Nash Milic (Nebojša A. Milić)

Research Motivation, Publications and Works in progress

 

books

Research Motivation

 
Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought.
Albert Szent-Györgyi


My research is motivated by the need to understand the inner workings of the information-rich world of today and to create added value by communicating and applying research results.

To start, I believe that the vast amount of available information is mostly produced by human activity. The main orchestrator of human activity is the human brain. That is why one of my primary research interests tangents neuroscience. I decided to use the word tangent to stress that I belong to the majority of the Information Systems scholars who are not formally trained in neuroscience. I simply do not command the required expertise to operate medical-grade neural instruments or to analyze the data in raw form. However, I do believe that the gate of NeuroIS should be open to everyone and that the key which can open that gate lies in the consumer oriented neural devices which I had already successfully used in my research projects. Naturally, consumer devices will never be as powerful as the clinical equipment, but their ease of use combined with the plug and play capabilities provides a solid starting ground for novice researchers and for phenomena which cannot be simulated inside a lab.

Intriguingly, this is not the first time our discipline witnessed consumerization of a mostly research- or professionally-oriented IT artifacts. As we all know, a somewhat similar scenario occurred when practitioners started to take computers out of the lab and onto our office desks, into our homes or on top of our laps and in our palms. Those devices were never as capable as the supercomputers of their time. Nevertheless, it is evident that those compact devices played a major role in reshaping our world. That propelled me to direct a part of my research efforts towards the IT consumerization phenomena. More specifically, I am intereste in understanding how organizations use consumer IT products to reap diverse organizational benefits. To better the understanding and frame in which those benefits are analyzed, I like to bring the economics instrumentarium into the play. However, the sheer amount of data that is captured in phenomena such as consumer NeuroIS or IT consumerization is hard to grasp without the help of Big Data and Data Visualization techniques. Apart from providing better data insights, using Big Data and Data Visualization techniques often creates a base for in-class examples or projects. Finally, to grasp how all those components work together I turned to Complexity Theory to set the scene on the meta-level.

In short, my research is set to explain how information travels from the human brain through the interaction with IT to the levels where human and technological agency reshapes the complex world we all share. If you would like to find out more about my work or to co-author with me on one of my works, please feel free to read the excerpts from my research projects below.

 

Publications and Conference Presentations

 


Presented at: AMCIS 2016

Conference presentation
Single author
Manuscript is available upon request.

Data from the Consumer-Level Neuro Devices: How should IS Approach it?


Neuro IS tools can be demanding to implement properly, which limits smaller institutions, researchers with tight budgets, and programs that are not particularly multidisciplinary. For example, a single fMRI study requires massive facilities, teams of highly trained experts from different disciplines, strict procedures, and significant financial resources. With all that in mind, it is easy to conclude that vast amounts of IS related phenomena stay out of the grasp of the majority of our field which further limits Neuro IS to fully contribute to the IS body of knowledge. Even if the research unit is equipped with all material prerequisites to conduct Neuro IS studies, rigorous experimental procedures may limit the breadth of the phenomena that can be analyzed. Fortunately, there might be a way which can allow aspiring IS scholars to triangulate qualitative and quantitative data with bio and neuro data in a much more efficient and resource-minimized manner. That way is paved with consumer level neuro devices (e.g. Emotiv EPOC or Neurosky Mindwave) which are easy to install and use, and which can provide a wealth of data to supplement the colloquial data sources and to extend new research frontiers.

Presented at Gmunden
NeuroIS Retreat 2016

Conference presentation &
Book Chapter
Click here for the full text.

Single author
Manuscript is available upon request.

Consumer Grade Brain-Computer Interfaces
1: an Entry Path into NeuroIS Domains

This research provides a high-level and non-technical insight into the current state of NeuroIS field and a concise overview of consumer grade Brain-Computer interfaces (BCI). Special attention is given to the electroencephalography (EEG) based BCIs. Additionally, a two-dimensional overview with five clusters (Surgical, Clinical, Lab, Office and Plug & Play) is proposed as a mean to position NeuroIS tools based on the resource requirements and ease of use. Finally, this research employs a consumer-grade BCI (Neurosky Mindwave) in a pilot study and argues for future research on consumer-grade BCIs for topics related to information overload.

Presented at: AMCIS 2016

Conference presentation
Co-author
Click here for the full text.

