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Isam Faik is an Assistant Professor of Information Systems at the Ivey Business School, Western University. His research focuses on the relationship between digital transformation and institutional change, including studies on the changing nature of work, digital inequality, and online social movements. His research contexts include healthcare, agriculture, sharing economy platforms, government, and FinTech. Isam's research is published in leading Information Systems journals including MIS Quarterly, Journal of the AIS, Information & Organization, and Information Systems Journal. He is a Senior Editor at Information & Organization.
Isam received his Ph.D. in Management Studies as a Gates scholar from the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge. He completed his master’s and bachelor's degrees in Engineering from McGill University. Prior to joining the Ivey Business School, he held faculty positions at the National University of Singapore and the University of Southampton.
- Leveraging Information Technology (HBA)
- Technology and Humanity (HBA, MSc in Digital Management)
- Information Systems Special Fields (PhD)
- Ph.D., Management Studies, University of Cambridge
- Master of Engineering, McGill University
- Bachelor of Engineering, McGill University
Recent Refereed Articles
Abubakre, M.; Faik, I.; Mkansi, M., 2021, "Digital entrepreneurship and indigenous value systems: An Ubuntu perspective", Information Systems Journal, June 31(6): 838 - 862. Abstract: This paper investigates the embeddedness of digital entrepreneurship in the entrepreneurs' indigenous value system by examining the influence of ‘Ubuntu’ on digital entrepreneurship activities in the South African context. We do so through an interpretive field study of two innovation clusters in South Africa. Our findings reveal Ubuntu as the basis of a community orientation to digital entrepreneurship that offers an alternative to the prevalent heroic view in which digital entrepreneurship narratives are centred around the individual entrepreneur(s). They also highlight the tensions faced by digital entrepreneurs as they attempt to uphold the Ubuntu values of humility, reciprocity, and benevolence while operating in a competitive and fast-paced environment. In addition, our study indicates that the way entrepreneurs draw on their indigenous value system is dynamic, giving rise to what we call digital Ubuntu, reflecting a reworking of Ubuntu values into their increasingly digital reality. The concept of digital Ubuntu brings to light how indigenous values can become entangled with the capabilities of digital technologies and highlights the need for indigenous perspectives to advance our understanding of the diversity of digital phenomena, such as digital entrepreneurship, across cultural contexts.
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Leong, C.; Faik, I.; Tan, F. T. C.; Tan, B.; Khoo, Y. H., 2020, "Digital organizing of a global social movement: From connective to collective action", Information And Organization, December 30(4): 100324 - 100324. Abstract: Social media are increasingly credited with the emergence and rapid scaling of social movements. Consequently, many studies have explored the role of social media and other forms of Information and Communication Technology in enabling collective action beyond formal organizations. The focus in these studies has been on connective actions that emerge from the individualized but interdependent uses of social media in the pursuit of a movement's objectives. However, few studies have examined how social movements go beyond connective actions to build organizing capacity that can support effective and sustainable mobilization. Understanding the mechanisms underlying the shift from connective action to a more organized, concerted form of action is particularly important in the light of significant differences in lifespan and outcomes among social media-enabled movements. To advance our conceptualization of these mechanisms, we studied the case of Bersih movement, a transnational coalition and social media-enabled social movement that pushed for clean and fair elections in Malaysia. The case highlights two types of emergence, clustering and structuring emergence, that enabled the movement to evolve across three different phases: dispersed individuals, dispersed groups, and networked group. Our analysis of the case reveals that each of these two types of emergence exhibits different dynamics between the environmental, cognitive, and relational mechanisms that underlie the evolution of social movements. Our findings also present both the enabling and constraining roles of social media in clustering and structuring emergence.
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Faik, I.; Thompson, M.; Walsham, G., 2019, "Designing for ICT-enabled openness in bureaucratic organizations: Problematizing, shifting, and augmenting boundary work", Journal of the Association for Information Systems, January 20(6): 681 - 701. Abstract: There is a growing focus on achieving “openness” in the design and transformation of organizations, in which the enabling role of ICTs is considered increasingly central. However, bureaucratic organizations with rigid structures continue to face significant challenges in moving towards more open forms of organizing. In this paper, we contribute to our understanding of these challenges by building on existing conceptualizations of openness as a form of boundary work that transforms by challenging both internal and external organizational boundaries. In particular, we draw on a performative view derived from actor-network theory to analyze a case study of ICT-based administrative reforms in a judicial system. Building on our case analysis, we develop a typology of the various roles that ICTs can play in both enabling and constraining ongoing boundary work within the context of their implementation. We thus present a view of ICT-enabled open organizing as a process where ICTs contribute to problematizing, shifting, and augmenting ongoing boundary work. This view highlights the inherently equivocal nature of the role of ICTs in transformations towards higher levels of openness.
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Faik, I.; Walsham, G., 2013, "Modernisation through ICTs: Towards a network ontology of technological change", Information Systems Journal, July 23(4): 351 - 370. Abstract: This article is concerned with modernisation as a prevalent discourse of association between technological change on the one hand and social, economic and political changes on the other. We discuss modernisation as a concept that spans several domains of change including national development, organisational change and epistemological shift. These domains are often categorised into stacked levels, namely the national, the organisational and the individual, or divided into a domain of action and an overarching context. We argue in this paper that an assumption of embeddedness underlies many of these dominant approaches and we identify three issues with this assumption, namely reductionism, unidirectional causality and marginalisation. We draw from the ontological and methodological principles of actor-network theory to suggest a shift towards a more fluid view of the dynamics between the different domains of change. We support our discussion by a case study of the modernisation of the justice system in Morocco, including a national computerisation project of case processing in the courts. © 2012 Wiley Publishing Ltd.
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