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European Journal of Information Systems (2005) 14, 317–323 & 2005 Operational Research Society Ltd. All rights reserved 0960-085X/05 $30.00 EDITORIAL Information systems research in the Asia Pacific region Patrick Y.K. Chau1, Lihua Huang2 and Ting-Peng Liang3 1 The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong; Fudan University, China; 3National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan and Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong. 2 Correspondence: Ting-Peng Liang, National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan and Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong. E-mail: Abstract Research in information systems (IS) in the Asia Pacific has experienced fast progress in the past 10 years. A major driving force is the Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems. In this paper, we provide an overview of the IS research in the Asia Pacific and in China and four best papers selected from the 2004 Pacific Asia Conference on Information System Shanghai Conference. European Journal of Information Systems (2005) 14, 317–323. doi:10.1057/palgrave.ejis.3000548 Keywords: information systems research; Asia Pacific region; research topic comparison Introduction The field of information systems (IS) has evolved into a mature discipline along with the development of information technology and its applications over the past three decades. As the role of IS increases in both profitmaking and non-profit making organizations around the world, the academic discipline of IS research has also become more globalized. Although still a bit behind the American and the European counterparts, IS research has grown rapidly in the Asia Pacific (AP) region in the past decade, both in terms of the number of IS programs and the number of IS researchers in the region. Two major driving forces for the development are the initiation of the Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems (PACIS) in 1993, held at National Sun Yat-sen University in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and the founding of the Association for Information Systems (AIS) in 1994. PACIS provides a platform for scholars in the region to share their research findings, while AIS has a mechanism for members in the region to be involved in the global scholar network in the area. As a result, IS researchers in the region have become much more active and collaborative as compared to the situation 10 or 15 years ago. In this introduction, we first provide an overview of the evolution of IS research in the AP region in the past decade based on papers published in previous PACIS proceedings. We then look at the key drivers for such a rapid growth. We conclude with what the IS research community in the region has achieved so far and a brief description of the papers selected from PACIS 2004 for this Special Section. Evolution of IS research in the AP region A good snapshot of the evolution of IS research in the AP region is the papers that have been published in PACIS Proceedings. An examination of the conference proceedings from 1993 to 2004 shows that a total of 878 papers has been published (including poster sessions, http://www. Their authors distribute among 34 different countries. 318 Editorial Table 1 Patrick Y.K. Chau et al Distribution of contributor’s nationality Country/region 1993 TW 1995 SG 1997 AUS 2000 HK 2001 KR 2002 Japan 2003 AUS 2004 China Total Australia USA Taiwan Singapore Hong Kong Korea China Japan New Zealand Others 3 26 20 10 5 2 1 4 0 5 19 15 9 14 11 3 3 8 6 30 48 13 2 4 8 1 1 6 5 12 32 7 5 3 10 7 2 7 5 23 21 6 6 11 7 30 2 6 3 8 27 3 9 14 14 5 5 16 6 18 69 6 11 8 11 5 3 3 8 26 37 29 32 27 20 16 47 6 6 33 256 105 94 91 86 69 64 56 39 155 Total 76 118 100 101 100 117 150 253 1015 Note: Some papers have co-authors from multiple countries and hence the total number of paper counts by country is higher than the total number of published papers. European Journal of Information Systems 45.00% PACIS Journal 40.00% 35.00% 30.00% Percent Among them, Australian scholars contribute over a quarter of all papers (25.2%), followed by the United States of America (10.3%), Taiwan (9.3%), Singapore (9.0%), Hong Kong (8.4%), Korea (6.8%), China (6.3%), and Japan (5.5%). Table 1 shows the distribution of author nationality in the past. Owing to the active participation from Australian professors, PACIS has been held in Australia twice (1997 and 2003). Australian Authors contributed 48 and 60 papers, respectively. Similarly, a substantial portion of the papers from Taiwan, Korea, and China also occurred in the year where the conference was held in a local city (1993, 2001, and 2004, respectively). For instance, 47 of the 64 papers from China were published at the 2004 Shanghai meeting. Contributions from Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan are more evenly distributed. In general, we can see an increasing trend in the number of papers published in PACIS, from an average of around 100 before 2001 to more than 150 after 2003. This trend reflects the growth of the IS community and the increased