- A complete list of publications by Kai Reimers is available on his personal website: www.kai-reimers.net
Industry-wide Information Infrastructures (III)
Increasingly, the linking of intra-organisational information systems across organisational boundaries gives rise to a new phenomenon that is discussed as Industry-wide Information Infrastructures in the IS literature. In contrast to the traditional notion of information systems, information infrastructures are characterized by the heterogeneity of their participants, the evolving and emergent nature and their functionality, and their historical rootedness in the sense that they are never built from scratch but always built over an 'installed base'. We are presently especially interested in the emergence and evolution of information infrastructures in the area of pharmaceutical distribution and dispensing. We study this industry in several countries and are actively involved in industry initiatives in China and in Germany.
Medical Prescriptions: The Key to Understanding Information Infrastructures in Healthcare
For the first time, researchers of the disciplines Information Systems (IS), pharmacy history, social history, and the German Pharmacy Museum come together in this interdisciplinary project with the aim to understand current practices in the German healthcare sector by going back to its roots. For this, the researchers use medical prescriptions from the German-speaking area. The prescriptions cover the time period from the medieval era up to the present which allows the researchers to identify innovations and social changes throughout this time period. The focus of the analysis is on variations of shape, content, and language over time. Upon examination of the research results, the researchers will be able to reconstruct the evolution of healthcare practices in the German-speaking area to aid the understanding of contemporary practices between patient, pharmacist and physicians as well as between physician and health insurance.
The project is subdivided into three parts. Firstly, the pharmacy historian translates medieval prescriptions of the German Pharmacy Museum into the modern language of the present-day pharmacists and physicians. Through this, the social historian and the IS researcher can identify the emergence of new features during the evolution of medical prescriptions. The identification of such features helps to explain the emergence of new actors in healthcare practices and also helps to understand the evolution of critical information infrastructures in healthcare. A well-known example is the rise of health insurance providers which has changed the patient-pharmacist relationship as well as modified the information infrastructure of physicians and pharmacists. We believe that our analysis will shed a new light on current problems in the healthcare sector and possibly help to identify points of leverage for developing critical healthcare infrastructures that have so far been neglected.
Sponsor: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Duration: 01.09.2018 - 31.08.2022
Information Infrastructure as a Learning Process
Information infrastructures develop over time as a changing constellation of practices. Changes in practices, in turn, can be viewed as learning processes. Hence, information infrastructure development can be seen as a consequence of practice-level learning processes. In this project, we use this novel and interesting lens to study and actively participate in information infrastructures for medication management of elderly people, specifically those who can no longer take charge of their own affairs as a result of dementia. Our methodical approach is to investigate and enhance current medication practices concerned with the medication of elderly people with dementia. The practical objective of this project is to significantly improve the medication therapy safety of patients with dementia while ensuring their dignity and autonomy.
We believe that, in addition to physicians, pharmacists, nurses and relatives play a significant role in medication processes and, hence, that their participation is crucial for improving medication therapy safety of patients, especially for the case of people suffering from dementia.
As an initial tool for our probing into the various practices, we will experiment with a new tool, the Federal Unified Medication Plan, which, as of April 2017, must be provided by physicians to patients that regularly use three or more prescription drugs. The specifications of the medication plan also comprise a data matrix code which facilitates the flow of information between computer systems. However, for information to ‘flow’ effectively the various practices must re-align to each other in various and often incremental ways. Understanding and promoting such manifold and variegated forms of re-alignment and inter-weaving are the main objectives and contribution of our project.
Sponsor: Ministry of Culture and Science of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia
Duration: 01.05.2018 - 30.04.2020
A Learning-based Approach to Digitalization of Healthcare Services
The aim of the project is to explore an alternative approach to developing information infrastructures, i.e. socio-technical networks of information systems that are not defined by a definite set of functions and user groups. In contrast to traditional approaches to systems development that proceed by constructing an information infrastructure based on a model of the envisioned system and subsequently implementing that system in a specific organizational context, we assume that information infrastructures evolve through incremental adjustments, repairs, workarounds, and re-appropriation of extant tools in the unbroken continuum of everyday practice. Still, we believe that such processes can be shaped and given direction, albeit not by modelling and consciously shaping use contexts but by facilitating and shaping learning processes within and between practices involved in the information infrastructure.
