Cork University Business School - Journal Articles

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    The dark side of digitalization and social media platform governance: a citizen engagement study
    (Emerald, 2023-01-09) McCarthy, Stephen; Rowan, Wendy; Mahony, Carolanne; Vergne, Antoine
    Purpose: Social media platforms are a pervasive technology that continues to define the modern world. While social media has brought many benefits to society in terms of connection and content sharing, numerous concerns remain for the governance of social media platforms going forward, including (but not limited to) the spread of misinformation, hate speech and online surveillance. However, the voice of citizens and other non-experts is often missing from such conversations in information systems literature, which has led to an alleged gap between research and the everyday life of citizens. Design/methodology/approach: The authors address this gap by presenting findings from 16 h of online dialog with 25 citizens on social media platform governance. The online dialog was undertaken as part of a worldwide consultation project called “We, the internet”, which sought to provide citizens with a voice on a range of topics such as “Digitalization and Me,” “My Data, Your Data, Our Data” and “A Strong Digital Public Sphere.” Five phases of thematic analysis were undertaken by the authors to code the corpus of qualitative data. Findings: Drawing on the Theory of Communicative Action, the authors discuss three dialogical processes critical to citizen discourse: lifeworld reasoning, rationalization and moral action. The findings point toward citizens’ perspectives of current and future issues associated with social media platform governance, including concerns around the multiplicity of digital identities, consent for vulnerable groups and transparency in content moderation. The findings also reveal citizens’ rationalization of the dilemmas faced in addressing these issues going forward, including tensions such as digital accountability vs data privacy, protection vs inclusion and algorithmic censorship vs free speech. Originality/value: Based on outcomes from this dialogical process, moral actions in the form of policy recommendations are proposed by citizens and for citizens. The authors find that tackling these dark sides of digitalization is something too important to be left to “Big Tech” and equally requires an understanding of citizens’ perspectives to ensure an informed and positive imprint for change.
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    Open e-learning platforms and the design–reality gap: an affordance theory perspective
    (Emerald, 2021-12-22) McCarthy, Stephen; Rowan, Wendy; Kahma, Nina; Lynch, Laura; Ertiö, Titiana Petra; Horizon 2020
    Purpose: The dropout rates of open e-learning platforms are often cited as high as 97%, with many users discontinuing their use after initial acceptance. This study aims to explore this anomaly through the lens of affordances theory, revealing design–reality gaps between users' diverse goals and the possibilities for action provided by an open IT artefact. Design/methodology/approach: A six-month case study was undertaken to investigate the design implications of user-perceived affordances in an EU sustainability project which developed an open e-learning platform for citizens to improve their household energy efficiency. Thematic analysis was used to reveal the challenges of user continuance behaviour based on how an open IT artefact supports users in achieving individual goals (e.g. reducing energy consumption in the home) and collective goals (lessening the carbon footprint of society). Findings: Based on the findings, the authors inductively reveal seven affordances related to open e-learning platforms: informing, assessment, synthesis, emphasis, clarity, learning pathway and goal-planning. The findings centre on users' perception of these affordances, and the extent to which the open IT artefact catered to the goals and constraints of diverse user groups. Open IT platform development is further discussed from an iterative and collaborative perspective in order to explore different possibilities for action. Originality/value: The study contributes towards research on open IT artefact design by presenting key learnings on how the designers of e-learning platforms can bridge design–reality gaps through exploring affordance personalisation for diverse user groups. This can inform the design of open IT artefacts to help ensure that system features match the expectations and contextual constraints of users through clear action-oriented possibilities.
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    Shared and fragmented understandings in interorganizational IT project teams: An interpretive case study
    (Elsevier, 2021-08-05) McCarthy, Stephen; O'Raghallaigh, Paidi; Fitzgerald, Ciara; Adam, Frédéric
    Shared understanding is essential in interorganizational projects to integrate the divergent knowledge of individual team members and support collaborative knowledge building. This can nevertheless be a challenging undertaking in interorganizational projects as team members must continuously negotiate differences in their organizational and professional backgrounds during project work. In this paper, we explore how interorganizational IT project teams deal with sources of ‘fragmentation’ in their understanding, explicating the theoretical and practical implications that these have for project management. Our study is needed to explore the increasingly complex and emergent nature of interorganizational project management today where neither goals nor the means of attainment are known with precision at a project's launch. We analyze interpretive case study findings from an 8-month IT project involving diverse organizations from industry, academia, and healthcare. Based on our findings, we develop a framework which highlights the relationship between three sources of fragmentation of understanding (interpersonal, technical, and contextual) across key project activities. We contribute towards project management literature by revealing how these sources of fragmentation might be overcome through framing project activities (the problem, method, and solution formulation) differently. While fragmentation may characterize any, or all, of these key activities, it is not without remedy.
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    Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) management practices in micro- and small-sized enterprises: The case of the Portuguese waste management sector
    (Elsevier Ltd., 2020-05-20) Rodrigues, Matilde A.; Sá, Ana; Masi, Donato; Oliveira, Alexandra; Boustras, Georgios; Leka, Stavroula; Guldenmund, Frank; Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia; European Regional Development Fund; North Portugal Regional Operational Programme; Universidade do Porto
    The waste management sector is dominated by micro and small-sized enterprises. Although it is possible to anticipate that they may face the same problems as other small firms, information about activities related to the prevention of occupational risks in this sector and how this influences Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) performance is still limited. This study aims to address the issue, contributing to current literature about the protection of employees and the prevention of occupational risks in the waste management sector. The study was conducted at 66 enterprises in Portugal. Data about OHS management practices was collected through different sources, such as questionnaires applied to employers and analysis of documents and records available at the enterprise. A summative index that assesses seven OHS performance aspects was used to characterize the enterprises regarding their OHS performance level. The results showed that micro and small-sized waste management firms display several constraints with regard to OHS management. Several enterprises still do not have organized preventive services. Additionally, OSH policies or objectives, risk assessment, training and accident recording mechanisms were found to be non-existent in several cases. The time dedicated by employers to OHS issues and the support of external advisory services was also low for some firms. A positive and statistically significant association was found between these variables and the enterprisesâ OHS performance level. Future research will focus on designing an intervention to improve OHS in the waste management sector as a whole.
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    Type A/B personality, work-family, and family-work conflict: The moderating effects of emotional intelligence
    (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2021-07-06) Garavan, Thomas; Srivastava, Shalini; Madan, Poornima; O'Brien, Fergal; Matthews-Smith, Gerri
    Many employees experience work-family conflict (WFC) and family-work conflict (FWC), multidimensional states of resource depletion. In this paper, we conceptualize Type A and B personality as resource depletion and resource gain scenarios that have implications for perceptions of WFC and FWC. We draw on conservation of resources (COR) theory to examine the resource loss and gain resulting respectively from Type A and B personality and the resource-generating role of ability-based emotional intelligence (EI) on multiple dimensions of WFC and FWC. Utilizing a sample of 305 managers for 15 Information and Communication Technology (ICT) organizations in India, we uncover a fine-grained pattern of results indicating that Type A personality represents resource loss while Type B personality represents resource gain in the context of time, strain and behavior based WFC and FWC. We also found that ability-based EI performed restorative and additive resource functions as a moderator in the context of these relationships. The key outcome of the study is that ability-based EI performs an important role in the context of different types of WFC and FWC because it generates resources to address these conflicts.