My research is focused on the dynamics of collaborative synthesis of technology and business innovations to drive greater organizational intelligence through digitization. The research involves design of organizational structures, processes and tools that can foster transformation from a command-and-control to coordinate-and-cultivate leadership model conducive to modern digital enterprises. I am a firm believer that intelligence augmentation techniques can lead to superior, higher scale and swifter business decisions and agility in response. There is already a huge demand for smart machine learning algorithms built on big data, as evidenced by the recent spike in FinTech (Financial Technology) R&D spend. As part of the Center for Design and Innovation at Weatherhead, my goal is to produce management practices and designs that can instill collective utilization of data, both stored and streamed, to transcend organizations to be more proactive, nimble, agile, resilient and vibrant.
The inquiry of my research is focused on better understanding the interpersonal dynamics between Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems and 'Big Data'. The daunting challenges of organizations in prescribing realistic common sense solutions for post implementation failures of ERP systems will be my fundamental focus. Organizations are paying keen attention to the diverse impact of 'Big Data' on their operational trajectory. Nonetheless, with tremendous human and financial capital resources invested over time on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems, it is becoming increasing peculiar why two-thirds of implementation of these systems are abysmal failure in both public and private sectors.
The focus of my research will seek to understand first, what unique factors are underpinning Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System failures from one corporation to another. Second what explains similar challenges but very different elements responsible for these similar failures within unique firms?
With extensive ERP implementation and deployment experience with a global organization, my research adventure will seek to create better cost effective alternatives in not only understanding the failures of ERP systems but also practical managerial and better business practices. My findings will hopefully leverage a better transition of organizational big data as impacted by resource effective post ERP implementation.
Cory Campbell, CPA
My personal research interests lie at the intersection between technology and accountancy and I intend to focus my research on the extent that Accounting Information Systems (AIS) contributes to strategic decision-making in higher education. Higher education is changing rapidly! Schools are competing for state appropriations; which are shrinking due to constraints with state budgets. At the same time, there is increased pressure for external funding for both private and public schools as the expectations of the Board of Trustees and other stakeholders are rising; which creates the need for increased transparency. Schools are recognizing that this shifting paradigm will result in an increased need for analytics. However, schools seem to struggle with determining how to provide information in a more compelling manor. Why are schools struggling with this? When will schools figure it out? And what are the implications moving forward? My research journey seeks to address these questions. I believe this research will significantly influence how institutions of higher learning could benefit from considering the impact on organizational strategy which may contribute to new uses of information.
Larry Clay is a research fellow for Design and Innovation within the Weatherhead School of Management DM program. His research interest embraces sustainable value creation in cities through designing innovative social and material artifacts for world benefits. His past experience includes managing territories in the healthcare industry representing companies such Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, and designing boutique custom clothing for men and women. Over the last few years, he has founded Rainmaker Strategic Management (RSM), a business management consultancy that focuses on creating sustainable value and sustainable innovation for a wide range of organizations. He is an enthusiastic writer, and from time to time enjoys the outdoors, culinary cooking, the arts, sciences, and music of all genres.
I seek to apply management design methods towards a new business model pathway for microgrid energy that integrates low-income communities who apply agency to affect entrepreneurship and navigate through complexity in a sustainable manner from the bottom up.
My research studies examine the underperforming alliances between private capital and small power producers (SPPs) that operate in low-income markets. In spite of prevailing research that details policy methods, finance mechanisms and business models intended to attract private capital to enlarge energy access and clean energy in global markets; private capital invested just (1.3%) $2.2billion of $1.6 trillion energy investments into SPPs and remain sidelined in spite of the value proposition. My qualitative study interviewed 21 SPP entrepreneurs from Sub-Saharan Africa and India and 21 investors from Europe/United States and found that most investments are made through social grants and that private-capital profitmaking investors are mostly absent. The findings indicate a gap in understanding business logic between the two groups, caused by translation incoherence, different mental models, and weak social networks. The findings established that SPPs obtained valuable big consumer data on low-income populations and effect competent last-mile distribution services. These hidden value chains are not recognized by private capital investors and we propose to further examine a) the enterprise valuation of SPPs through quantitative methods b) confirm the valuation results through a quantitative SEM method to affirm the hypothesis of SPP investment alignment with private capital profitmaking investors.
