Business Information Systems - Doctoral Theses

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    Utilising organisational mindful routines to mitigate patient risks during a crisis: a view from within
    (University College Cork, 2022) Flynn, Ger; Nagle, Tadhg; Fitzgerald, Ciara; Historical Society of the Episcopal Church
    Modern healthcare is complex, encompassing numerous interconnecting elements such as people, technology, data and organisational routines to safeguard patient safety and maintain public confidence. Crises are disruptive phenomena that present a restricted amount of time to respond, testing the reliability and appropriateness of these interconnecting elements to their extreme. Organisational Mindfulness (OM), is accredited for developing awareness in volatile, uncertain, and complex circumstances such as healthcare delivery and its application is promoted as a method of achieving high reliability (Weick et al., 2008; Davidson and Begley, 2012; Bennett and Lemoine, 2014; Svalgaard, 2018). Positioned at the intersection of crisis management and resilience, this study links crises, OM, organisational routines, and the role of data for pre-empting and containing crises situations. Organisational routines are conceptualised as sources of stability. However, when organisations are suddenly faced with a crisis, organisational routines that contain mindless elements may weaken the organisations resilience diminishing the reliability of the response to the disruption. Where an organisations’s core function is healthcare then unreliable responses to a crisis can be detrimental to the safety of the patient. This study explores the multimodality of processes by which organisations respond and adapt to a catastrophic event including improvising. Positioned within the genre of personally relevant research, the core motivation of the thesis is driven by a desire of the author (the National Clinical Head of Medical Devices - HSE) to enhance organisational resilience to mitigate the risk to the patient. The methodologies of ‘inquiry from the inside' (Paper One and Paper Three) and Analytic Autoethnographic (Paper Two) are used to contextualise crises, providing rich insight to the disruption caused from living the experience. 'The outcome of this research provides a deep understanding of all the contrasting crises that threatened the safety of the patient. The thesis contributes eight OM routines with mindful data as the foremost novel contributions. Paper One highlights where a crisis was triggered by hidden endogenous elements that culminated in a mindless decision to replace ultrasound scanners. The study offers a routine practice contribution by highlighting the dangers and benefits of the mindless routine, ‘Learned Helplessness’. ‘Learned Helplessness’ routine uncovered through OM analysis had devastating effects on patient safety but paradoxically also allowed the organisation to function during the crisis. In addition, the study reveals the 'Technology Scapegoating' routine, which highlights the dangers of impulsiveness to place technology as the source of error, rather than people. Paper Two illustrates where the characteristics of the first wave of the COVID-19 crisis suddenly made an organisational process inappropriate, generating unprecedented disruptions that posed an extreme risk to patient safety. The concept of the ‘Pursuit of Certainty’ routine is offered as a mindful routine contribution suggesting that process deviations guided by OM during crises can improve the reliability of the organisation achieving its objective. Paper Three contributes mindful data where a resilient data supply chain focused appropriate actions necessary to manage the essential elements within the critical care environment during the third wave of COVID-19. The concept of ‘mindful data’ ensures the right data is captured from the right people, and in an accurate fashion, reducing the risk of errors or failures in its provision and use. The outcome of the study on crises highlights the devastating effects on patient safety that mindless routines can have if not uncovered within an organisation. Motivated by a desire to enhance organisational resilience to mitigate patient risks during crises, this study contributes eight OM routines to achieve this objective. This study on crises highlights the reliable agility offered by mindful routines and the benefit of purposeful mindful data for coping with the many adverse evolving challenges that sudden crises present.
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    The critical success factors for Security Education, Training and Awareness (SETA) programme effectiveness: a lifecycle model
    (University College Cork, 2023-01-09) Alyami, Areej; Sammon, David; Neville, Karen Mary; Mahony, Carolanne; Saudi Arabian Cultural Bureau
    Security Education, Training, and Awareness (SETA) programmes are one of the most important cybersecurity strategies to protect the valuable assets of any organisation, raise awareness, change behaviour, comply with Information Systems (IS) security policy, and minimises IS security threats. The significance of SETA programmes is widely accepted by both academics and practitioners. However, more research is needed to improve SETA programme effectiveness in organisations. A review of the relevant IS/cyber security literature reveals a lack of research into the Critical Success Factors (CSFs) for SETA programme effectiveness. Therefore, this research study explores the CSFs for SETA programme effectiveness. A multi-stage research design is adopted for this research study. Stage One involves the gathering and analysis of lived experiences (using semi-structured interviews) from 20 key expert informants. Emerging from this stage are 11 CSFs for SETA programme effectiveness. These CSFs are mapped along the phases of the SETA programme lifecycle (design, development, implementation, evaluation). Furthermore, 9 relationships between these CFSs are identified (both within and across the lifecycle phases). This research output is a Lifecycle Model of CSFs for SETA programme effectiveness. Stage Two of this research involves an evaluation of the importance of the 11 CSFs for SETA programme effectiveness (emerging from stage one). This evaluation is achieved through administering a short online survey questionnaire (completed by 65 respondents - IS/cyber security professionals) and a series of follow-up probing interviews (with 9 IS/cyber security professionals – 4 key informants for stage one, and 5 survey respondents for stage two). Emerging from this stage is a ranked list of CSFs and 5 guiding principles to overcome the challenges of delivering an effective SETA programme. This research output is an evaluated Lifecycle Model of CSFs for SETA programme effectiveness. Overall, this research provides a depth of insight contributing to both theory and practice and lays the foundation for further research.
