Publications by Dr. Christian Jentsch

Conference Articles (Peer Reviewed)

Reitz, A., Jentsch, C., and Beimborn, D. (2018)
How to decompress the Pressure - The moderating Effect of IT Flexibility on the negative Impact of Governmental Pressure on Business Agility
Proceedings of the 51st Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), Big Island, Hawaii

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In times of digital transformation banks need to behave agile and increase their speed in IT. At the same time, they are bound by an increasing number of regulatory rules at an increasing pace that force them to act carefully. Since governments frequently introduce new regulatory terms, especially in the finance sector, regulation is a changing phenomenon itself, which forces banks to adjust and change their systems constantly. To manage these challenges, we argue that successful businesses need to have a flexible IT architecture in place. This should enable them to update and reconfigure their systems in a cost effective and prompt manner. By doing this, they should be able to compensate for the regulatory pressure and remain agile. Based on an analysis of 119 survey results, we find that business agility is indeed lower for higher regulatory pressure and that this effect is mitigated by a flexible IT.

Holotiuk, F., Beimborn, D., and Jentsch, C. (2018)
The Determinants and Role of Agility in Digital Organizations
Proceedings of the 25th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), Portsmouth, UK

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The changes in the business environment due to digital technologies and an increasing pace of innovation, have to be reflected in the organizational design of firms. In particular, agility has been put forward as an approach to cope with upcoming changes and to ensure organizational effectiveness in times of digitalization. We conceptualize agility as two types - detecting and reacting agility. In this paper, we analyze the organizational design and identify determinants for these two types of agility within the design. In our empirical study, we identified agility as a determinant of organizational effectiveness and discuss the relevance of agility in new forms of organizing in today's business environment. Our research is based on a quantitative study in the professional services industry where we conducted a survey with 217 respondents. The findings of our study carry theoretical contributions regarding the determinants of agility in the organizational design and the further delineation of detecting and reacting agility. Both of them carry essential importance for the design of digital organizations. Building on that, we derive managerial implications that yield the need to update the organizational design. In addition, we determine new forms of organizing and anchor agility as a management objective for digital organizations.

Jentsch, C., Beimborn, D., and Reitz, A. (2017)
Templates for joined work systems - How business process modularity and IT flexibility enable mutual understanding among business and IT
Proceedings of the 38th International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS), Seoul, South Korea

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To increase the performance of IT-intensive organizations, a mutual understanding between business and IT professionals has proven to be crucially important. In turn, architecture management - leading to modularization and flexibilization of an organization's IT infrastructure - drives the level of mutual understanding. While previous studies agree on this finding, conceptualizations on mutual understanding are quite dispersed. In our study, we focus on the differing effects of business process modularity and IT flexibility on operational and strategic aspects of mutual understanding. We combine two theoretical lenses to describe this linkage: the template theory to explain the sense-making process and the work system theory to consider different perspectives on a business system. Based on 119 survey results, we find that modularity does not enable business/IT mutual understanding per se. It rather depends on a perfect match of functional and technical aspects. Thus, we determined limited effects of architecture management on mutual understanding.

Jentsch, C., Reitz, A., and Beimborn, D. (2017)
The Impact of Process and IT Modularity for Mutual Understanding among Business and IT
Proceedings of the ACM SIGMIS Conference on Computers and People Research, Bengaluru, India

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Due to increasing specialization of business models, business systems nowadays can be very complex. To handle the extensive amount of information in a complex business system, the system needs to be supported by an appropriate IT system. However, for the IT unit it can be a challenging task to implement an appropriate IT system in complex business environment. In our research, we argue that mutual understanding among business and IT plays a critical role in the successful management of the business system. To achieve a mutual understanding, the complexity needs to be reduced by a modularization of the system. In our empirical study, based on 119 survey responses, we found that process modularity only in combination with an IT architecture that matches the modular process structure enables a profound mutual understanding. While modular business processes enable mutual understanding of the business strategy, an IT architecture which matches the modular process facilitates mutual understanding of the business process.