We therefore aim to bring together these practices in a learning environment which we call a Learning Community. Based on the outcomes of three years of workshops and interactions in such a Learning Community in the healthcare sector, we are currently developingnew ways for patients to actively participate in both their medication therapy process and the process of evolving the information infrastructure that connects patient, physician and pharmacy practices. By enabling new forms of interaction between these practices we can create learning opportunities the results of which will be fed back into the Learning Community discussions and may then become the basis for modifying existing tools or for creating entirely new ones. An important aspect of our approach is that these tools must be ‘set free’ to be able to support learning processes, i.e. the developers of these tools must refrain from shaping use contexts and forms of appropriate use. Therefore, an important part of the project is also to explore feasible ways for such ‘freeing’ of software tools which includes the adaptation of various forms of agile project management, agile software development, and open source principles.
Sponsor: RWTH ICT-Projecthouse
Duration: 01.10.2017 - 30.09.2018
- K. Reimers, M.Zh. Li, B. Xie, and X.H. Guo: How Do Industry-wide Information Infrastructures Emerge? A Life Cycle Approach. In: Information Systems Journal, Vol. 24 (2014), No. 5, pp. 375-424.
- X.H. Guo, K. Reimers, B. Xie, and M.Zh. Li: Network Relations and Boundary Spanning: Understanding the Evolution of e-ordering in the Chinese Drug Distribution Industry. In: Journal of Information Technology, Vol. 29 (2014), pp. 223-236.
- K. Reimers, R. B. Johnston and S. Klein: An Empirical Evaluation of Existing IS Change Theories for the Case of IOIS Evolution. In: European Journal of Information Systems, Vol. 23 (2014), No. 4, pp. 373-399.
- K. Reimers, R. B. Johnston, X. Guo, S. Klein, B. Xie and M. Zh. Li: Novice-based Data Collection Methods for the Study of IOIS: Practice Probes and Learning Communities. In: Electronic Markets, Vol. 23 (2013), Nr. 4, pp. 285–293 (Paper of the Year).
- S. Schellhammer, K. Reimers, and S. Klein: Emergence of Information Infrastructures: A Tale of Two Islands. In: International Journal of Biomedical Engineering and Technology, Vol. 11, No. 3 (July 2013), pp. 231–251.
- M. Zh. Li and K. Reimers: Government Driven Model of Institutional Change Through Adoption of New Technology: A Case Study of the Failed Pharmaceutical Bidding and Procurement Platforms in China. In: Chinese Management Studies, Vol. 6 (2012), No. 1, pp. 53-64.
- K. Reimers, R. B. Johnston and S. Klein: Evolution of Inter-organizational Information Systems on Long Timescales: A Practice Theory Approach. In: K. Vaidya (ed.): Inter-Organizational Information Systems and Business Management: Theories for Researchers. Hershey: IGI Global, 2011, pp. 38-54.
- K. Reimers, R. B. Johnston and S. Klein: The Difficulty of Studying Inter-organisational IS Phenomena on Large Scales: Critical Reflections on a Research Journey. In: Electronic Markets, Vol. 20, Nos. 3-4 (December 2010), pp. 229-240.
- K. Reimers, R. B. Johnston and S. Klein: Toward a Theory of IOIS Variance -- A New Framework for Studying Inter-organisational Information Systems. In: International Journal of Information Systems Technologies and Applications, Vol. 1 (2010), No. 3, pp. 36-56.
- K. Reimers and R. B. Johnston: The Use of an Explicitly Theory-Driven
Data Coding Method for High-Level Theory Testing in IOIS. In: Proceedings
of the Twenty Ninth International Conference on Information Systems,
Paper 184, December 15 - 17 2008, Paris.
- K. Reimers and R. B. Johnston: Explaining Persistence and Resilience
of Inter-organisational Information Systems: Theoretical and Methodological
Considerations. In: Proceedings of the 16th European Conference
on Information Systems, Galway, Ireland, June 9-11, 2008.
- K. Reimers and M. Zh. Li: Interaction of Technological and Institutional
Change in the Development of an Electronic Commerce System in China's
Pharmaceutical Distribution Chain -- A Transaction Cost Perspective.
In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Health Informatics (HEALTHINF), Funchal, Portugal, 28-31 January, 2008.
- K. Reimers, R. B. Johnston and S. Klein: The Shaping
of Inter-Organisational Information Systems: Main Design Considerations
of an International Comparative Research Project. In: Proceedings
of the 17th Bled eCommerce Conference "eGlobal", Bled,
Slovenia, June 21-23, 2004.
