2010 Reprints: Technology and Information Systems

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A contingency model for estimating success of strategic information systems planning, Information & Management, 47, 17-29, 2010 
T. Bechor, S. Neumann, M. Zviran, C. Glezer
(Reprint No. 114)

Strategic information system planning (SISP) has been identified as a critical management issue. It is considered by many as the best mechanism for assuring that IT activities are congruent with those of the rest of the organization and its evolving needs.  Our research investigated the success of SISP as a function of its key success factors (KSFs) in different contexts and SISP approaches, in a framework that integrated all of the SISP components and provided a new perspective on how the constructs are instrumental to produce SISP success.  Based on responses from 172 American CIOs, our study’s findings empirically supported our research model: the combination of SISP context and approach was found to have a moderating influence on the basic relationship between SISP KSFs and its success; the best predictor for the long-term success of the SISP process was apparently based on the three-way interactions between SISP’s KSFs, its approach and its context. In addition, specific combinations of SISP approach and SISP context were found to decrease or increase the size of the ‘‘planning paradox’’ (the inconsistency in the behavior of the ‘‘basic relationship’’ between the three).



Ontology-based evaluation of organizational memory, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 59(9), 1454-1468, 2008.
H. Weinberger, D. Te'eni and A. J. Frank
(Reprint No. 116)

In this article we offer a new approach to evaluating Organizational Memory (OM). Our proposed evaluation methodology, named KnowledgeEco, is based on an ontology for the domain of OM. Its key steps are:  1) mapping the OM in the evaluated organization onto the ontology concepts; 2) noting which entities from the ontology are missing in the OM; and 3) applying a series of rules that help assess the impact of the OM on organizational learning. This systematic evaluation thus helps to propose ways to improve the evaluated OM.  We present three case studies that demonstrate the feasibility of KnowledgeEco for evaluating OM and for suggesting improvements. We also identify some weaknesses in the OMs common to the three organizations cited in the case studies. Finally, we discuss how the KnowledgeEco ontology-based methodology establishes utility and contributes to further research in the field of OM.


Applying data mining techniques in the development of a diagnostics questionnaire for GERD, Digestive Diseases and Sciences, 52(8), 1871-1878, 2007.
N. Horowitz, M. Moshkowitz, Z. Halpern and M. Leshno
(Reprint No. 117)

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common condition, managed mostly in primary care practice.  Heartburn and acid regurgitation are considered primary symptoms, and are usually highly specific. However, the symptom spectrum is much wider and in many cases it is difficult to determine whether the patient has GERD or dyspepsia from another origin. The aim of this study is to develop a symptom score and rule for the diagnosis of GERD, using data mining techniques, to provide a clinical diagnostic tool for primary care practitioners in the evaluation and management of upper gastrointestinal symptoms. A diagnostic symptom questionnaire consisting of 15 items and based on the current literature was designed to measure the presence and severity of reflux and dyspepsia symptoms using a 5-point Likert-type scale. A total of 132 subjects with uninvestigated upper abdominal symptoms were prospectively recruited for symptom evaluation. All patients were interviewed and examined, underwent upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, and completed the questionnaire.  Based on endoscopic findings as well as the medical interview, the subjects were classified as having reflux disease (GERD) or non-reflux disease (non-GERD). Data mining models and algorithms (neural networks, decision trees, and logistic regression) were used to build a short and simple new discriminative questionnaire. The most relevant variables discriminating GERD from non-GERD patients were heartburn, regurgitation, clinical response to antacids, sour taste, and aggravation of symptoms after a heavy meal. The sensitivity and specificity of the new symptom score were 70%–75% and 63%–78%, respectively. The area under the ROC curve for logistic regression and neural networks were 0.783 and 0.787, respectively. We present a new validated discriminative GERD questionnaire using data mining techniques.  The questionnaire is useful, friendly, and short, and therefore can be easily applied in clinical practice for choosing the appropriate diagnostic workup for patients with upper gastrointestinal complaints.