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    Democratising data governance: theorising workaround-centric data activities as patterns of action
    (University College Cork, 2023) Wibisono, Arif; Sammon, David; Heavin, Ciara; Higher Education Authority; University College Cork; Kementerian Keuangan Republik Indonesia
    Data issues are detrimental and costly for organisations. So, this study investigates how employees pragmatically execute patterns of action to fix data issues. Each pattern is built upon linked workaround-centric data activities (WCDA), which are overlooked in current data governance and workaround research. Five field studies in Indonesian organisations are conducted to achieve this objective. They include a plantation company, a furniture manufacturer, a hospital, a government agency, and a university. As the research roadmap, this study conceptualises workaround-centric data issues (WCDI) and activities (WCDA) from workaround literature as taxonomies. Next, it extends a narrative network approach to model WCDA. In the end, it investigates five organisations to capture two things. First, it captures WCDA patterns of action to fix data issues. Second, it captures how employees identify data issues before fixing them. This research reveals several findings. First, workaround literature suggests that data availability and accuracy are the most frequently occurring issues. Second, the empirical work suggests that data availability and accuracy issues introduce six action patterns. It reveals that evaluate data (part of WCDA) is the common denominator for these patterns. Third, as part of evaluating data, employees execute five "checking" approaches to identify data issues: check data templates, check supervisor validation, check data accuracy, check data consistency, and check data completeness. There are three significant contributions to data governance and workaround research. First, this study challenges the mainstream assumption in data governance research. It suggests that addressing data issues must be preventive practices (e.g., pre-determined, top-down, and before the data are produced). This research shows that curative practices (e.g., reactive, bottom-up, and after the data are produced) are the norm. They exist to address immediate data needs such as managerial reporting. Second, this research challenges two widely held assumptions in workaround research: 1) a workaround is an atomic process, and 2) a workaround is an isolated process. It opens the workaround black box and shows that a workaround can consist of interlinked WCDA (e.g., a pattern of action). So, a workaround is neither atomic nor isolated. Third, this study progresses our understanding of WCDA and their relationships (as patterns of action). It identifies WCDA types from the literature. After that, it identifies WCDA patterns to address data issues from field studies. These patterns provide non-managerial employees with plausible pictures to govern data with minimal top-management intervention. These patterns allow employees to reflect on their work and present these creative practices to top management whenever necessary. Therefore, these patterns democratise data governance in organisations by making governance meaningful for operational employees. In the end, this research discusses theoretical contributions and managerial implications for data governance research and practices.
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    A critical realist investigation of collaborative research proposals in Information Systems: towards a guiding deliberation canvas
    (University College Cork, 2021) McCarthy, James B.; Adam, Frederic; Murphy, Ciaran
    This study is focused on the information flows, communication mechanisms, and review processes that take place around the proposal phase of a research project. The study included a survey plus six focus groups with the research offices of five universities plus one large research institute. Two of these universities are based in Ireland, two in the UK, plus one in Belgium. All universities are deemed as research intensive universities. This study employs a critical realist approach based on the exploration of the literature, the survey data, and insights from the focus groups. The critical realist approach used in this study is an example of how critical realism can be applied to a mixed methods project that includes an empirical study allied to feedback from focus groups. Important findings from the survey suggested that the perceived lack of time to be the biggest barrier for researchers to engage in research proposal development. This was followed by the challenges of internal administration and bureaucracy when getting involved in research projects. The next biggest challenge was the lack of knowledge and skills which prevented their engagement with interesting research calls or topics. One finding of the empirical study suggested that researchers are more concerned with winning funding for their research project first, with research and science as a secondary motivator. The study also produced the Stages, Phases, and Gates During Scientific Collaboration model (SPG) which builds a more comprehensive process view of the research lifecycle. This model contributes to the existing body of knowledge by combining stage-gate concepts to match the rule driven environment in use by research offices in universities, major collaborative funding bodies, and industry partners. Additional contributions include the development of the Research Deliberation Canvas (RDC) which promotes a more inclusive and structured approach to the early stages of a research proposal as well as promoting a more intrusive and engaging approach to reviews of the proposal with the PI, research collaborators, and especially the research office of the university. The inclusion of difficult questions regarding the strength and suitability of the proposal raise the touchy question whether it is advisable to continue with the effort if there is little chance of success. The focus groups suggested that utilising a canvas approach in the review process could facilitate the development and sharing of best practises within the research office and with researchers. Furthermore, it was suggested that there was potential benefit to leveraging the RDC as a training aid for academics new to research.
