Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award

Summer 8-12-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Information Systems

First Advisor

Dr. Richard Baskerville

Second Advisor

Dr. Likoebe Maruping

Third Advisor

Dr. Dmitry Zhdanov

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Youngjin Yoo


Information technologies (ITs) are designed with intended functions to support human and organizational purposes. Human agents may interpret and use the technologies in ways beyond their original intent, which may cause unanticipated consequences that diminish IT’s holistic value, causing the information systems to become less sustainable. The information systems field mainly focuses on analyzing how IT is developed, applied to, and shaped in social situations. While many studies examine how individuals and organizations value the flexibility provided by IT in complex business and social environments and what are the actual effects of IT uses, less attention has been paid to how IT’s flexibility and individuals’ autonomy could potentially generate information systems failure points. This thesis examines the system failure point caused by the tension between individual self-interest decisions and retaining information system sustainability during the IT design, development, and implementation. The overarching theme in this dissertation is, can we explain how individual actions, resulting from individual rational decisions respect, or fail to respect, the principle of rational decisions at the system (or collective) level? In other words, what are the negative impacts of individual rational decisions on information system sustainability? This thesis encompasses three independent research papers reflecting my diverse approach to this research theme. Indeed, the theme emerged from the work conducted in these three studies rather than the other way round. This thesis aims to advance the information systems literature and digitalization by providing fresh views on how individual decisions in the different contexts of IT design, development, and implementation may introduce system weakness and failure points.


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