Cost effectiveness of mass screening for coeliac disease is determined by time-delay to diagnosis and quality of life on a gluten-free diet, Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 31, 901-910, 2010.
T. Hershcovici, M. Leshno, E. Goldin, R. Shamir and E. Israeli
(Reprint No. 118)

Background: Coeliac disease is frequently diagnosed after a long delay resulting in increased morbidity and mortality.

Aims: To define the parameters which have the highest impact on the cost effectiveness of mass screening for coeliac disease.

Methods: A Markov model examined a coeliac disease screening programme of the healthy young-adult general population compared with a noscreening strategy. The main outcome measures were quality adjusted life-years (QALYs) and incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER).  Effects of variables were examined using sensitivity analyses.

Results: The screening strategy resulted in a gain of 0.0027 QALYs. The ICER of screening vs. no-screening strategy was US$48 960 ⁄ QALYs. The variables with the largest impact on cost effectiveness were: the time delay from symptom onset to diagnosis, the utility of adherence to a gluten free diet (GFD) and the prevalence of coeliac disease. Screening would be cost-effective if the time delay to diagnosis is longer than 6 years and utility of GFD adherence is greater than 0.978.

Conclusions: Our model suggests that mass screening for coeliac disease of the young-adult general population is associated with improved QALYs and is a cost effectiveness strategy. Shortening of the time-delay to diagnosis by heightened awareness of health-care professionals may be a valid alternative to screening.



Focused SWOT: Diagnosing critical strengths and weaknesses, International Journal of Production Research, 47(20), 5677-5689, 2009.
A. Coman and B. Ronen
(Reprint No. 145)

Despite the problems involved in its use, SWOT (strengths-weaknesses-opportunities- threats) analysis remains a major strategic tool for listing the strengths and weaknesses of an organization, for recording the major strengths and translating them into value. This paper presents a straightforward methodology for making a structured analysis of strengths and weaknesses, based on an analysis of important value-creating events and the strengths and weaknesses that caused these events. The focused SWOT methodology distils the strengths and weaknesses into core competences and core problems, by using the core-competence tree and the current-reality tree. The core competences and core problems are then linked into a plan of action aimed at preserving and leveraging the organization's core competences, while defending against exposure to core problems. Applications of the methodology are presented and it is demonstrated in a detailed case study.



Architectural leadership: Building a value enhancing infrastructure, Human Systems Management, 28(1-2), 35-45, 2009.
E. Kollenscher, B. Ronen and M. Farjun
(Reprint No. 146)

Architectural Leadership is a new approach to leadership intended to assist CEOs in overcoming obstacles, implementing strategy, achieving performance improvement and enhancing value. The Architect Leader structures value-drivers through unique core organizational Methods, which embody improved capabilities, serve strategy and widen the strategic horizon. The Architect Leader assimilates the Methods in the organization and ensures application of lessons learned and adjustment of the Methods to the varying circumstances. Architect Leaders nurture leadership at all organizational levels, encourage initiatives and harness all employees, not just the executive team, to fulfill the organization’s goals. The Architectural Leadership approach is practical, accessible and does not require charisma. It is based on extensive experience and has successfully been applied in many business and governmental organizations and in various industries as a means of creating competitive advantage and increasing value.


Overdosed management: How excess of excellence begets failure, Human Systems Management 28(3), 93-99, 2009.
A. Coman and B. Ronen
(Reprint No. 147)

The managerial world has been inundated with dozens of sound management theories during the last three decades.  Among them are the Balanced-Scorecard, Activity-Based-Costing, Lean, Six Sigma, TQM, TOC, MBO, MCDM, Core competencies, Vision, Coaching, Outsourcing and many others. The application of these models has often proved disappointing for many companies. A major reason for the failure of these models is the OVERDOSE SYNDROME: taking good principles to destructive extremes. This paper analyzes the origins of the managerial overdose syndrome, illustrates its undesired outcomes and suggests ways to circumvent them in the future.  Cases will illustrate the managerial overdose phenomenon and its remedies.




Challenges to ICT implementation in multinationals, Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, 1(4), 267-277, 2008.
N. Zaidman, D. Schwartz and D. Te'eni
(Reprint No. 148)

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the challenges to information and communication technologies (ICT) implementation in multinationals. The paper focuses on contextual variables relevant to the understanding of the implementation of ICT in organizations operating in the Middle East, such as organization culture and power relations.