James R. Hemsath, PE, PMP
James (Jim) Hemsath is the Director responsible for the Project Development and Asset Management division of the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, a statuary corporation of the State of Alaska. This group finances, owns, manages, and operates industrial facilities in Alaska, as well as being responsible for project development and strategic planning. Examples of these facilities include the Delong Mountain Transportation System (haul road and port complex and the only Arctic Port in the United States) the Ketchikan Shipyard, and the Skagway Ore terminal.
Jim’s problem of practice is focused on understanding multiparty collaboration that crosses borders and spans cultures. Design has the connotation of a physical product. As a an engineer we design things, fit for purpose, cost effective, efficient in its use of material and resources and able to stand stresses coming from a variety of different conditions. Why shouldn't we allow management design to proceed in the same way. How and what we manage will vary from situation to situation, project to project, let alone changes in the "environment" that the business finds itself in. The design process allows ourselves to be innovative if we can find a way to design a creative process. Tom and Dave Kelly talk in their book "Creative Confidence" that an innovation program has three factors to balance - Business (the viability of an idea), Technical (the feasibility of an idea) and People (how desirable the innovation is to them). I have been a fan of IDEO, not just because of their product designs, but their process - especially the rapid prototyping (fail fast, fail often), which is not a traditional management process. In a similar manner, the collaboration process tends to be part of the innovation process. In that regard moving from competition to cooperation to collaboration is itself a design process. As management design and innovation fellow, I would like the opportunity to be exposed more to these approaches and have the opportunity to apply them to my work.
It is my sincere desire that my actions reflect my aspirations to view as much of my life as possible as an opportunity to learn, serve, and facilitate outcomes that create lasting value. This pursuit has brought me to Case Western Reserve University as I seek to further these goals.
Through my work as a small-business leader and consultant, I am passionate about helping other leaders to create environments that broadly deliver value to each person that is impacted by their business. As more and more employees are motivated by a desire to make a meaningful difference through their work, it is essential that business leaders are equipped with the skills and understanding needed to nurture and guide cohesive teams towards a broader definition of success. Although these pursuits are a part of my practical experience, I am currently exploring the organizational dynamics of such small businesses through a more rigorous scholarly lens. It is my desire that my work will help us to better understand the nuances of building and nurturing small business in a manner that leads to flourishing.
Tarina S. Pettiway, PMP
My research area of interest is focused on understanding what factors explain the organizational learning process and effect of post mortem practices on the performance of Software Projects. Specifically, my research seeks to understand how and to what extent is organizational learning, organizational norms, software development, resources, risk management and project performance significant factors in explaining how prior learnings are integrated into the project management process. Early findings suggests that in order for innovation to occur, organizations should be willing to break from the norm and try new techniques. However, if organizations are not willing to adjust based on prior experiences, they may face reluctance to explore the innovation process. Findings in this area may have applicability in different instances where process management frameworks are leveraged. It would be my hope to leverage the findings from my research to assist in driving change in the way organizations approach process improvement which can lead to innovation.
My research will examine the role of the senior to mid-level IT leader, those who typically report to the CIO. Management research has provided an extensive profile of the skills needed to be a CIO, yet there is a shortage within the literature to address the competencies and managerial skills necessary for senior to mid-level IT leaders. I will seek to understand the critical competencies and blended knowledge attributes necessary to be highly effective within this role. Through the evaluation of multiple qualitative and quantitative studies, I will flush out the managerial skills, knowledge traits and overall perception of a highly effective senior IT leader. The goal is to learn what makes one IT leader more effective than another, which may lead to credibility. My research hopes to contribute to the sparse research on what skills, blended technical knowledge and behavioral traits a person needs to have in order to be a credible senior leader within the information technology field. My hope would be to gain a better understanding of how to staff the senior leadership team within a CIO’s organization. I hope to be able to help CIO’s, recruiters and organizations train, educate, and hire, highly performing IT executives.
Ivory J. Simms
Ivory J. Simms, received her Executive MBA in Global Business Administration from the Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University in 2018. Currently, she is a Doctoral Student at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western University, a Doctor of Management Design and Innovation Fellow and a Doctor of Nonprofit Management Fellow. Ivory is a Sustainability Leader specializing in environmental, health, safety and innovation design services.
