informatics Paper, 2014, awarded by Association for Information Science and Technology
Best Paper in the Decision Analytics Track, Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 2014.
Best Paper in the Collaboration Technologies Track, Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 2012
Best Article in Information Systems, 2009 awarded by the AIS Senior Scholars
Harry A. Sauvain Award for Undergraduate Teaching, 2015
Trustee Teaching Award, 2014
Faculty Mentor of the Year, The Graduate and Professional Student Organization, 2014
AIS Award for Outstanding Contribution to IS Education, Association for Information Systems, 2013
Distinguished IS Educator, Association of Information Technology Professionals, 2012
Exceptional Inspiration and Guidance Award, Kelley School of Business Doctoral Students’ Association, 2011
Curtis, A. M., Dennis, A. R. and McNamara K. O., (2017). From Monologue to Dialogue: Using Performative Objects to Promote Collective Mindfulness in Computer-mediated Team Discussions. MIS Quarterly, 41(2), 559-581.
Wells, T. M. and Dennis, A. R. (2016). 'To Email or not to Email:' The impact of Media on Psychophysiological responses and emotional content in utilitarian and romantic email. Computers in Human Behavior, 54(January), 1-9.
Barlow, J. B., and Dennis, A. R. (2016). Not As Smart As We Think: A Study of Collective Intelligence in Virtual Groups. Journal of Management Information Systems, 33(3), 684-712.
Minas, R. K., Poor, M., Dennis, A. R., and Bartelt, V. (2016). A prime a day keeps calories away: The effects of supraliminal priming on food consumption and the moderating role of gender and eating restraint. Appetite, 105, 494-499.
Bartelt, V., and Dennis A. R. (2014). Nature and Nurture: The Impact of Automaticity and the Structuration of Communication on Virtual Team Behavior and Performance. MIS Quarterly, 38(2), 521-538
Dennis, A. R., Minas, R. K., and Bhagwatwar, A. (2013). Sparking Creativity: Improving Electronic Brainstorming with Individual Cognitive Priming. Journal of Management Information Systems (Special Issue),29(4), 195.
Much of human behavior involves subconscious cognition that can be manipulated through “priming,” the presentation of a stimulus designed to subconsciously implant a concept in working memory that alters subsequent behavior. Priming is a well-known phenomenon for individual behavior, but we do not know whether priming can be used to influence group behavior. We developed a Web-based computer game that was designed to improve creativity through priming. Participants were exposed to a priming game and then worked as members of a group using electronic brainstorming (EBS) to generate ideas on a creativity task. Our results show that when users played the game designed to improve performance, their groups generated significantly more ideas that were more creative than when they were exposed to neutral priming. The effect size was large, about as large as the effect size of EBS over verbal brainstorming.
Garfield, M. J., and Dennis, A. R. (2013). Towards and Integrated Model of Group Development: Disruption of Routines by Technology-Induced Change. Journal of Management Information Systems,29(3), 43-86.
Dennis, A. R., Robert, L. P., Curtis, A. M., Hasty, B., and Kowalczyk, S. T. (2012). Trust is in the Eye of the Beholder: A Vignette Study of Post-Event Behavioral Controls' Effects on Individual Trust in Virtual Teams. Information Systems Research, 23(2), 546.
Dimoka, A., Banker, R. D., Benbasat, I., Davis, F. D., Dennis, A. R., Gefen, D., Gupta, A., Ischebeck, A., Kenning, P., Pavlou, P. A., Müller-Putz, G., Riedl, R., vom Brocke, J., and Weber, B. (2012). On the Use of Neurophysiological Tools in IS Research: Developing a Research Agenda for NeuroIS. MIS Quarterly, 36(3), 679-702.
Ko, D. G. and Dennis, A. R. (2011). Profiting from Knowledge Management: The Impact of Time and Experience. Information Systems Research, 22(1), 134-152.
Dennis, A. R., Duffy, T. M., and Cakir, H. (2010). IT Programs in High Schools: Lessons from the Cisco Networking Academy. Communications of the ACM, Online Edition, July.
