PhD - Information Systems

Information Systems

Analyzing the processes and consequences of adoption, implementation, and changes associated with information technology.

Information Systems

The objectives of the PhD specialization in Information Systems (IS) are to promote theoretical and applied research on topics related to information systems practice with a combined focus on scientific rigour and relevance.

Faculty in the IS Area conduct research on diverse topics including the business value and impacts of information technology, managing resistance to information systems implementation, Coordination in fast response organizations, Knowledge management, management of information security, predictive analytics, adoption and impact of healthcare IT, online search and advertising, and social media, by using a variety of methodologies. IS faculty members are funded by external agencies and also enjoy a fruitful working relationship with the business community that provides a rich environment for field research.

Current Area Research Topics

  • The Impacts of
    • E-commerce on firms,
    • IT on multinational corporations,
    • IT using a multi-level analysis of slack resources
    • ERP on organizations
    • IT usage on managerial work
    • Electronic integration of health care
    • New digital channel introduction
    • IT outsourcing
    • Software Patents
  • Development of qualitative, interpretive and case methodologies for use in research on how organizations use information technology
  • Understanding and managing resistance to change associated with information systems implementation
  • Practices of fast response organizations
  • Examine Consumer Behavior, Firm’s Strategies, Impact and Analytics in the Context of
    • Online Dating,
    • Digital Music,
    • Online Search and Advertising,
    • Social Media and
    • Online Platforms for Crowdfunding, Crowdsourcing
  • Healthcare transformation
  • Management of information security
  • Predictive analytics
  • Implementing Enterprise Resources Planning Systems (ERP)
  • IT innovation, IT championship, and IT literacy
  • Adoption of clinical information systems by healthcare professionals
  • Computer supported coordination systems
  • Knowledge management
  • Network perspective of online communities


Only Tenured and Tenure-Track faculty can supervise students

Please note that if you select an Assistant Professor as your supervisor, you will need a co-supervisor that has either Associate or Full Professor status.

Current Research Projects by IS Faculty

Animesh Animesh

Professor Animesh's research examines the adoption, design and impact of Internet technologies and online business models. Currently, he is working on the following areas:

  • Online Search and Advertising: The research stream focuses on the implications of online sponsored-search mechanisms for search intermediaries, advertisers and consumers by employing diverse research methodologies such as field experiment, lab experiment, and secondary data analysis. In particular, the factors that impact the success of an online advertisement are identified and the role of search advertisement as a market segmentation mechanism is investigated. The research also examines the role of search advertisement allocation mechanism as a signal of quality and its impact on consumer behavior. Finally, the relationship between price, quality and advertising is also examined in search advertising markets.
  • Social Media Dynamics: In this research stream, Prof. Animesh examines the value of social media with a focus on the role of firm’s participation and efforts in social media on firm’s performance. Another study examines the role of firm’s product pricing decisions on information diffusion patterns in social media. A recent study examines the implementation of different information sharing features in social media and its impact on consumer’s sharing behavior.       
  • Adoption and Impact of Online platforms and channels: In this stream of research, Prof. Animesh examines the role of specific technological features and business model innovations on consumer behavior and firm performance in the context of emerging platforms for dating, role-playing in 3D virtual worlds, crowdsourcing and product co-development, consumer reviews, as well as new channels such as mobile.
  • Computer supported coordination systems: This project involves designing an innovative interface for instant messaging or chat application to overcome the limitations of the existing design and examining the impact of alternative designs on variables of interest such as productivity, satisfaction, etc., through the media synchronicity theory lens.

Geneviève Bassellier

The general theme that links Prof. Bassellier’s areas of research interest is improving the effectiveness of the relationships between IT, management, and users of technology. The specific areas of her research are the following:

  • Online communities: Prof. Bassellier works on projects looking at factors that can motivate consumer to pay for the goods that they consume in online communities for digital goods, mostly music sites.  Through lab experiments and surveys, she investigates the role of different social features enabled by technologies, such as socially-determined price reference and features to develop status and reputation within the community. 
  • IT knowledge of entrepreneurs: Following some foundational work Prof. Basselier did on how IT competencies in non-IT people promote the success of IT projects and innovation, she now looks at the role that IT competencies can play in entrepreneurial endeavours. She examines the relevant components of IT competence in founders that enable them to better recognize growth opportunities, manage resources efficiently, and scale an innovative business model. 
  • Emotions: Prof. Bassellier is interested in the role of emotions in decision-making, in the context of IT-enabled decision making and IT projects. 

Kunsoo Han

Professor Han is currently working on the following research projects:

  • Economic impact of new channel introduction: This research stream focuses on empirically examining the economic impacts of introducing a new channel on the existing channels in various contexts. One project investigates the impact of opaque channel (e.g.,, Hotwire) on transparent channels (e.g., Expedia, offline travel agencies) in air travel industry using a large dataset from an airline company. Another project explores how an e-marketplace’s introduction of a mobile channel impacts its existing PC channel and consumer behaviors. Further, Prof. Han is also examining the economic impacts of e-book channel on print book channel in terms of sales and revenue.
  • Impacts of IT on multinational corporations (MNCs): The objective of this research project is to gain a deeper understanding of the role of IT in this global economy by focusing on how IT contributes to the operation and competitiveness of MNCs. Specifically, this project first examines whether IT investments help MNCs to overcome the geographic and institutional distance in their global operation and to achieve superior firm performance. In order to gain further insights into how IT creates value for MNCs, this project also examines the impact of IT on production costs of MNCs, which account for more than 50% of revenue. Finally, in order to shed light on the role of IT governance in MNCs in creating value from IT investments, this project examines the impact of two IT governance mechanisms, namely, the allocation of IT decision rights and the power of chief information officer (CIO), on the performance of MNCs’ IT investments.

