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Prof. Dr. Kazem Haki

Büro 52-6150
Müller-Friedberg-Strasse 6/8
9000 St. Gallen
+41 71 224 3248


  • Enterprise Architecture
  • Process (vs. Variance)-based Theories
  • Enterprise-wide Information Systems
  • Publikationen

    Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
    Technical debt (TD) is a technical compromise wherein the ability to maintain information technology (IT) applications over the long term is sacrificed for short-term goals. TD occurs when software development teams undergo constant pressure to release applications swiftly, on a tight schedule. The accumulation of TD, which often leads to a significant cost surplus, presents a ubiquitous challenge in technology-driven organisations. To keep TD levels under control, many organisations implement top-down mechanisms that impose enterprise-wide principles on software development teams. This clinical research presents a complementary but distinct approach to managing TD. A digital nudge was introduced at Credit Suisse, a global financial services company, to help raise awareness and understanding, and stimulate actions related to TD decision-making in software development teams. This paper reports on the nudge’s clinical design, implementation, impact, and evaluation. As the nudge was effective in reducing TD in IT applications after one year of use, we demonstrate that digital nudges are viable means for guiding collective decisions in complex decision environments like that of TD management. Our findings have several implications for research and practice.

    Acquisition of complementors is a prevailing mechanism available to platform owners to leverage digital platforms’ multidimensional growth. Notwithstanding platform owners’ propensity to acquire complementors, little is known about the potential effects of such acquisitions on the non-acquired complementors. While a group of complementors may benefit from an acquisition, others may perceive an acquisition as the platform owner entering into competition with its own complementors. To address this gap, we examine the acquisition of complementors’ effects on the other complementors in the context of a B2B innovation platform whose evolution is considerably influenced by a plethora of acquisitions. As part of an ongoing research project, in this paper we link academic discourses on acquisitions and platform owners’ market entry to derive a set of hypotheses, which we plan to test in the respective B2B innovation platform ecosystem.

    Behavioral experiments are a highly suitable method for testing theories, as they can establish causality while controlling for other confounding factors. However, researchers that aim to conduct and publish such studies face various concerns about the methodological approach. A lack of clarity exists in our field as to which related practices and design decisions are legitimate and accepted. To address this issue, we present a structured literature review that analyzes the designs of 168 behavioral experiments published in the Senior Scholars’ Basket of journals. We find that most experiments are confirmatory, individual-level, between-subjects laboratory experiments. At the same time, we find that some under-represented experiment designs, such as exploratory online experiments, may bear potential for identifying new behaviors and constructing new or proper-to-IS theories. This paper contains an in-depth discussion on the findings and provides decision support to IS researchers that seek to design and publish behavioral experiments.

    This study contributes to the growing body of research on the assimilation and institutionalization of enterprise architecture (EA) within organizations. It adopts an institutional change lens to longitudinally analyze EA’s institutionalization, de-, and re-institutionalization processes in one of Norway's large public sector organizations. The study demonstrates a dynamic and cycle model of EA institutionalization in response to both internal and environmental pressures. It specifically emphasizes on regaining legitimacy for EA after getting de-institutionalized by revisiting its classical premise and by adapting to contemporary organizations’ agile mode of organizing.

    Owing to the necessity of effectively establishing enterprise architecture (EA) in an organizational context, there is a growing stream of research to examine the assimilation and institutionalization of EA in organizations. Our study aims to contribute to this stream by giving rise to the legitimacy of EA as the cornerstone of its institutionalization. To this end, we investigate four criteria of legitimacy, namely regulatory, pragmatic, normative, and cultural-cognitive legitimacy, in a case organization that lost legitimacy for its EA practices. We found criticality of regulatory and pragmatic legitimacy that need to be obtained effectively and promptly in order to grant sufficient time for normative and cultural-cognitive types of legitimacy to be attained.

    By acquiring complementors, digital platform owners can facilitate rapid advances in the evolution of their platform ecosystems. We describe how Salesforce has successfully evolved its platform ecosystem through the acquisition of complementors. Based on insights from the Salesforce case, we provide recommendations for acquiring complementors, aligning acquisitions with the platform owner’s proprietary developments, integrating the acquired complementors and retaining the coherency of the platform’s offerings even after diverse acquisitions.