international connections in the region. An interesting trend is that we see a decreasing involvement of US researchers until the 2004 Shanghai meeting, which attracted 29 authors. Another issue to understand the research profile in the region is whether the research topics and methods in the region are different from those in other regions. A group of doctoral students at National Sun Yat-sen University analyzed the topic of papers published in previous PACIS from 1993 to 2004 and divided papers into five major areas, human (I), systems (II), technology (III), management (IV), and research methods (V), and 10 subareas. The result as shown in Table 2 indicates that systemrelated papers were the most popular, followed by human-related topics. This compares with the benchmark in Table 3, the topic distribution of IS papers published in eight major journals (MIS Quarterly, Information Systems Research, Journal of MIS, Decision Support 25.00% 20.00% 15.00% 10.00% 5.00% 0.00% Figure 1 papers. I II III Area IV V Topic distributions of PACIS and major IS journal Systems, Management Science, Communications of the ACM, Information and Management, Decision Sciences) from 1980 to 2001 (Liang & Chen, 2003). We can see that the topic distributions are quite similar in a sense that humanand system-related issues dominated in both channels (Figure 1). However, papers on research methods are much less at PACIS. PACIS does not have the trend of a significant decline in system-related research, as occurred in IS journals from 38.4% in 1992–1998 to 33.6% in 1999–2001 (see Table 3). Research methods used in PACIS papers are shown in Table 4. The top three methods are survey, experiment, and case studies. The profile is similar to the research methods in papers published in MIS journals, in which empirical research was more than 68% from 1981 to 1997 (Claver et al., 2000). Emerging research in China A major trend in the AP region is the increased contribution from researchers in China. Although the Editorial Table 2 Area 319 Patrick Y.K. Chau et al Distribution of research topics in PACIS 1993 1995 1997 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 Total Individual Group Organization Societal Subtotal 2 1 5 3 11 4 2 8 10 24 9 6 23 4 42 7 1 21 3 32 15 6 25 2 48 12 1 28 6 47 11 0 26 5 42 21 4 32 7 64 81 21 168 40 310 Development methods System development System applications Subtotal 2 27 19 48 13 19 23 55 4 8 26 38 8 5 40 53 3 7 45 55 6 9 56 71 5 9 28 42 7 15 86 108 48 99 323 470 IT tools 14 14 8 4 4 5 26 29 104 Management 18 21 23 21 21 8 21 48 181 Research methods Total 1 92 1 115 0 111 1 111 3 131 0 131 17 148 9 258 32 1097 I II III IV V Note: Total number is higher than the number of papers, due to multiple areas per paper. Table 3 Human 1980–1984 1985–1991 1992–1998 1999–2001 Distribution of papers published in eight major IS journals System Technology and analysis model Management Research methodology and theory Paper counts % Paper counts % Paper counts % Paper counts % Paper counts % 85 398 740 531 18.0 17.2 20.9 26.6 231 1027 1358 670 49.0 44.4 38.4 33.6 38 262 467 283 8.1 11.3 13.2 14.2 65 414 595 327 13.8 17.9 16.8 16.4 52 212 378 186 11.0 9.2 10.7 9.3 Source: Liang & Chen (2003). 0.7 0.6 0.5 Percent quality and topic profile of research in China have not reached the level of Hong Kong or Australia, the growth is very fast. Currently, there is no pure MIS Journal in China. By surveying the MIS papers published in 10 major management science, computer science, and system engineering journals, we can still have an understanding of MIS research in China. A total of 410 papers published between 1999 and 2004 was identified and coded by a group of graduate students in Fudan University in the study. Their topic distribution is shown in Table 5. Figure 2 shows that a substantial difference exists between PACIS and China local research. Around 68% of the research in China is in system development. Only a very small portion of the papers investigates human-related issues. Similarly, the research methods used are primarily system development and applications. Table 6 shows the difference between PACIS and journal papers in China. This may reflect that China is still in the early stage of IS adoption, in which developing systems is the over- 0.4 0.3 0.2 PACIS China 0.1 0 Figure 2 I II III Area IV V Topic difference between PACIS and China. whelming concern (as shown in Table 3, system-related issues occupied around 50% of the space in IS journals in 1980–1984). Another reason may be because of the nature of journals we surveyed, which are more engineering-oriented. Given the resource limitation, however, the European Journal of Information Systems 320 Editorial Distribution of research methods in PACIS papers Table 4 Method Patrick Y.K. Chau et al 1993 1995 1997 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 Total Case Survey Experiment Qualitative System development Problem solving System application Concept description Other 1 11 16 3 6 6 8 10 6 5 31 22 0 3 4 16 10 6 16 20 20 2 5 4 11 2 4 12 28 12 3 7 4 19 0 1 12 33 22 5 3 4 5 6 0 13 14 3 29 4 0 0 14 25 29 22 5 20 20 3 0 12 19 42 80 21 29 4 13 