Student enrollment in college computer science and information technology programs are in a downward trend in most developed countries. This article examines the Cisco Networking Academy to understand what lessons we can draw for other CS/IT high school initiatives.
Brown, S. A., Dennis, A. R., and Venkatesh, V. (2010). Predicting Collaboration Technology Use: Integrating Technology Adoption and Collaboration Research. Journal of Management Information Systems, 27(2), 9-53.
Fuller, R. M., and Dennis, A. R. (2009). Does Fit Matter? The Impact of Task-Technology Fit and Appropriation on Team Performance in Repeated Tasks. Information Systems Research, 20(1), 2-17.
Prior research on technology and team performance concludes that the fit of the technology to tasks influences team performance. It also suggests that the way teams appropriate technology influences performance. This research examines how fit and appropriation (from the Fit Appropriation Model) influence performance over time. Initially, the results show that fit better predicted performance; teams using poor-fitting technology performed worse than teams with better fitting technology. However, over a short time period (two days in this study), this initial fit no longer predicted performance; performance of teams using better fitting technology remained constant while teams using poor-fitting technology innovated and adapted, improving performance. There are two key findings from this study. First, fit can predict team performance soon after technology adoption, but initial assessments of fit are temporary as teams innovate and adapt; thus, our current theoretical models of fitting technology to a task likely will not be useful beyond the first use. Second, teams should understand how to better adapt existing technology and work structures. Because our current theories of task-technology fit failed to predict performance beyond the first use of technology, we believe that this calls for a reconsideration of what fit means for teams using technology.
Robert, L. P., Dennis, A. R., and Hung, Y. T. C. (2009). Individual Swift Trust and Knowledge-Based Trust in Face-to-Face and Virtual Team Members. Journal of Management Information Systems, 26(2), 241-279.
Traditionally, trust has been seen as a result of personal knowledge of an individual's past behavior. In this view, trust develops gradually over time based on an individual's cognitive assessment of the other person's behavior. However, high levels of trust have been observed among members of virtual teams, who often have little prior history of working together and may never meet each other in person. To integrate these two seemingly contradictory views of trust, this study manipulated team member characteristics and team member behavior to empirically test a two-stage theoretical model of trust formation and the influence of information and communication technologies (ICT) on trust formation. The results indicate that category-based processing of team member characteristics and an individual's own disposition to trust dominated the initial formation of swift trust. Once individuals accumulated sufficient information to assess a team member's trustworthiness, the effects of swift trust declined and knowledge-based trust formed using team members' behaviors (perceived ability, integrity, and benevolence) became dominant. The use of ICT increased perceived risk of team failure, which reduced the likelihood that team members would engage in future trusting behaviors.
Dennis, A. R., Fuller, R. M., and Valacich, J. S. (2008). Media, Tasks and Communication Processes: A Theory of Media Synchronicity. MIS Quarterly, 32(3), 575-600.
This paper expands, refines, and explicates media synchronicity theory, originally proposed in a conference proceeding in 1999 (Dennis and Valacich 1999). Media synchronicity theory (MST) focuses on the ability of media to support synchronicity, a shared pattern of coordinated behavior among individuals as they work together. We expand on the original propositions of MST to argue that communication is composed of two primary processes: conveyance and convergence. The familiarity of individuals with the tasks they are performing and with their coworkers will also affect the relative amounts of these two processes. Media synchronicity theory proposes that for conveyance processes, use of media supporting lower synchronicity should result in better communication performance. For convergence processes, use of media supporting higher synchronicity should result in better communication performance. We identify five capabilities of media (symbol sets, parallelism, transmission velocity, rehearsability, and reprocessability) that influence the development of synchronicity and thus the successful performance of conveyance and convergence communication processes. The successful completion of most tasks involving more than one individual requires both conveyance and convergence processes, thus communication performance will be improved when individuals use a variety of media to perform a task, rather than just one medium.