IT Consumerization and New IT Practices: Discriminating, Firefighting and Innovating


CompanyB’s internal IT department was in firefighting mode. IT had to speed up, scramble and embrace uncertainty. This occurred because CompanyB’s IT department empowered end-users to use consumer devices. IT abolished policing practices, encouraged choice and promoted end-user support. IT stopped ensuring that end-users were only using standard, company-issued technology and regularly scanning technology to remove unauthorized applications. IT now empowered end-users to choose their own technology, deploy useful applications and work directly with technology vendors. IT built end-users internal technology shopping portals and crowdsourced application suggestions for its’ internal application store. These stores included both company-built and externally available applications and provided employees a place to shop for applications that would help them perform their job. IT promoted end-user support by developing knowledge sharing communities and encouraging user- vendor interaction. CompanyB’s IT department leveraged the company’s longstanding knowledge sharing communities to build a consumer technology network of excellence. On this network, end-users could post consumer technology problems and seek solutions from peers. In cases where the network couldn’t solve the problem, IT encouraged its end-users to bypass the help desk and work directly with consumer technology vendors.

Published in: Information Systems
and e-Business Management 2016

Journal Publication
Co-author
Click here for the full text.

On Search Cost and the Long Tail: The Moderating Role of Search Cost


The vast majority of consumers purchase niche products at least some of the time (Goel et al. 2010). Further, as search costs fall, consumers interested in niche products search to a much greater extent (Bar-Isaac et al. 2012). And with the fall of the search costs, both fixed and variable costs of search are decreased, which leads to additional variety of niche products provided by retailers (Yang 2013; Kendall and Tsui 2011). These findings indicate that the long tail is growing in importance as a result of the small yet present niche preference in the majority of consumers and as a result of actions to satisfy that demand. In short, niche products have noticeable impact on online sales in general, since these products are interesting to a wide array of population and since online retailers strive to cater to that demand.

Published in SpringerBriefs
in Information Systems 2015

Book Chapter
Co-author
Click here for the full text.

Global Challenges for Humanity: How Can Ethical Considerations Become More Routinely Incorporated into Global Decisions?
2

Ethics is globally and tacitly negotiated among cultures, religions and generations of the human society on Social Networks. Social Networks have become an irreplaceable part of everyday life for a large percentage of the world’s population, so it is rational to expect that the age structure of Social Networks corresponds closely with the age structure of the analyzed society. However, not all parts of society participate equally in SN, as research shows that “digital production inequality suggests that elite voices still dominate in the new digital commons” (Schradie 2011). This research paper seeks to denote the state of the art and the future of incorporating ethical principles into worldwide decisions. In so doing the literature review provides a detailed overview of published work in IS on this topic and explores the potential role of information systems (IS) in this area.

Presented at ICIS 2015

Conference Publication
Co-author
Click here for the full text.

Carryover Effects of System-Unrelated Emotions on Adoption of Information Systems


Extensive researches in other disciplines have documented emotions as a substantial aspect of human thoughts and behaviors. In our field, two types of emotions have been analyzed as antecedents of IT use: system specific emotions and general IT emotions. No study in our field focuses on system-unrelated emotions. In addition, most studies focused on the impact of emotions on the continued use of systems. There is a research gap on the effects of emotions occurring prior to the initial adoption of information systems. Thus, with our interest of system-unrelated emotions and intention to bridge this research gap, the goal of the current study is to investigate the following research question: How do IT-unrelated emotions influence the initial adoption of IS? The current paper draws on one of the most widely used adoption theory – Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) – and augment the theory with system-unrelated emotions.

Presented at BigXII +
Conference 2015

Conference Publication
Single author
Manuscript is available upon request.

Intent to Purchase Digital Goods


Literature also suggests that intention to purchase e-goods through digital marketplaces transcends purely economic motives. For example, effects of passion might also end up influencing individuals’ intention to purchase (Kettinger & Lee, 2005) e-goods. Building on that, passion is known to play a significant part in leisure activities (Zhang, Shi, Liu, & Miao, 2014) and since digital goods are mostly used for leisure activities, further support for analyzing concepts of passion emerges. However, it must be noted that passion is not a simple and uniform concept. Literature differentiates between obsessive and harmonic passion (Vallerand et al., 2003). Obsessive passion is understood as a controlled internalization of an activity in one’s identity that creates an internal pressure to engage in the activity that person likes. Harmonious passion refers to an autonomous internalization that leads individuals to choose to engage in the activity that they like. Previously stated examples of passion for leisure activity would thus classify as harmonious passion. However, passion towards e-goods may also have a darker side fueled by obsession. As such, obsessive passion in leisure activities is not exclusively conductive to wellbeing (Stenseng, Rise, & Kraft, 2011) and in extreme cases it can even lead to tragic consequences: Qiu Chegwei killed his friend for an e-sword (BBC, 2005) and Xiao Feng hired an e-assassin to kill his son’s virtual avatar (HuffingtonPost, 2013).

Presented at ICIS 2014

Conference Publication
Co-author
Click here for the full text.

