Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Information Systems and Decision Sciences (Business Administration)

Document Type



A virtual experiment (in silico) of a complex social system is conducted in order to investigate the effects of social structure and organizational culture on an information system development project’s outcome. This is performed within the context of user participation and project success. A 2x2 factorial design is employed with the social factor being measured as either low or high initial relationships between the customer and developer groups working on the project. The cultural factor is measured dichotomously with the two groups either having the same or different cultural beliefs. The project success outcome variable is measured as a percentage of the project that may be completed at a given time period. The simulation incorporates interactive, learning agents from two distinct groups within an information systems project; viz. the customers and the developers. A dynamic social system is first defined and then evolved which incorporates knowledge resources, tasks to be accomplished, and the agent communication social interactions in order to accomplish the given tasks. In order to integrate the multi-theoretical concepts employed in the simulation, first a multi-dimensional philosophical foundation derived from Buddhist philosophy and psychology is described. Second, an Integrated Capital Ensemble model of social forces based on the works of Marvin Harris in cultural anthropology and Pierre Bourdieu in sociology is introduced. Third the operationalization of the conceptual model is described in terms of dynamic network analysis methods. Finally a discussion of the results of the experiment; the significant effect that the social and cultural factors have on project success are discussed.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Pawlowski, Suzanne

Included in

Business Commons