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"Sensemaking and social processes in digital government projects"

Government Information Quarterly

Laura Black · Professor of Management

Co-author: David F. Andersen
Co-author: Luis Felipe Luna-Reyes
Co-author: Theresa A. Pardo


Abstract: This research identifies main feedback dynamics associated with social processes necessary to make sense of ambiguous project goals, typical of large digital government projects. The study reports on findings from a case analysis using participatory approaches in system dynamics, based on a digital government project integrating information systems of New York's criminal justice agencies. Findings stress the importance of visuals in the sensemaking process that results from the interaction of technical and social outcomes produced through identifying and continuously re-interpreting main project issues and goals. Project analyses suggest that requisite elements of successfully managing this type of project include 1) facilitation that enables diversity of ideas, 2) shared visuals and re-presentations of participants' efforts to work on the issues, and 3) iterative social construction of objectives, progress, and valid processes for doing the work; each of these plays a role in three different feedback processes sustaining (or undermining) the group engagement needed to yield successful integrative work. The study contributes to the literature in digital government by introducing the lenses of people-centered project management processes, an emerging approach in project management, to underscore the role of social processes in technical projects.

"Electric bike-sharing services mode substitution for driving, public transit, and cycling"

Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment

Agnieszka Kwapisz · Professor of Management

Co-author: Tomasz Bielinski, University of Gdansk
Co-author: Agnieszka Wazna, University of Gdansk

Key Takeaway: Electric bike-sharing services (BSS) does not act as a substitute for car trips but act as a substitute for public transportation.

Implications for Policy: If used as a substitute for public transportation, the electric bike-sharing systems have potential to reduce the strain on the public transportation systems. However, our results suggest that an e-bike BSS may not be the tool to reduce the amount of motorized car travel since we found no substitution between cars and e-bikes. Therefore, if the city goal is to reduce car use, our results suggest that the adoption of an e-bike BSS may not be effective.


In hopes of reducing traffic congestion, air and noise pollution, and energy consumption, bike sharing is becoming increasingly popular around the world. Underlying many of the benefits attributed to bike sharing is an assumption that bike share journeys replace a significant proportion of trips previously made by car. This paper examines factors correlated with the use of an electric bike-sharing system in Tricity, Poland. We use the double hurdle estimation approach on data from two matched surveys: before and after the implementation of the system. Our analyses indicate that electric bike rides did not act as a substitute for car trips. Shared e-bikes were used by residents as a substitute for public transportation or as a first/last mile of transport to/from public transportation stops. We examined the use of e-bikes for various types of trips and identified factors encouraging and discouraging people from usage of bike-sharing and cycling in general.


"What do female and male entrepreneurs value in business accelerators"

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

Agnieszka Kwapisz · Professor of Management

Key Takeaway: There are significant differences in valuation of accelerator services by women- and men-led ventures. However, these differences depend on different stages of venture growth.

Implications for Policy: This research serves as a practical guide for accelerator administrators and marketers who seek to adjust their business support offerings based on the value placed for the services by different populations of entrepreneurs.

Business accelerators facilitate new venture creation, and most research on the subject focuses on the performance of accelerated ventures. This paper aims to understand what entrepreneurs value in business accelerators and how this differs for women- and men-led ventures. The authors suggest that venture growth stage may play a mediating role in these relationships. Compared to men, women entrepreneurs place greater value on knowledge transfer benefits (i.e. business skills education) but lower value on networking benefits offered by accelerators. However, there are no significant differences in the valuations for these services between genders for high-growth ventures. Additionally, compared to men, women leading high-growth ventures place greater value on access to potential investors or funders.

"Evaluating Disparities in Access to Obstetric Services for American Indian Women across Montana"

Journal of Rural Health

Andreas Thorsen · Associate Professor of Management
Sean Harris
· Assistant Professor of Accounting

Co-author: Maggie Thorsen; Montana State University
Co-author: Ron McGarvey; University of Missouri
Co-author: Janelle Palacios; Kaiser Permanente

Key Takeaway: Access to obstetric care is limited in remote rural areas in Montana, especially higher-level specialty care, compared to urban or urban-adjacent rural areas. American Indian/Alaskan Native AIAN women traveled significantly further than White women to access care (24.2 minutes further on average), even compared to White women from similarly rural areas (5 to 13 minutes further; after controlling for sociodemographic characteristics, risk factors, and health care utilization). AIAN women were twenty times more likely to give birth at a hospital without obstetric services and had less access to complex obstetric care. Poor access was particularly pronounced among reservation-dwelling AIAN women.