14 19 0 130 239 121 91 52 38 73 73 61 Total 67 97 84 86 90 102 130 222 878 Table 5 Topic distribution of PACIS and China papers Area PACIS Table 6 China Difference in research methods between PACIS and China Method I Individual Group Organization Societal Subtotal 81 21 168 40 310 2 6 17 6 31 Development methods System development System applications Subtotal 48 99 323 470 11 136 100 247 IT tools 104 54 Management 181 75 32 1097 3 410 II PACIS China Case Survey Experiment Qualitative System development Problem solving and modeling System application Concept description Other 130 239 121 91 52 38 73 73 61 14.8% 27.2% 13.8% 10.4% 5.9% 4.3% 8.3% 8.3% 7.0% 3 3 0 0 89 58 132 120 5 0.7% 0.7% 0% 0% 21.7% 14.1% 32.2% 29.3% 1.3% Total 878 100% 410 100% III IV V Research methods Total findings do give us some insight into IS research in China. Key drivers for the rapid growth Looking into the future of IS Development in the AP, we can see five key drivers for the rapid growth of IS research and IS scholars in the area, three on the ‘supply’ side, and two on the ‘demand’ side. As said at the beginning of the paper, the establishment of both AIS and PACIS are important milestones contributed to the rapid growth. The establishment of the AIS has provided IS researchers in the AP region with an unprecedented opportunity to ‘blend’ with the International IS community. Under the AIS governance structure, the President of the Association is on a European Journal of Information Systems rotational basis among the three regions, Americas, Europe, and AP. This makes IS researchers in the AP region have an opportunity to play a key and leading role in the global IS academic community every 3 years. Together with the two regional representatives in the Council, the voice from the region can be heard. This factor certainly will continue to play a major role in the future. The growth of PACIS as a bigger and more prominent academic conference in the field has also made significant contribution. As seen in the above publication analysis, PACIS provides a forum for interaction between IS researchers in the AP region and leading/established scholars in the international IS community. Almost in each of the past four PACIS, the Presidents of AIS and the Chief/Senior Editors of leading IS journals including MIS Quarterly, Journal of AIS, and Journal of MIS have been invited and participated as keynote/plenary speakers in the main conference, the Doctoral Consortium, and featured panels. The experience and exposure gained from meeting with these international leading scholars make IS researchers in AP not just understand what is going on in the IS field in a broader context but also help them find out issues and challenges unique to the AP region. Editorial The third driver on the supply side is the rapid growth of North-American and European-trained IS scholars who are originally coming from the AP region and the increased collaboration between scholars from the Chinese community and those from Australia and New Zealand. In the 1970s and 1980s, with the growth of international business (including education) between North America and AP and with the ‘open-door’ policy of the Mainland China, a significant number of young scholars in the AP region went to North America or Europe to pursue their doctoral studies, in the field of IS. These groups of young scholars, since the beginning of 1990s, have begun to return to their home countries to help develop the field of IS or Information Management (as is usually called in the Mainland China and Taiwan) and nurture young IS scholars through the establishment of IS or IM departments/programs in their serving universities/institutes. For instance, in Hong Kong, there were virtually no IS departments/programs in the late 1980s. In 2004, all eight universities offered IS programs at undergraduate, Master’s, and/or PhD levels with close to one hundred researchers and graduate students in the field. Similar growth happens in Taiwan and the Mainland China. There are hundreds of new MIS or related programs (e.g., electronic commerce) in Taiwan and in China. This growth provides a new generation/ pool of IS scholars in the AP region. On the ‘demand’ side, the rapid growth of IS/IT applications in organizations in the AP region fuels the need for IS research. The success of broadband penetration and the leading role of mobile commerce and applications of Korea in the world, the contributions to the study of knowledge and knowledge management by a group of Japanese scholars, notably, I. Nonaka, the phenomenal growth of being an R&D and outsourcing center of the world of the Mainland China, the huge potential market offered by the Mainland China to the international business and IS/IT markets, all contribute to the rapidly growing demand for IS researchers in the Region to work with both the local business community of their own and the international IS academic community in order to meet with the opportunities and challenges along with the social and economic betterment of the region. The new business models being adopted in organizations in the AP region, which may or may not be similar to those in their counterparts in the Americas and Europe, also demand for IS research that is unique with the AP perspective. This should not be bounded by the so-called ‘cross-cultural’ studies but also include or incorporate the distinct Asian intellectual tradition that emphasizes synthetic and holistic perspectives (Yoo et al., 2004). The success of i-Mode in Japan and mobile business in Hong Kong (e.g., the Octopus card) and Korea provide a rich environment in which new research issues and theories may be developed. The open-door policy of China provides another exciting opportunity for researchers looking for innovative research directions. 