Jentsch, C. (2017)
The Impact of Agile Practices on Team Interaction Quality - Insights into a Longitudinal Case Study
Proceedings of the 23th Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS), Boston, MA, USA

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Since several years there is a trend of reorganizing the process of software development, by applying agile practices like scrum. These practices attempt to increase customer responsiveness and adaptability of the organization. In a longitudinal case study, I discuss the impact of commonly applied scrum practices on team interaction quality. I collected data in a software development project at three different times during the project. The findings indicate the potential longitudinal impact of scrum practices on team interaction quality and performance. First, the results indicate that daily meetings cannot fully compensate the benefits of colocation, which improves the information flow in a team. Second, the quality of the requirements development approach correlates with the degree of requirements fuzziness. Third, staff turnover does not necessarily impact team performance negatively. Fourth, scrum practices can even benefit in a highly regulated environment, in which agility is not an objective.

Jentsch, C. and Beimborn, D. (2016)
It is all about the Game - An Exploratory Study on the Impact of Task Characteristics on the Dimensions of Business/IT Shared
Proceedings of the Proceedings of the 24nd European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS)

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While research and practitioners agree that there needs to be shared understanding (SU) between business and IT in any type of collaboration to achieve high performance, empirical studies ex-amining SU have always focused on specific contexts. Thus, the literature has so far remained silent about a more generalized concept of SU that can be applied to different research contexts - like strategic planning, software development projects, or IT operations. Based on a generic multi-dimensional conceptualization of the SU construct, our research objective is to analyze the influence of two contextual characteristics - complexity and relevance - of a collaborative task between business and IT on the importance of these different SU dimensions. In this explorative research we exploit data from 21 case studies, in which we analyze the formation and influence of SU dimensions related to the context of the collaborative task. We find that different aspects in the conceptualization of shared understanding become more (or less) important when changing the task characteristics. Thus, our findings indicate that the importance of SU cannot be discussed separately from the practical context in which SU is created and utilized.

Lüders, P., Jentsch, C., and Beimborn, D. (2015)
Measuring Outsourcing Relationship Quality: Towards a Social Network Analysis Approach
Proceedings of the 21th Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS), Puerto Rico, USA

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Outsourcing initiatives are complex undertakings requiring careful management of the client/vendor relationship. While monitoring the vendor's performance is a common practice, insight into the status of the 'soft' aspects of the relationship, such as trust, is often not available, although research highlights the social aspects as a critical success factor. However, monitoring the softer facets' quality is difficult: Vendor managers track the status of the soft aspects, if at all, using survey tools among involved staff. This has shortcomings because it does not only capture subjective perceptions, but also interrupts the daily business of the participants. To develop a more objective instrument that collects data without interfering daily business, we draw on social network analysis. We suggest an approach that will eventually allow managers to monitor relationship quality in an efficient and objective way. The results suggest metrics to measure the soft factors of a relationship, such as trust and commitment.

Lajtkep, F., Beimborn, D., Jentsch, C., and Stimmer, J. (2015)
I choose you - Developing a rating system for software outsourcing arrangements of SMEs
Proceedings of the 21th Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS), Puerto Rico, USA

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The market for outsourcing of IT services constantly grows with one of the major outsourced services being software development, often to emerging economies. Even though the benefits of outsourced software development can be an important incentive there still exist great risks especially for smaller businesses that generally do not obtain the necessary experiences to manage or even find an adequate provider. Thus, the objective of our study is to compile a holistic framework that covers all relevant aspects in the evaluation of a software provider in the context of outsourcing of software development. In order to reuse already proven evaluation concepts the paper identifies nine useful models for evaluating performance or service quality. Based on those, a dedicated model is developed which takes further practical factors in consideration. Through a survey with outsourcing experts the relative importance of the included dimensions and factors were determined.

Jentsch, C., Schlosser, F., and Beimborn, D. (2015)
Applying a configurational approach for explaining the role of relationship quality for successful outsourcing arrangements
Proceedings of the 9th Global Sourcing Workshop, La Thuile, Italy

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Relationship quality dimensions like trust or commitment have been proven to be crucial determinants for the success of outsourcing arrangements. Most previous empirical studies focus on the success of relationship quality dimensions within a specific contextual outsourcing arrangement. We argue that the importance and formation of each relationship quality dimension highly depend on the contextual background of the particular study. To substantiate this contingency argument, we conducted 16 interviews with managers in different types of out-sourcing arrangements and questioned them about their understanding of relationship quality. Linking managers' statements with their outsourcing background, we found several configurational patterns that describe the different roles of relationship quality for successful outsourcing