Design/methodology/approach – The study is based on interviews with 31 employees of a multinational company that operates in the Middle East. In addition, 60 days of electronic mail of two senior managers were studied and random samples of messages from the computers of six participants collected. Altogether 200 e-mail messages, spanning seven months were surveyed.

Findings – It was found that the transplantation of ICT was based on the construction of technology as symbolizing the value of modernity. Although employees did not resist the implementation of ICT tools, several problems related to language and access to data had an impact on their work.  Furthermore, the ICT tools implicitly assumed a utilitarian discourse that values computer-mediated more than face-to-face communication, but the organization rejected this aspect of the tools.

Practical implications – We argue that more flexible designs of ICT should take into account the particular discourse system employed in order to achieve a better fit between the ICT tools and the users.

Originality/value – The paper focuses on a neglected area of research, the implementation of ICT tools in culturally diverse organizations and discusses contextual variables relevant to the understanding of the implementation of ICT in organizations such as organization culture and power relations which have not been extensively discussed in the literature.



Can contextualization increase understanding during man-machine communication? A theory-driven study, The Open Medical Informatics Journal, 2, 82-91, 2008.
L.L. Alpay, J. Verhoef, D. Te'eni, H. Putter, P.J. Toussaint and J.H.M. Zwetsloot-Schonk
(Reprint No. 149)

The Internet offers unlimited possibilities for finding health information. However, the user is often faced with the problem of understanding it. Contextualization has a role to play in enhancing the user’s comprehension. We report on a study which addresses this issue, using a theoretical model of communication whose central theme is that of context. A randomized controlled experimental design was chosen, using as a test-bed the website SeniorGezond we had previously developed. The study was composed of a pre-test, the intervention with the website and a post-test. Participants (n=40) were randomly assigned to exposure or no exposure to contextualization with the website. Results show that contextualization increases understanding for non-knowledgeable users. Furthermore, the participant’s cognitive style was found to be a significant factor in understanding. We also found that participants bring their own contexts such as social context and psychological context to support their understanding.


The effectiveness of online customer relations tools: Comparing the perspectives of organizations and customers, Internet Research, 18(3), 211-228, 2008.
L. Fink, A. Zeevi and D. Te'eni
(Reprint No. 150)

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the differences in how customers and organizations perceive online customer relations (OCR) tools – the online communication tools at the interface between organizations and customers – and how the different perceptions affect the implementation, use, and effectiveness of these tools.

Design/methodology/approach – The research model is tested empirically in three separate studies that explore the organizations’ perspective of OCR tools, the customers’ perspective of OCR tools, and the actual implementation and use of these tools.

Findings – The findings in this paper vary across the six OCR tools examined. The findings for the “contact form” suggest that the misalignment in the perspectives of organizations and customers can drive less effective online relationships. Conversely, the findings for the “order-tracking system” illustrate the potential of the alternative situation, when the attitudes of organizations and customers are aligned.

Practical implications – This paper identifies two potential barriers to effective OCRs:  misalignment between the attitudes of organizations and customers, and inconsistency between attitude and behavior on the part of organizations. The findings suggest ways for organizations to improve the effectiveness of their online strategy.

Originality/value – The research model emphasizes the implementation and use of tools that support relationships rather than commercial transactions, and assumes the availability of a portfolio of OCR tools rather than concentrating on an individual tool. This study contributes by developing and testing a research model that includes the distinct perceptions and behaviors of both organizations and customers.


Discourse-based technology support for intercultural communication in multinationals, Journal of Communication Management, 12(3), 263-272, 2008.
N. Zaidman, D. Te'eni and D. Schwartz
(Reprint No. 152)

Purpose – The purpose of this research is to suggest a framework based on the discourse approach to analyze intercultural communication problems in multinational organizations. The paper also aims to suggest solutions to these problems by designing support in computer-mediated communication.

Design/methodology/approach – The paper uses qualitative methodology to discover communication problems and strategies as they are used by employees in a multinational organization.