FitzGerald, J., and Dennis, A. R. (2008). Business Data Communications and Networking (10th Edition). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Robert, L. P., Dennis, A. R., and Ahuja, M. K. (2008). Social Capital and Knowledge Integration in Digitally Enabled Teams. Information Systems Research,19(3), 314-334.
To understand the impact of social capital on knowledge integration and performance within digitally enabled teams, we studied 46 teams who had a history and a future working together. All three dimensions of their social capital (structural, relational, and cognitive) were measured prior to the team performing two tasks in a controlled setting, one face-to-face and the other through a lean digital network. Structural and cognitive capital were more important to knowledge integration when teams communicated through lean digital networks than when they communicated face-to-face; relational capital directly impacted knowledge integration equally, regardless of the communication media used by the team. Knowledge integration, in turn, impacted team decision quality, suggesting that social capital influences team performance in part by increasing a team's ability to integrate knowledge. These results suggest that team history may be necessary but not sufficient for teams to overcome the problems with the use of lean digital networks as a communication environment. However, team history may present a window of opportunity for social capital to develop, which in turn allows teams to perform just as well as in either communication environment.
Dennis, A. R., Valacich, J. S., Fuller, M. A., and Schneider, C. (2006). Research Standards for Promotion and Tenure in Information Systems. MIS Quarterly, 30(1), 1-12.
What constitutes excellence in information systems research for promotion and tenure? This is a question that is regularly addressed by members of promotion and tenure committees and those called upon to write external letters. While there are many elements to this question, one major element is the quality and quantity of an individual's research publications. An informal survey of senior Information Systems faculty members at 49 leading U.S. and Canadian universities found 86 percent to expect three or more articles in elite journals. In contrast, an analysis of publication performance of Ph.D. graduates between the years of 1992 and 2004 found that approximately three individuals in each graduating year of Ph.D.s (about 2 percent) published 3 or more articles in a set of 20 elite journals within 6 years of graduation. Only 15 individuals from each graduating year (11 percent) published one or more articles. As a discipline, we publish elite journal articles at a lower rate than Accounting, yet our promotion and tenure standards are higher, similar to those of Management, Marketing, and Finance. Thus, there is a growing divergence between research performance and research standards within the Information Systems discipline. As such, unless we make major changes, these differences will perpetuate a vicious cycle of increasing faculty turnover, declining influence on university affairs, and lower research productivity. We believe that we must act now to create a new future, and offer recommendations that focus on the use of more appropriate standards for promotion and tenure and ways to increase the number of articles published.
Dennis, A. R., and Taylor, N. J. (2006). Information Foraging on the Web: The Effects of 'Acceptable' Internet Delays on Multi-page Information Search Behavior. Decision Support Systems, 42(2), 810-824.
Delays on the Web are a persistent and highly publicized problem. Long delays have been shown to reduce information search, but less is known about the impact of more modest “acceptable” delays – delays that do not reduce user satisfaction. Prior research suggests that as the time and effort required to complete a task increases, decision-makers tend to minimize effort by reducing information search activities and let decision quality slip rather than increase effort to maintain a consistent level of decision quality. In this study, we examined the effects of an acceptable time delay (seven seconds) on information search and decision making behavior. We found that the increased time and effort caused by acceptable delays provoked increased information search.
Heninger, W. G., Dennis, A. R., and McNamara Hilmer, K. (2006). Individual Cognition and Dual Task Interference in Group Support Systems. Information Systems Research, 17(4), 1-10.
Previous research shows that synchronous text discussion through group support systems (GSS) can improve the exchange of information within teams, but this improved information exchange usually does not improve decisions because participants fail to process the new information they receive. This study examined one potential cause for this failure: Dual-task interference caused by the need to concurrently process new information from others while also contributing one’s own information to the discussion. Although prior research argues that dual-task interference should be minimal, we found that it significantly reduced participants’ information processing and led to lower decision quality. The effect sizes were large, suggesting that dual-task interference is one of a handful of major factors that exert the greatest influence on information processing and decision-making performance. We believe that these results call for an increased emphasis on and understanding of the cognitive underpinnings of GSS and virtual team decision making.