Implications for Policy: It is imperative to consider racial disparities and health inequities underlying poor access to obstetric services across rural America. Current federal policies aim to reduce maternity-care professional shortages. Our findings suggest that racial disparities in access to complex obstetric care will persist in Montana unless facility-level infrastructure is also expanded to reach areas serving AIAN women.

Pregnant women across the rural United States have increasingly limited access to obstetric care, especially specialty care for high risk women and infants. Limited research focuses on access for rural AIAN women, a population warranting attention given persistent inequalities in birth outcomes.  Using Montana birth certificate data from 2014-2018, we examined variation in travel time to give birth and access to different levels of obstetric care by rurality and race.

"Nested-solution facility location models"

Optimization Letters

Andreas Thorsen · Associate Professor of Management

Co-author: Ron McGarvey; University of Missouri

Key Takeaway: Facility location problems that involve an uncertain number of facilities to be utilized can be challenging to solve. In this paper we developed models that minimize the decision maker's regret. Essentially the model produces solutions that maintain consistency over a set of chosen facilities over a pre-selected range of facilities to utilize. For instance, if you open two warehouses, the model may suggest to put one in LA and Boston. But if you open three warehouses instead, the model suggests opening one in Salt Lake City, Dallas, and Boston. Those may be correct solutions mathematically, but what if you might need two now but are looking to expand to three a bit down the road, and you aren't interested in closing one of the first two facilities? Our paper develops models that are consistent.

Implications for Policy: Analysts may have difficulty "selling" modeling solutions if the solutions appear inconsistent. Analysts and consultants interested in maintaining consistency in the set of chosen facilities over a range of the number of utilized facilities may find our models helpful.

"How preexisting beliefs and message involvement drive nonprofit donations: An integrated model"

European Journal of Marketing

Eric Van Steenburg · Associate Professor of Marketing

Co-author: Nancy Spears


The purpose of this paper is to investigate how individuals respond to messages asking for donations in broadcast advertising. It does so by considering both preexisting attitudes and beliefs related to donating, as well as message processing. The goal is to uncover messages that may help nonprofit organisations increase donations.


The research combines the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) to measure preexisting beliefs and the elaboration likelihood model (ELM) to measure involvement in an investigation of donation responses to broadcast-quality advertisements developed by a professional ad agency featuring the following two messages: one that leverages social norms and another that legitimises minimal giving. Two studies collected data from a total of 544 respondents in two between-subjects 2 × 2 × 2 experiments.


Injunctive norm messages affect the intended donation behaviour of individuals who are pre-disposed to donating, but only if they are highly involved with the ad. Social legitimisation messages affect donations from individuals who look to referents to direct behaviour, but unlike what was expected, only by those not highly involved with the ad. Similarly, individuals who do not think they can donate increased donations when they saw the legitimisation message and had low advertisement involvement.

Research limitations/implications

Results extend the ELM-TPB integrated framework by discovering when and how involvement drives intended donation behaviour. The research also sheds light on message processing by focussing on the preexisting characteristics of recipients.

Practical implications

The results provide nonprofit managers with strategies to increase donations with targeted messages. Those who pay attention to the ad and have a positive attitude toward giving are going to donate if they are told others support the cause. Therefore, the focus should be on those who are not involved with the ad but still believe giving is appropriate.

"Poliical Polarization: Challenges, Opportunities, and Hope for Consumer Welfare, Marketers, and Public Policy"

Journal of Public Policy & Marketing

Eric Van Steenburg · Associate Professor of Marketing

Co-author: T.J. Weber
Co-author: Chris Hydock
Co-author: William Ding
Co-author: Meryl Gardner
Co-author: Pradeep Jacob
Co-author: Naomi Mandel
Co-author: David E. Sprott

Political polarization is a marked political division in the population, characterized by multiple manifestations. The authors argue that it can affect consumer psychology, which in turn influences marketers, policy makers, and consumer welfare. The present work introduces the construct of political polarization to the marketing literature and shows how it serves as a novel challenge for various marketing stakeholders. For consumers, the authors propose that political polarization increases the salience of political identities, alters inter- and intragroup dynamics, and amplifies cognitive biases. These effects negatively affect consumer welfare, including financial welfare, relationships, mental and physical health, and societal interests. For marketers, polarization introduces a challenge to both be more sociopolitically engaged while also navigating competing political interests. Polarization also creates new opportunities and challenges for segmentation, targeting, loyalty, and product offerings. For policy makers, political polarization creates policy gaps, impedes the implementation of policy, and obstructs governance. Building from these insights, the authors consider the drawbacks and overlooked benefits of political polarization, potential remedies, and directions for future research.



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