Findings – Communication problems and strategies were associated with differences between communicators at three levels of discourse: different assumptions about communication; different ways of structuring information and differences in style.  Research limitations/implications – The implementation of the suggested tools introduces potential sensitivities that need to be considered.

Originality/value – The paper highlights how to apply the discourse approach to the analysis of intercultural communication problems and suggests several implementations of computer-mediated communication mechanisms and techniques that can effectively mitigate communication problems in multinational organizations.


Popular searches in Google and Yahoo!: A "digital divide" in information uses? The Information Society Journal, 26(1), 17-32, 2010.
E. Segev and N. Ahituv
(Reprint No. 172)

In this article, the authors analyze the popular search queries used in Google and Yahoo! over a 24-month period, January 2004–December 2005. They develop and employ a new methodology and metrics to examine and assess the digital divide in information uses, looking at the extent of political searches and their accuracy and variety. The findings indicate that some countries, particularly Germany, Russia, and Ireland, display greater accuracy of search terms, diversity of information uses, and sociopolitical concern. Also, in many English-speaking and Western countries most popular searches were about entertainment, implying a certain gap within these countries between the few who search for economic and political information and the many who do not.


Icarus' predicament: Managing the pathologies of overspecification and overdesign, International Journal of Project Management, 28(3), 237-244, April 2010.
A. Coman and B. Ronen
(Reprint No. 173)

The phenomenon of overspecification and overdesign is well known in all industries: developing features that are not needed by the customer causes excess development efforts, missed due dates, terminated projects and higher lifecycle costs. The paper defines the phenomena, exploring inherent causes, and prescribes solutions for both business-to-business and business-to-customer industries. It presents illustrative cases of overspecification and overdesign, proposes a self-assessment to determine the severity of these phenomena in an organization and resolves the conflicts driving these phenomena. Solutions suggested include adapting Simon’s satisficer approach, resolving the marketing conflict by focusing on the 20% of features that account for 80% of the value, breaking the assumption that overspecification is beneficial for future growth potential, resolving the product manager’s conflict via a global system view, implementing the 25/25 principle, freezing and stabilizing the specifications, constraining developer time to eliminate spontaneous overdesign, and piecemeal feature launch.



Focused management in a court system: Doing more with the existing resources, Human Systems Management, 29(4), 265-277, 2010
M. Bar Niv (Burnovski), Z. Lieber and B. Ronen
(Reprint No. 174)

As in many countries, the court system in Israel suffers from long lead time, inadequate due date performance, and poor service quality. This paper shows that putting into practice the Focused Management techniques and philosophies can significantly improve the judicial system: It will achieve much more in terms of higher throughput, shorter lead time and better quality, while using the existing resources. The paper discusses the various components of the focused management philosophy adapted to the specific court environment, such as the Theory of Constraints, the global performance measures, the Just in Time concepts and other tools and techniques. The paper describes a methodology to improve the court system and analyzes the potential outcomes of the process as perceived by 94 presidents, vice presidents and senior judges who hold most of the managerial-judicial positions in the system.


Theory of object oriented analysis – Is it just theory? IEEE Software, 27(1), 64-71, 2010.
R. Gelbard, D. Te'eni and M. Sade
(Reprint No. 175)

The authors argue that for object oriented analysis to be worthwhile, costs should be reduced by concentrating on four major components, namely organizational relationships and interactions, data items, business processes, and user experiences. The benefits of each component should be enhanced by going deeper into the analysis that builds on relevant psychological, organizational and social theories.


Thoughts on the open information society: Does the concept of "privacy of an organization" exist? In U. Gori (editor), Modelling Cyber Security: Approaches, Methodology, Strategies, NATO Science for Peace and Security Series – E: Human and Societal Dynamics (Vol. 59, pp. 5-10). Amsterdam: IOS Press, 2009.
N. Ahituv
(Reprint No. 176)

No abstract


Service management. In J. Cox & J. Schleier (editors), Theory of Constraints Handbook. NY: McGraw-Hill, 2010.
B. Ronen and S. Pass
(Reprint No. 177)

No abstract

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