Dennis, A. R., and Vessey, I. (2005). Three Knowledge Management Strategies: Knowledge Hierarchies, Knowledge Markets and Knowledge Communities. MIS Quarterly Executive, 4(4), 399-412.
A knowledge market treats knowledge as an individual resource. It manages knowledge creation, development, and reuse through organizational policies that encourage knowledge sharing. This knowledge market strategy is best suited for knowledge that evolves slowly and where the goal is to augment the knowledge of experts.A knowledge community views knowledge as a communal resource. It manages knowledge creation, development, and reuse through informal, trust-based processes within a group of individuals. They share a common interest, but they are often spread throughout the firm. This knowledge community strategy is best suited for moderately changing knowledge where the goal is to augment the knowledge of experts.
Dennis, A. R., and Reinicke, B. (2004). Beta vs. VHS and the Acceptance of Electronic Brainstorming Technology. MIS Quarterly, 28(1), 1-20.
This paper argues that much of the past research on electronic brainstorming has been somewhat myopic. Much as Sony focused on the quality of the picture on its Beta format, we as IS researchers have focused on the number of ideas generated as the dominant measure of electronic brainstorming effectiveness. When VHS killed Beta, Sony discovered that image quality was a secondary consideration for most VCR users. Despite the compelling research on its performance benefits, electronic brainstorming has not yet displaced—or even joined—verbal brainstorming as a widely used idea generation technique. This paper presents arguments that users may not be primarily concerned with the number of ideas generated when planning a brainstorming session, but rather may equally desire group well being and member support. We present theoretical arguments and empirical evidence suggesting that electronic brainstorming is not as effective as verbal brainstorming at providing group well being and member support. We believe that these arguments may also apply to other group and individual research areas and may also call for a reevaluation of the technology acceptance model (TAM). Finally, we suggest further research that may help electronic brainstorming avoid the fate of the Beta format.
Dennis, A. R., Wixom, B., and Roth, R. (2003). Systems Analysis and Design: An Applied Approach (2nd Edition). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Dennis, A. R., Wixom, B., and Vandenberg, R. J. (2001). Understanding Fit and Appropriation Effects in Group Support Systems via Meta-Analysis. MIS Quarterly,25(2), 167-197.
Many previous papers have lamented the fact that the findings of past GSS research have been inconsistent. This paper develops a new model for interpreting GSS effects on performance (a Fit-Appropriation Model), which argues that GSS performance is affected by two factors. The first is the fit between the task and the GSS structures selected for use (i.e., communication support and information processing support). The second is the appropriation support the group receives in the form of training, facilitation, and software restrictiveness to help them effectively incorporate the selected GSS structures into their meeting process. A meta-analysis using this model to organize and classify past research found that when used appropriately (i.e., there is a fit between the GSS structures and the task, and the group receives appropriation support), GSS use increased the number of ideas generated, took less time, and led to more satisfied participants than if the group worked without the GSS. Fitting the GSS to the task had the most impact on outcome effectiveness (decision quality and ideas), while appropriation support had the most impact on the process (time required and process satisfaction). We conclude that when using this theoretical lens, the results of GSS research do not appear inconsistent. (Keywords: Group support systems, GSS, group-ware, meta-analysis, task technology fit, appropriation, adoption, structuration, contingency theory, collaboration )
Trieschmann, J. S., Dennis, A. R., Northcraft, G., and Niemi, W. A. (2000). Serving Multiple Constituencies in the Business School: MBA-Progam vs. Research Performance. Academy of Management Journal, 43(6), 1130-1141.
Business schools strive to meet two goals: knowledge exploration through research and knowledge exploitation through instruction. Our results indicate that research performance (pages published in leading journals) and M.B.A. (master of business administration) program performance (popular business press rankings) are different. Research performance was improved by the number of faculty, the proportion of full professors, the proportion of assistant professors, and editorships. M.B.A, program performance was improved by the budget per faculty member and the proportion of full professors.