Yulin FANG
Prof. Yulin FANG
Innovation and Information Management
Director, Institute of Digital Economy and Innovation

3917 1025

KK 1315

Interorganizational Systems and Supply Chain Agility in Uncertain Environments: The Mediation Role of Supply Chain Collaboration

Supply chain agility has been recognized as a key capability for firms working to achieve superior performance in uncertain business environments. Supply chain agility is challenging to achieve, however, because it requires the firm and its supply chain partners to collaborate closely yet flexibly across organizational boundaries. Extending the boundary object literature to the supply chain context, this study unveils the mechanism through which interorganizational systems (IOS), widely deployed to span organizational boundaries through interfirm digital connections, promote supply chain agility in uncertain environments. The concept of supply chain collaboration is introduced as the mediating mechanism between two key IOS characteristics (i.e., standardization and adaptability) and supply chain agility. Environmental uncertainty is incorporated as the contextual condition through contextualized theorization of IOS as boundary objects. The resulting hypotheses are tested via a two-wave, match-paired survey study on business and information technology executives in 156 manufacturing firms. Empirical findings provide general support to most hypotheses, and implications for theory development and professional practice are discussed.

Satisfaction to Stay, Regret to Switch: Understanding Post-adoption Regret in Choosing Competing Technologies When Herding

Faced with uncertainty when choosing among a wide range of similar competing technologies, users often take a herding in technology adoption (HTA) strategy to make heuristic adoption decisions. The HTA strategy brings users cost and time savings and casts doubt on user staying power. The extant adoption research has long focused on user satisfaction with the performance of the chosen technology (also known as the expectation-disconfirmation theory perspective) but does not sufficiently account for the consideration of the decision process across competing alternatives. To fill this void, this research uses a holistic post-adoptive evaluation by introducing a regret perspective in relation to competing technologies. Specifically, we theorize and operationalize a new multidimensional construct of post-adoption regret and construct a research model to examine how HTA leads to post-adoption regret and how such regret influences user staying power. The results suggest that post-adoption regret is formed primarily through two routes, outcome and process, and it is found to be more related to user switching, whereas satisfaction is related to user retention. The research model is supported by two longitudinal field studies of users in Asia and Europe who chose between competing technologies in both forms of free software and paid hardware. Findings from this research have significant implications for information systems research and industry practice.

Growing user base in the early stage of sharing economy platforms: An integration of competitive repertoire and institutional legitimacy theories

Sharing economy platforms are pressed to rapidly grow user bases at the early stage by aggressively targeting potential users through competitive actions. Due to the volatile nature of the sharing economy and its disruption to industry norms, these platforms encounter legitimacy challenges that impede user base growth. This paper integrates competitive repertoire and institutional legitimacy theories to develop a research model that explains early-stage user base development in the sharing economy. We posit that the early-stage user base is associated with structural characteristics of the competitive repertoire, whose effects are moderated by a platform's socio-political legitimation efforts that address stakeholders’ regulatory and normative concerns. Using a comprehensive sample of 4644 monthly observations of 129 sharing economy platforms in China, we find that the volume of two context-specific competitive actions, offering economic incentives and staging high-visibility events, along with competitive repertoire complexity, are positively related to the platform's early-stage user base. We also identify a significant negative relationship between repertoire differentiation and user base. Direct relationships are moderated by socio-political legitimation, however, such that legitimation weakens the positive impact of context-specific action volume but enhances those of repertoire complexity and differentiation. Managerial and practical implications are discussed in light of the findings.

Attaining Individual Creativity and Performance in Multi-Disciplinary and Geographically-Distributed IT Project Teams: The Role of Transactive Memory Systems

Contemporary IT project teams demand that individual members generate and implement novel ideas in response to the dynamic changes in IT and business requirements. Firms rely on multidisciplinary, geographically distributed IT project teams to gather the necessary talent, regardless of their locations, for developing novel IT artifacts. In this team context, individuals are expected to leverage dissimilar others’ expertise for creating ideas during idea generation (IG) and then implement their ideas during idea implementation (II), known as the IGII process. Although much has been done to explain individual creativity, the extant literature offers little theoretical understanding on how to address the double-edged effects of dispersions in both functional expertise (ExpDisp) and geographical locations (GeoDiss)—the two defining characteristics of multi-disciplinary, cross-locational IT project teams—on individual creativity and subsequent performance. Drawing on the IGII framework, we propose transactive memory systems (TMSs) as a plausible team-level solution to tackle the challenge. With a multi-wave multi-level dataset from 141 members and their supervisors from 35 IT project teams, we found that team-level TMS and GeoDiss interactively moderate individual-level IGII processes in multi-disciplinary geographically -distributed IT project teams during both II and IG, but in qualitatively different ways.

An Interdisciplinary Approach to Digital Innovation & Transformation – Professor Yulin FANG

Professor Yulin Fang is a seasoned scholar, professional case writer, veteran IT consultant, and editor for several internationally renowned journals. Seeing HKU Business School as a supernova in the academic landscape, Professor Fang is keen to contribute his intellectual might on digital innovation and transformation to our School’s journey of excellence.  Joining us in September 2021, Professor Fang will be leading our School’s newly formed research centre, the Institute of Digital Economy and Innovation (IDEI).  

The Role of Vendor Legitimacy in IT Outsourcing Performance: Theory and Evidence

Information technology (IT) outsourcing relationships today are facing increasingly turbulent environments. With rapid changes in technological, commercial, societal, and regulatory landscapes, client firms have to closely and continually assess the desirability and appropriateness, or legitimacy, of their vendors in such dynamic settings. In this research, the focus is on client firms’ perceived legitimacy of vendors, termed “vendor legitimacy.” Specifically, building on institutional theory, vendor legitimacy is conceptualized as consisting of three dimensions—pragmatic, moral, and cognitive—and is examined through their respective impacts on IT outsourcing performance. The role of key governance strategies for managing vendor legitimacy, namely, contractual governance and relational governance, are likewise explored. Results from a multiple-sourced, matched-pair, cross-industry sample of executives and managers of 185 client firms reveal that these various governance strategies exert differential impacts on the aforementioned dimensions of vendor legitimacy, which, in turn, drive performance.

Managing Collective Enterprise Information Systems Compliance: A Social and Performance Management Context Perspective

In today’s environment characterized by business dynamism and information technology (IT) advances, firms must frequently update their enterprise information systems (EIS) and their use policies to support changing business operations. In this context, users are challenged to maintain EIS compliance behavior by continuously learning new ways of using EIS. Furthermore, it is imperative to businesses that employees of a functional unit maintain EIS compliance behavior collectively, due to the interdependent nature of tasks that the unit needs to accomplish through EIS. However, it is particularly challenging to achieve such a collective level of EIS compliance, due to the difficulty that these employees may encounter in quickly learning updated EIS. It is, therefore, vital for firms to establish effective managerial principles to ensure collective EIS compliance of a functional unit in a dynamic environment. To address this challenge, this study develops a research model to explain collective EIS compliance by integrating theoretical lens on social context and performance management context with social capital theory. It proposes that social context, an organizational environment characterized by trust and support, positively affects collective EIS compliance by developing business–IT social capital that enhances mutual learning between business and IT personnel. Furthermore, the performance management context, an organizational environment characterized by discipline and “stretch,” is seen to have a direct and beneficial effect on collective EIS compliance as well as an indirect, moderating effect on the causal chain among social contexts, business–IT social capital, and collective EIS compliance. General empirical support for this research model is provided via a multiple-sourced survey of managers and employees of 159 functional units of 53 firms that use EIS, as well as their corresponding IT unit managers. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.