Jentsch, C., Schlosser, F., and Beimborn, D. (2014)
From Strategic to Operational Collaborations: The Divergent Nature of Business/IT Shared Understanding
Proceedings of the 20th Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS), Savannah (GA)

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The success of any business/IT collaboration depends on the shared understanding between business and IT professionals (B/IT-SU) on all organizational layers. However, most research on B/IT-SU merely focuses either on top management level or information system development (ISD) teams. This isolated research led to divergent conceptualizations of B/IT-SU. While studies on strategic collaboration concentrate on B/IT-SU of the objectives or the role of IT, ISD research postulates shared language as main B/IT-SU component. In this paper, we build on major findings of B/IT-SU research, and develop an integrated concept of the relevant dimensions that should be studied conjointly to provide a more consistent view of B/IT-SU. Furthermore, we discuss our concept from three perspectives: (1) strategic collaboration; (2) project collaboration; and (3) operational collaboration. The results provide insights into the key dimensions of B/IT-SU in regard to the distinctive hierarchical layer, respectively, and serve as initial foundation for further investigations of B/IT-SU.

Jentsch, C., Beimborn, D., Jungnickl, C., and Renner, G. (2014)
How to Measure Shared Understanding among Business and IT
Proceedings of the 2014 Academy of Management Conference, Philadelphia (PA)
Best Paper Proceedings

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A high level of shared understanding between business and IT is a critical success factor for effective IT usage in organizations. Hence, many studies in the Information Systems field have included shared business/IT understanding as a determinant in their research models. Most studies use a very compact instrument, measuring, typically, a one-dimensional construct that only addresses single facets of the overall concept. While most of these studies fulfill statistical validation requirements, content validity of the construct is seldom addressed. In this paper, we propose that more cognitive methods are needed to develop measures for complex constructs like shared understanding. The goal of our study is the development of a content validity proven survey instrument that measures the degree of shared business/IT understanding in a multi-faceted manner. In this paper, we adopt an innovative method of content validation by comparing survey results with data from a cognitive measurement approach (Repertory Grid Technique). We provide results from two studies: one experiment with students and a pilot field study with practitioners. After further refinements, the resulting instrument can support research on shared business/IT understanding and practitioners who aim at monitoring the relationship between business and IT units in their organizations.

Jentsch, C. and Beimborn, D. (2014)
What Matters in Business/IT Shared Understanding? Development of a Unified Construct
Proceedings of the 22nd European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), Tel Aviv, Israel
(Research in Progress)

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The mutual understanding, shared knowledge, or cognition between business and IT units has been discussed frequently and in wide range of fields in IS research. On the other hand, we are still lacking a consistent and comprehensive conceptualization of what shared business/IT understanding is actually about, and previous studies have usually only taken some aspects of it into account. These often single-dimensional determinations represent an incomplete picture of shared business/IT understanding and thus can potentially lead to wrong or incomplete findings and implications. This research in progress steps into this gap and develops a comprehensive construct of shared business/IT understanding to provide future research with a unified concept that can be applied to various IS research contexts. In this paper, we discuss current conceptualizations of shared business/IT understanding and integrate them to a unified multidimensional construct, which will be validated and adjusted in future empirical research.

Jentsch, C. and Beimborn, D. (2014)
Shared Understanding Among Business and IT - A Literature Review and Research Agenda
Proceedings of the European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), Tel Aviv, Israel

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Researchers have acknowledged that shared understanding between business and IT is a crucial factor to achieve high performing teams, well aligned units, and superior business value of IT. In addition, they agree, that this determinant of social alignment is very complex and difficult to govern. However, a goal-oriented governance will only be possible if the target is clearly and adequate defined. In this paper, we will provide a structured review of the IS literature addressing the question how shared business/IT understanding has been conceptualized and used in the various fields of our research community. We identify strong differences between and within these research domains regarding the conceptualization. Primarily, we find that most of the papers just analyze single aspects of shared understanding but miss the "big picture". Our findings can point researchers to potential lacks of conceptualization of Business/IT Shared Understanding in their research domain and will help to cross borders among different research strands, which all will potentially profit from a more holistic and comprehensive investigation of shared business/IT understanding and its role for effective collaboration among business and IT.