    Even though organizations may plan for long-term enterprise-wide ob-jectives, they are shaped by local decision-maker’s actions. The latter tend to have conflicting goals, such as short-term and immediate satis-faction of local business needs over organization-wide objectives. While local and diverse decision-making enables specialized products and services, ungoverned behavior may lead organizations that are hard to control and manage. Hence, the challenge is to harness, rather than eliminate decentral autonomy by reaping its benefits while limit-ing its downsides. Pursuing this purpose, this Design Science Research (DSR) study presents the creation and evaluation of a governance mechanism: a nudge-based label. It also contains a set of design fea-tures, which are evaluated quantitatively and qualitatively with expert surveys and discussions. The contributions include design knowledge about labels and the investigation of nudging as an intra-organizational governance mechanism.

    Platform ecosystems are complex ecologies of firms with individual competencies and collective objectives. The sustainable evolution of platform ecosystems is thereby contingent on taking advantage of the individual competencies of the ecosystem’s actors toward obtaining collective objectives. To learn more about platform ecosystem evolution and dynamics, we study Salesforce, a leading and thriving B2B platform ecosystem. We find that the ecosystem’s evolution was closely defined not only by the platform owner’s orchestrating initiatives, but also by its complementors’ and customers’ competencies and particularities. Specifically, we derive three distinct dimensions of evolution, namely the extension of the platform core technology, the extension of the platform’s functional scope, and the industry-specific specialization of the platform. We further identify three cross-dimension levers, namely proprietary developments, acquisitions, as well as partnerships and alliances, which were employed by the platform owner to drive its platform ecosystem’s evolution.

    Firms struggle to meet dynamically changing customers’ needs. One challenge is to navigate a complex search space to find resources needed for innovations that meet customers’ needs. Another challenge is to acquire the resources at lower costs than revenue opportunities to yield profitability. Digital platforms promise to address these challenges better than the market by providing search matching capabilities and modular, reusable resources. We examine whether platforms improve innovation performance and profitability of firms better than the market, as assumed. Using agent-based modeling and simulation, we find that firms perform better in the market when environmental complexity is low. As environmental complexity increases, firms start to perform better on the platform than in the market, specifically when the platform owner remarkably invests in search matching and modularity capabilities. The study advances our understanding of the environmental conditions under which platforms could be superior or inferior to the market.

    Successfully innovating in business ecosystems requires firms to tame the complexity in their competitive environment. Firms must be generative enough to meet dynamically changing customer needs and reap profitability from their innovation efforts. Platforms promise to foster both generativity and profitability through their offered capabilities. Employing an agent-based simulation approach in modeling a platform within its ecosystem, we analyze the effectiveness of platform capabilities under varying conditions. We find complexity in the ecosystems to be a contingency for generativity and profitability effects of platforms. When complexity is low, firms are able to successfully innovate on their own without help from platforms. As complexity increases to medium and high levels, however, firms face higher adaptive tension and platform capabilities become more desirable and effective to generate profitable innovations. We thereby challenge the assumption of platforms being disruptive to all types of environments and delineate under which conditions platforms help taming complexity.



    PhD in Information Systems from the University of Lausanne, Faculty of Business and Economics (HEC), Switzerland

    M. Sc. in Information Technology Management from the University of Tehran, Faculty of Management, Iran 


    ICT Consultancy Department Deputy Manager, MAGFA IT Development Center, Iran (2 years)

    Manager of “Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence” Department, MAGFA IT Development Center, Iran (7 months)

    Enterprise Architecture Project Manager (ten projects), MAGFA IT Development Center, Iran (3 years)

    Customer Relationship Manager, MAGFA IT Development Center, Iran (1 year) 


    Nominated for the best paper award at the European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), 2016“IMD

    Business School” scholarship foundation prize   


    Association for Information Systems (AIS)

    Swiss Chapter of the AIS (CHAIS)