Consumerization and IT Department Conflict


After years of banning consumer devices (e.g., iPads and iPhone) and applications (e.g., DropBox, Evernote, iTunes) organizations are allowing employees to use their consumer tools in the workplace. This IT consumerization phenomenon will have serious consequences on IT departments which have historically valued control, security, standardization and support (Harris et al. 2012). Based on case studies of three organizations in different stages of embracing IT consumerization, this study identifies the conflicts IT consumerization creates for IT departments. All three organizations experienced similar goal and behavior conflicts, while identity conflict varied depending upon the organizations’ stage implementing consumer tools (e.g., embryonic, initiating or institutionalized). Theoretically, this study advances IT consumerization research by applying a role conflict perspective to understand consumerization’s impact on the IT department.

 

Works in Progress

 

90 Information Overload Detection and Prevention Through the Usage of Consumer Neural Devices

The Internet is commonly portrayed as the main culprit of IO on both individual and organizational level, followed by classical telecommunication networks and intra-organizational information systems (Hu et. al. 2009; Rutsky 1999). The combination of these information technologies create tremendous information overload for average, digitally versed individuals – known as information age citizens. Specifically, an average information age citizen processes 122 emails per day (Radicati Group 2015) while actively using more than 5 accounts on more than 4 social networks (GWI 2015). An information age citizen spends around 2 hours per day just to manage his/her social network presence (GWI 2015) and a has contact network of around 350 members (Edison Research and Triton Digital 2015). In order to manage digital social networks, an information age citizen is recommended to make around 2 to 5 posts per day - depending on the actual type of the used network (Pew Research Center 2011). Additionally, an average American processes around 40 SMS messages and 12 voice calls per day. Those numbers are significantly greater when it comes to younger population – who process around 170 SMS messages per day (Pew Research Center 2011). With all that in mind it follows that IO puts a tremendous strain on individuals and on individual cognitive performances – especially on the cognitive workload and the memory performance of the human brain and on the executive center of the brain located in the pre frontal lobe (Dimoka et al. 2010, 2012; Fuster et al. 2000; Goldman-Rakic et al. 1996). In previous research, a set of clinical grade instruments, like a FMR scan or EEG, were used to further the understanding of the human brain (Dimoka et al. 2010). However, IO would be rather difficult to induce in the clinical environment and potential results might be unusable for practitioners. Therefore, if we are to detect and treat IO in real-life scenarios, a more mobile and wearable technology is needed.

Submission target: Senior Scholars' Journal
Keywords: NeuroIS, Consumer Neural Devices, Information Overload, Technostress
Data collected: Yes
Data type: Triangulated data
Open for collaboration: Yes

45

A Kaleidoscope of Arts and STEMs in an IT Startup: It is not Complicated, it is Complex


A young IT startup witnessed the explosive growth fueled by the complex interplay between two diametrically opposite groups of employees: art and STEM majors. This research is set to understand the complex interplay of unique and value adding organizational practices implemented in this startup.

Submission target: Senior Scholars' Journal or Practitioners' Journals
Keywords: Complexity, Innovation
Data collected: Yes
Data type: Semi-structured interviews
Open for collaboration: Yes

90

How Consumer Technology is Changing the IT Function


Submitted to a Senior Scholars' Journal.
Excerpts not available at the moment.

90

Digital Goods and Lossless Sharing: An Ultimatum Game Experiment


Despite the growing importance of digital goods, and the similarity between virtual and real-worlds economic actions, we were unable to find any existing studies that examined users’ understanding of the differences between physical goods and digital goods when determining value perception. Understanding more about the value perception of digital goods is important because sharing of digital goods can have profound impacts on the purchasing of digital goods. And since digital goods purchases and revenues coming from them are constantly growing in size, better understanding of sharing behaviors becomes paramount. For this reason, we seek to explore the following: how do consumers perceive the value of digital goods?

Submission target: Senior Scholars' Journal
Data collected: Yes
Data type: Quantitative data
Open for collaboration: Yes

55

Turn the Next Page: Paper or File?


Major online book sellers and publishing companies offer different prices for different physical forms of the same book. Few researchers tackled this topic, and not a single one ventured to consumer perceptions. This research project employs a longitudinal study upon a demographically and geographically diverse population. The main goal of this research is to deepen the understanding of how readers form their price estimates and how much are they willing to pay for different forms of the same book.

Submission target: Senior Scholars' Journal
Data collected: In process
Data type: Quantitative data
Open for collaboration: Yes

 

Software Tools

  The research projects listed above would not be possible without the help of the following software tools:

- IBM SPSS
- STATA
- R
- MathLab
- EEG Experimenter
- Nvivo
- PLS 3.x
- Tableau 9.x
 

 

Notes:

1) The term Brain-Computer Interfaces is not used in the same way throughout the different disciplines. The conference audience was kind enough to point this to me during the conference.
2) This book chapter started as a research project during my Master Studies.