321 Patrick Y.K. Chau et al The record-high papers and participation of the PACIS Shanghai meeting is just one of the clues. Conclusions and papers in this special section So, what have the IS researchers in the AP region achieved so far? In essence, we believe there are at least three major achievements. First, we do see a phenomenal growth of IS research and IS researchers in the AP region, as supported by the analysis of paper published in PACIS proceedings in the previous section. Second, we also see a healthy growth of PACIS, in terms of submissions and participants by number and by country. For instance, in PACIS 2004 in Shanghai, there were over 360 submissions from at least 17 countries and the conference was attended by over 300 IS researchers from more than 20 countries including those from the U.S.A., Canada, and quite a few European countries. Third, the ‘inroad’ of IS researchers from the AP region into the editorial boards of major IS journals also represents another achievement. To date, we can find scholars in the AP Region on the editorial boards of MIS Quarterly, Information Systems Research, Journal of MIS, etc. We can foresee that this high momentum will soon contribute to the future development of IS research in Europe and North America. Nevertheless, while we do believe that IS researchers in the AP region have made good achievements in the past decade or so, there is also a clear sense that there are many challenges and opportunities ahead. IS researchers in the region are doing research in the domains that are important to their own countries and contexts (and are of no significant differences from their counterparts in Americas and Europe). The goal of this special section is to provide exemplars of research conducted by IS scholars in the Region. From more than 300 submissions to PACIS 2004, four papers were finally accepted for publication in this special issue. Two of the papers focus on management issues in firms, one examines processes within firms, and one looks into individual information-seeking behavior. Three papers are using the case study approach, and one examines the issue in laboratory experiment. While they all contribute to the main challenges of IS research in the AP region, they each address a different but important IS issue in the region. Hsiao-Lan Wei, Eric T.G. Wang, and Pei-Hung Ju (Understanding Misalignment and Cascading Change of ERP Implementation: A Stage View of Process Analysis) draw upon data collected from a company in Taiwan to understand the misalignments of ERP adoption and the associated change dynamics from a stage view. The results of their study reveal that industry-, company-, and regulation-specific misalignments often occurred in the chartering phase; misalignments of input, control, data, process, output, and schedule are the major problems in the project phase; and misalignments of information and new business requirements are the main concerns in the shakedown phase and onward and upward phase. The European Journal of Information Systems 322 Editorial paper offers insights related to the cascading effects of misalignments and change actions and the possible misalignment resolution strategies. Jong Han Park, Jae Kyu Lee, and Jung Soo Yoo (A Framework of Designing the Balanced Supply Chain Scorecard) propose a framework that applies balanced scorecard (BSC) in the context of supply chain management (SCM). Integrating literature on BSC and SCM, SCM solutions, the Korean researchers develop a framework of Balanced Supply Chain Scorecard that includes Supplier Relationship Management, Electronic Data Interchange, Collaborative Planning, Forecasting, ...
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Post theory and analysis for the article
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This paper gives a detailed analysis of the field of information systems alongside the
development of information technology. In this regard, the paper takes a case study of the
information systems research in the Asia Pacific region. For the past three decades, the
development of Information technology has significantly broadened the role and the application
of information system in both the profit and non-profit making organizations across the globe, an
aspect that has further globalized the academic discipline of information systems research.
In the AP region, the information system resear...

DoctorDickens (9417)
New York University

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