Development of IT Standards
In the research field “Development of IT-Standards” we focus on the emergence and diffusion of IT-Standards. We distinguish between compatibility standards and communication standards. The former are used to create standardized interfaces between different hardware and software components, the latter regard rules for communication between different information systems. The close relationship with the research topic “Industry-wide Information Infrastructures” (III) is apparent: Standardized interfaces provide the basis for III through enabling companies to communicate electronically. Our contributions concern the development of a framework for explaining and evaluating standardization processes as well as the exploration of interesting aspects of standardization processes such as software patents and the Internet of Things (IoT).
- A. Setterstrom, P. Mykytyn, K. Mykytyn and K. Reimers: Strategic Purpose of Software Patents: An Exploratory Study of German Organizations. In: Journal of Global Information Technology Management, Vol. 16, No.2, April 2013.
- K. Jacobs, Th. Wagner and K. Reimers: Project Report: Standardising the Internet of Things - What the Experts Think. In: International Journal of IT Standards & Standardisation Research, Vol.9 (2011), No. 1, pp. 63-67.
- K. Jacobs, Th. Wagner and K. Reimers: Developing Standards for the IoT - A Collaborative Exercise!? In: L. Legardeur and K. North (eds): Towards New Challenges for Innovative Management Practices, Vol.3, No. 1, pp. 108-16 (ERIMA 2010 Proceedings).
- M.Zh. Li and K. Reimers: China's Practice of Implementing a 3G Mobile Telecommunications Standard: A Transaction Costs Perspective. In: K. Jakobs (ed.): Information Communication Technology Standardization for E-Business Sectors: Integrating Supply and Demand Factors. Hershey, New York: IGI Global, 2009, pp. 140-151.
- K. Reimers and M.Zh. Li: Effectiveness of the International
3G Standardisation Process and Implications for China's 3G Policy.
In: International Journal of Public Policy, Vol. 2 (2007), Nos.
1/2, pp. 124-139.
- K. Reimers and M.Zh. Li: Antecedents of a Transaction
Cost Theory of Vertical IS Standardisation Processes. In: Electronic
Markets, Vol. 15, No. 4 (2005) (Special Issue on Vertical Industry
Information Technology Standards and Standardization), pp. 301-312.
- K. Reimers and M.Zh. Li: Should Buyers Try to Shape
IT-markets through Non-market (Collective) Action? Antecedents of
a Transaction Cost Theory of Network Effects. In: Journal of IT
Standards & Standardization Research, Vol. 3, No. 1 (Jan.-June
2005), pp. 44-67.
Development and Implementation of Enterprise Systems
There is a notable trend towards ever wider integration of enterprise systems. The currently dominant form of such systems -- called Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems -- poses daunting challenges for companies regarding their implementation. Such processes are often intricately related to organizational change processes. We have studied and actively participated in such ERP implementation processes. Moreover, ERP systems are increasingly transcending company boundaries as such systems are connected between organizations (giving rise to yet another form of Industry-wide Information Infrastructures, see our first research topic). We have studied multiple ERP implementation processes, developed an early warning system for ERP implementation processes, and also contributed to the literature by having developed a scenarios for future enterprise systems which consider the possibility of 'Supply Chain Resource Planning' systems.
- K. Reimers and X.H. Guo: Supply Chain Resource Planning Systems: A Scenario of Future Enterprise Systems. In: Communications of the Aassociation for Information Systems, Vol. 35, Article 9, November 2014, pp. 173–190.
- K. Kelzenberg, Th. Wagner and K. Reimers: A Conceptual Framework for
Developing and Evaluating ERP Implementation Strategies in Multinational
Organizations. In: Enterprise Resource Planning for Global Economies:
Managerial Issues and Challenges, edited by C. Ferran and R. Salim,
Information Science Reference (2008).
- Sh.-W. Chien, Ch. Hu, K. Reimers, J.-Sh. Lin: The Influence of
Centrifugal and Centripetal Forces on ERP Project Success in Small
and Medium-sized Enterprises in China and Taiwan. In: International
Journal of Production Economics, Vol. 107, No. 2 (June 2007), pp.
- K. Reimers: Gearbox China (Ltd.): Will the Company's
ERP System Support Its Ambitious Growth Strategy? In: Journal of
Information Technology, Vol. 19, No. 2 (June 2004), pp. 140-148.
- F.W. McFarlan, G.Q. Chen and K. Reimers: Digital China Holdings Limited: RP as a Platform for Building New Capabilities. Harvard Business School Case, No. 9-302-080, Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing, Rev. May 21, 2002.