Seminar: Ping Wang, “Community ecology for IT innovation: The case for cloud computing”

Date: Thursday, February 7, 2013, 3:00pm
Place: Shidler College of Business, Room A301

Abstract: Why do some concepts come to be highly popular, significantly reshaping the IT landscape, while others do not? We address this question by exploring the communities of organizations that underlie IT innovations. In an illustrative investigation of the community for cloud computing, we integrate theories of organizational ecology and social networks and apply their associated methods. Substantial support to the theories and the effectiveness of the methods have led us to embark on a promising research program focused on IT innovation concepts and communities. This program affords several opportunities to break new grounds in Information Systems research: (1) adding an ecological explanation to the theories of IT innovations; (2) fertilizing new ground for IT innovation research; (3) stimulating research on inter-organizational social networks; and (4) demonstrating the utility of computational discourse analysis.

About the Speaker: Dr. Ping Wang is an associate professor at the College of Information Studies and an affiliate associate professor at the Decision, Operations and Information Technologies department of the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is also a faculty member of the Human-Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL) and the Director of the Ph.D. in Information Studies program. His research addresses how and why organizations innovate with information technology. Specifically, his research seeks to understand the popularity of IT innovations and the impacts of popular technologies on organizations. At the University of Maryland, he leads interdisciplinary research teams, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, that employ natural language processing, crowdsourcing, information visualization, and social network analysis to advance theories that explain the institutional and ecological processes of innovation. His work has appeared in the MIS Quarterly, Journal of AIS, Information Technology and People, Information and Organization, Journal of Information Technology, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, Information Visualization, and MIT Sloan Management Review. Dr. Wang received his Ph.D. from UCLA Anderson School of Management. Additional information is available at