Warut  Khern-am-nuai

Prof. Warut is currently working on three streams of research

  • Platform for online marketplaces: The research projects in this area focus on understanding the implications of new technology and new technique adopted by platform owners and users. The context includes online reviews, online discussions, and social media.
  • Management of information security: This research stream applies the technical aspect of information security to the business management context. Particularly, Prof. Warut seeks to investigate the economic implications and behavioral aspect of parties involved in information security issues.
  • Predictive analytics: Prof. Warut’s works in this area apply machine learning and analytics techniques to empirically examine issues in the domain of economic of information systems.

Liette Lapointe

Professor Lapointe’s research integrates information systems management and behavioral issues as well as issues related to the adoption of information systems in healthcare settings.

  • In IS, she has first worked on resistance to information technology. She is currently working on follow-up projects that include a wide spectrum of user reactions, including enhanced use, ambivalence, collective use and IT addiction.
  • She is also working on projects that deal organizational communication strategies, IT innovation, IT championship, and IT literacy. In the domains of health informatics and healthcare management, she has focused on the implementation and impacts of IT in healthcare settings.
  • She is also working on projects on the reorganization of the healthcare system and the use of social media for healthcare as well as the use of IT in geriatrics, particularly on the issues related to Alzheimer's disease and related disorders, on chronic care diseases and on knowledge co-creation.

Alain Pinsonneault

The main current research projects funded by different granting agencies of Professor Pinsonneault are as follows:

  • The impacts of E-commerce on firms: This projects tries to understand the impact of e-commerce, more specifically, self-service IT such as web banking on the relationship between clients and banks. A first sub-project is studying the impact that self-service banking has on customer loyalty.
  • Implementing Enterprise Resources Planning Systems (ERP): In this research program, Professor Pinsonneault is studying how ERP systems are implemented in organizations and what are their impacts on organizations. A first project focuses on understanding how ERP implementation and usage affects organizational and individual flexibility. A second project looks at the notion of organizational and informational integration associated with ERP implementation and at the efforts needed to implement ERP.
  • IT impacts: a multi-level analysis of slack resources: In this project, Professor Pinsonneault studies how the effects of IT at the individual-level are linked to the effects of IT at the group-level and at organizational-level using the slack resources theory.
  • Assessing the Impacts of electronic integration of health care: Along with professors from the Faculty of Medicine, Professor Pinsonneault studies how electronic integration of physicians, pharmacists, and patients affects the quality of care and the patient-physician relationship. In this longitudinal study, user behaviors such as IT adoption, IT appropriation and their antecedents are also studied.

Emmanuelle Vaast

Prof. Emmanuelle Vaast’s research examines how social practices emerge and change with the implementation and use of new technologies and how these new practices are associated with organizational and change dynamics.

  • She has in particular investigated the learning and knowledge dynamics taking place at different levels (communities and networks of practice, for instance) and the boundary spanning involved in these dynamics when new Information Systems get implemented and used.
  • Professor Vaast has been fascinated by the new practices and social and societal changes associated with social media such as blogs and microblogs. Some of the themes she has especially been interested in deal with the emergence of new organizational forms and with new dynamics associated with organizational and occupational identification, cognition, and institutional dynamics.
  • Professor Vaast is interested in methodological issues. Most of her research so far has been qualitative, relying upon case-based evidence analyzed from an interpretive perspective. She has however become increasingly interested in the opportunities and challenges of combining qualitative and quantitative analysis of electronically-collected data.

Specialization Requirements

A typical set of course requirements will include a minimum of 12 courses  (over 4 semesters). Further, these 12 courses should consist of

a) 5 IS seminars
b) 2 courses in a support field
c) 3 Method courses
d) 2 required courses – Pedagogy and Statistics (at Faculty of Management, McGill)

IS Seminars/Courses

  • Organizational Impacts of IT
  • IT Acceptance and Usage
  • Strategic Management of IT
  • Qualitative, interpretive and case methods in management research
  • IT and Digital Economy
  • Research Methods in IT (HEC)
  • Critical Analysis of IT (HEC)
  • Theory Building (HEC)
  • Technology and Collaboration
  • Literature Reviews in IS

Note: The PhD course schedule (of the joint program) can be accessed online.

Typical Support Fields

  • Strategy/Organizational Theory
  • Organizational Behaviour
  • Marketing
  • Operations Management
  • Economics and Applied Economics
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Computer Science


Doctoral candidates receive $25,000/year in guaranteed funding for four years.  Financial support for the four years is comprised of a PhD Program in Management Guaranteed Funding Award (MGFA), which includes a variety of internal sources of funding. All funding is conditional on satisfactory academic performance.  Read more about our funding

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