Special Edition of the Australian Accounting Review: Information Systems Research

One of the exciting things on the Information Technology & Management Centre of Excellence’s work plans for this year is a special edition of the Australian Accounting Review. If you don’t know of the AAR (and if you studied an Honours degree in business over the past twenty-five years, you probably should know about it), it is the pre-eminent Australian research journal for accounting and business.

Speaking for myself, I do occasionally get a little twitch in my eye when I think back to all those research papers I had to critique out of the AAR, but I’m getting over that. Honest.

At any rate, a call for papers has been issued, and the response has been very enthusiastic – much better perhaps than we had anticipated, and the editorial committee (Dr John Campbell, Shauna Kelly, and myself) are now finalising the papers that will be included in the special edition.

I will probably will document (OK, definitely will) the launch of the special edition. This is a project I am particularly proud that the COE has been able to bring to fruition, and the quality of the papers that have been submitted – from some of Australia’s foremost researchers – indicates a future need for such a journal. However, at this time, it is a one-off and the COE will review the project to see whether we do this more often – at the moment, I am thinking biannually, but perhaps it’s an annual thing (or if it’s a complete bomb, we’ll call it a success and not repeat the experience).

I suspect the whole “complete bomb” thing is not an option, just on the basis of my reading of the papers I have seen so far. Australian research is a strong thing, and information systems is no less strong than any other area of Australian inventiveness, so I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised. I am looking forward to the final fruition of something we first talked about at least three years ago (when Tony Hayes was the Chair), and if this was the only thing we could achieve, I would have been a happy man. The fact that we’re almost done with our current work program is testament to the dedication and assistance of the people on the COE, on our policy and research advisor Jan Barned, and more particularly on the ability of CPA Australia to attract and foster the abilities of very talented people.

Who do I mean? Well, perhaps you’ll have to beg, borrow or steal a copy of the Special Edition of the Australian Accounting Review: Information Systems Research. I’m sure it’ll be a best-seller.

Posting on the Internet – a User Story

Just in case you have ever thought about it (or never have), in cyberspace everyone sees what you type, eventually. The other day I quickly subscribed to a newsgroup about Mercedes Benz classic cars (I was doing some car research – even IT people can like cars – but I suspect I’ll never get to own the car). About a week later, casually typing my name into Yahoo (as you do) suddenly brought up my membership of this group. I do this occasionally because the spelling of “Micheal” is unique and therefore actually returns entires relating just to me, rather than, say, if my name was John Smith – it’s good to know who has your details.

In this instance, I had only signed up very quickly to read about the great and wondrous things that can happen with a Mercedes Benz 450SLC (in case you’re wondering, they come in two categories: (a) expensive; and (b) marriage-threatening). It took about thirty seconds to “subscribe to our site” and now that site has my details cached in Yahoo and it will probably be there for ages yet. I’m just glad it wasn’t a support group for strange and debilitating infectious diseases that you can catch from unsanitary telephones.

But – I should have already learned my lesson, as the same search on Google shows an entry that I’m probably not too happy about! I was on a mailing list some time ago (like, 1996!) and responded to an email (foolishly using my real name). That mailing list diligently archives EVERY email ever sent to it, and accordingly Google has now cached it and it will be there forever now – it’s unlikely I can get it taken down.

As an exercise for the reader, see if you can pick up the page I’m not happy about from the link above.

So – a salient lesson in being careful on the internet.

(Postscript: I had forgotten the “findoz” website that is returned by this search – this is NOT the mailing list to which I was subscribed, I have no idea how my professional profile manages to get mixed up with “hard core DVDs” on the findoz website, and I have a feeling there’s another salient lesson there somewhere!).

SME’s and e-Business

Dr Kate Andrews suggested I take a look at the online business journal “Ivey Business Journal”. This is the online version of a 70-year old journal.

I note that the May/June 2005 edition carries an article “The Strategic Management Process In E-Business“. This article provides several case studies from a scientific study of SME’s that have adopted e-business, and those strategies that SME’s can use to be effective with e-business.

Could You Say That Again?

Going back through my old papers, I discovered this (rather more accessible, although it’s still research) version of my thesis on Information Request Ambiguity. A riveting read? Probably not, but it’s a good source for anyone wanting to take a look at the theoretical underpinnings of internal communication and its potential commercial effects.

In case you’re wondering, information request ambiguity is when there is ambiguity in a request for a report to be written by a third party. Information Request Ambiguity is a mouthful, but it’s probably more professional-sounding than calling it the “Are you sure that’s what you want?” factor.

This paper was presented at the International Conference in Information Systems in 2001. We are repeating the experiment and hoping to publish in a first-tier journal “real soon now”. The main rationale for the research was to identify the different types of ambiguity, and what their likely effects are (e.g. accuracy, mistaken reporting, etc).