Ivory’s research seeks to understand fresh produce access and distribution in food insecure consumer markets. Her research specifically focuses on the role of local food retail markets and the factors that influence retail leaders’ decisions. The analysis will also include an examination of the relationship between local food retail markets and supplemental nutrition programs. Ivory’s goal is to identify access and distribution impacts within the local food environment. Additionally, identify sustainable food retail models for low-income consumer markets.
My research is focused on peer coaching in groups (PCG) - small groups of 3-20 people of relatively equal status that meet regularly to help each other with personal and professional development. It is an innovative method of staff development that can be successfully used both within individual companies and as an inter-organizational platform, which has been gaining in popularity in recent years. PCG provides free and equal opportunities for everyone to learn and exchange knowledge and has been implemented by a number of Fortune 500 companies, governmental organizations, nonprofits, and leading academic institutions to date. Encapsulating various aspects of PCG, my research is situated at the forefront of emerging scholarship on this topic and seeks to fill in an existing critical gap in our current knowledge and understanding through a combination of in-depth qualitative and quantitative studies. My work investigates the effectiveness of PCG, as well as its various forms and methods, including the use of facilitators and other tools, while comparing it to other approaches to staff development, such as professional coaching, trainings, peer mentoring, and developmental networks. Among other things, PCG enables organizations to adopt a more sustainable and equitable business model centered on employee wellbeing, creating a more equitable field for business competition in any sector of the economy. My aspiration in pursuing this topic is to make a contribution to changing the approach to staff development and business education, as a whole.
Tony Tung is the Information Technology Manager at California Department of Technology (CDT). Tony has provided leadership for the Information Technology for 20 years in the industry globally, including developing an innovative, robust, and secure information technology environment. His primary responsibilities encompass a wide variety of strategic technology issues such as governance and policy, resource allocation, information technology protocols.
The California Department of Technology (CDT) is committed to partnering with California state, local government and educational entities to deliver digital services, develop innovative and responsive solutions for business needs, and provide quality assurance for state government Information Technology (IT) projects and services.
More recently, Tony has concentrated in two major areas in his research: IT purchase intention and knowledge management.
Tony is studying how university students’ attitudes toward information technology (IT) purchase intention is influenced by the antecedent variables of electronic word of mouth (eWOM), and how eWOM directly influences IT purchase intentions. This study employs Smart PLS, adopting the partial least squares (PLS) product indicator approach to test the research model. The scope of this research extends beyond technological innovations, particularly because change in the technology marketplace has accelerated. For this reason, this research defines information technology (IT) as (1) computers with a human interface (including personal computers, tablets, and smartphones); (2) all voice, video, and data networks, and the relevant equipment and purchased services necessary to operate them; and (3) all technology services provided by vendors or contractors.
Tony’s second area of study is knowledge management, which is an important development strategy for companies in today’s contemporary and highly competitive society. Knowledge management focuses on the acquisition, sharing, transfer, storage, extraction, recreation, and integration of knowledge to help companies improve by reducing the risk of crisis, improving efficiency and effectiveness, and innovating products and processes. Knowledge sharing (KS) is one of the most important activities in knowledge management, as effective KS can increase an organization’s performance. Although many studies have explored the factors that promote knowledge sharing, few studies have explored why and how staff hides and hoards their knowledge within an organization. Knowledge hiding has been an area of concern for some practitioners. A Canadian newspaper survey of more than 1,700 readers showed that 76% of employees hide their knowledge from colleagues, suggesting that this is an area that needs attention. This research may identify factors that will allow the development of strategies to increase knowledge transfer within an organization and enhance knowledge sharing among members. This study also employs Smart PLS, adopting the partial least squares (PLS) product indicator approach to test the research model.
Avi researches the factors that distinguish private equity's extreme outperformers in private equity. Private equity returns appear heavily right skewed at the levels of investments, investment professionals, and firms, with a small percentage of actors creating the majority of value. His first DM paper explored the competencies and styles that distinguish extreme outperformance at one of the world's leading PE firms, and future research will explore these phenomena more broadly across the industry. For academics, this research aims to bridge the fields of private equity research, competency research, and the growing line of research into power laws and other right-skewed distributions in human behavior. For practitioners, the research aims to help create a new set of tools that can be used to design effective firms and develop effective professionals.
Professionally, Avi is Chief Operating Officer of the Riverside Europe Fund. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Private Equity Centre at INSEAD, where he earned his MBA in 2002.