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    Antecedents of mHealth inequalities and mHealth equitable service model
    (University College Cork, 2021-09) Njoku, Rowland Uche; Adam, Frederic; Woodworth, Simon
    The introduction of consumer MHealth technology is highly extolled for its potential to facilitate access to health, alleviate the shortage of health care resources, reduce hospitalization of patients, and mitigate health cost. The overwhelming endorsement shows the use of MHealth to complement existing healthcare infrastructure by targeting heterogeneous audience for specific health need. However, consumer MHealth innovation is traditionally considered for measures of coverage, efficacy, and cost-effectiveness with little discussion of the unintended consequences of escalating inequalities for underserved consumers of low socioeconomic populations. Furthermore, MHealth studies show that inequalities are fundamentally addressed as derivative of socioeconomic phenomenon without further explanation of how social and technology factors reinforce and aggravate its patterns. Therefore, the proliferation of consumer MHealth innovation and its concomitant health inequalities have important consequences. Researchers, managers, and other health information systems’ stakeholders increasingly face the dilemma of reconciling the perplexing, and often contradictory rise in health inequalities in their commitment to implement MHealth innovation. Existing studies reveal the paucity of empirical research and methodological limitation, including the lack of relevant theories to describe, explain or predict how sociotechnical mechanisms reinforce and aggravate inequalities in MHealth. Thus, the study of inequalities in consumer MHealth presents fundamental challenges relating to its substantive nature, its origin, and scope; as well as the methodological concern of how to address the anomalies. It is therefore the objective of this research to address these gaps by exploring the antecedents of inequalities in consumer MHealth, and to resolve the following challenges: (1) the lack of consensus on the theoretical concepts of the relevant factors, (2) the elaboration of the relationship between the antecedent factors, and (3) to develop IS framework which can be used to mitigate inequalities in consumer MHealth innovation for PAB. To achieve the above objective, the researcher adopted the interpretivist paradigm and qualitative approach as a reflective method to capture the emergent complexity of human sense making in a natural sociotechnical interaction between information technology, the people, and the context. Multiple case study and purposive sampling were also adopted to enable comparative selection of cases, and to intensify comprehensive data gathering that captures the richness of the cases. Accordingly, the prerequisite technology artefact was operationalised with MHealth for physical activity and fitness (PAF). Essentially, the aim was to document in detail the conduct of everyday events in the implementation and use of MHealth for PAF and to identify the meaning assigned to these experiences by participants. The research study was conducted in the Republic of Ireland (ROI); and the data collection occurred in the period between July 2019 and March 2020. Twenty-four individuals from twelve households of ethnic minority people of African background (PAB) participated individually in the data collection which involved demographic survey, observational data with think-aloud protocol (TAP), and role-play demonstration (RPD), as well as in-depth interviews. The lack of pre-existing notion of the MHealth phenomenon and the originality of this study necessitated the use of TAP and RPD, which were devised as templates to apprehend the true nature of the emerging phenomenon. The TAP and RPD are direct observational tools designed to illuminate human interactions which are situated in practice, to grasp knowledge that are mainly observed but absent from other documentation. The researcher reasoned that unless research participants are extremely insightful, they might not know or remember all the rationale for their behaviour. Thus, the researcher prepared and collected quantitative and qualitative data from each participant for eight weeks. Thereafter, the researcher organised all data with NVivo QDAS and concurrently conducted grounded theoretical analysis. The qualitative analysis resulted to categories and core categories which have explanatory and predictive powers and provide understanding of the inequalities in consumer MHealth. Thus, this research study has immense contribution to IS theory and practice, especially for its novel methodology which uncovers the nine antecedents for examining inequalities in MHealth. Similarly, the discovery of the formative factors of inequalities in MHealth provides useful taxonomy, and clearly reveals that socioeconomic factor is one part of the nine antecedents that impact MHealth. Furthermore, the researcher developed the MHES model, and a framework to mitigate inequalities in consumer MHealth innovation. Consequently, the IS stakeholders, the PAB and underserved populations can leverage the MHESF at individual, social or organisational level to mitigate inequalities in consumer MHealth innovation. However, the transdisciplinary nature of sociotechnical research such as this requires complementary representation from relevant IS reference disciplines, as well as greater involvement of MHealth stakeholders for richer insight. Furthermore, qualitative studies of this type are subjective, idiographic, and emic, with emphasis on relevance. Notwithstanding, this study paves way for mixed method research that combines relevance and theory verification.