Digital Enablement

Digital Enablement Research Network (DERN) is a major initiative focused on the impact of digital technology on businesses, the economy, and society.

DERN harnesses the interdisciplinary knowledge and skills at UNSW Business School, and complements them with the resources and knowledge of an elite group of academic and industry partners, both in Australia, the Asia-Pacific region, and globally, to focus on the enablement of digital innovation and transformation.

With the growing significance and pervasiveness of digital technology in contemporary society, the emphasis of both academia and industry in digital technology-related fields has shifted to understanding the nature and implications of “digital enablement”, which refers to the consumerizational and transformational roles of digital technology in driving business and social innovation.

Consumerizational Effect of Technology

Consumerizational Effect of Technology (CET) focuses on understanding consumer usage of technologies and developing insights into the impact of technologies on social and economic behaviors of individuals, organizations, and businesses. Increasingly, the consumerization of technologies has facilitated the creation and dissemination of user-generated content, which is instrumental in developing better insights into consumer opinions and sentiments. However, the usage of technologies can at times be hampered by unexpected problems, such as privacy issues, security risks, and techno-stress. Hence, it is particularly important to understand how to best deploy technologies to facilitate consumer interactions, while at the same time, overcome the challenges associated with technology usage.

Transformational Effect of Technology

The transformational effect of technology (TET) is significant and far reaching as it drives efficiency, innovation, and inclusion. Technology and business experts and commentators have been paying close attention to how digital technology supports, enables, and influences the effectiveness and competitiveness of enterprises, from social networking use in work practices to the Internet of Things in production. At the same time, existing business landscape, industry, and economy are disrupted with the innovative use of technology, which is evident in the rise of digitally enabled sharing economy underpinned by the burgeoning prosperity of the massive open online courses, and companies like AirBnB, and Uber and the rise of Fintech. In marginalised communities and developing world, application of technology such as mobile payment in Kenya and the e-commerce in China’s Taobao Village, also promise new benefits to the socio-economic improvement and an inclusive development.

Network Members

Shan Pan | Network Leader, Professor, School of Information Systems

Shan L Pan is a professor of Information Systems, Technology and Management at the UNSW Business School, The University of New South Wales. He was formerly a tenured professor at the National University of Singapore. He is currently a research affiliate with the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, Germany. His research interest is digital enablement within the contexts of business and social innovation. He has conducted in-depth studies on state-owned enterprises, commercial organizations, rural villages, and non-profit organizations in China, Germany, India and Southeast Asia. He is the founder of Digital Enablement Research Group, a research group based at UNSW Business School.

Dr Songting Dong | Senior Lecturer, School of Information Systems

Dr. Dong’s major research interest lies in studying consumers’ preferences and their decision making journey, particularly in the digital age. He attempts to advance the knowledge in this area by improving preference elicitation methods and utilizing advanced quantitative modeling approaches. Songting earned his Bachelor’s and Doctor’s degrees (both with distinction) from Tsinghua University. Part of his PhD training was conducted in Smeal College of Business, Pennsylvania State University. His research works have appeared in Journal of Marketing Research, International Journal of Research in Marketing, and Journal of Product Innovation Management.

Ben Choi | AGSM Scholar, Professor, School of Information Systems

​Ben Choi is a lecturer at UNSW Business School. He received his Ph. D degree (2014) and B.Comp (First Class Honors) degree in Information Systems from the National University of Singapore. He holds a diploma (with merit) in Information Systems from Singapore Polytechnic.


Dr Carmen Leong | Lecturer, School of Information Systems

​Dr Carmen Leong is an early career researcher in the discipline of Information Systems (IS). She received her PhD degree from The National University of Singapore in 2015. Her research interests include digital empowerment in social studies and digitally enabled strategic transformation in organisations. She has been conducting research as an associate of a case study team comprising of mentors, scholars and students from universities in China and Australia. In the past few years, she has conducted case study research in China, Malaysia, Thailand and Germany.

Dr Veronica Jiang | Lecturer, School of Information Systems

​Veronica's research focuses on consumer behaviour and judgment making. Specifically, she is interested in how consumers arrive at their decisions and the motivations behind these decision processes. For example, one of her research streams investigates how large variety of options influences consumers’ information processing and choices. And another research stream of hers examines the interaction between beauty and decision makings. Also, she is a member of Digital Enablement Research Network (DERN), one of the emerging research strengths of UNSW Business School. Together with colleagues from multiple disciplines, DERN studies how digital technology can revolutionize social and economic interactions.

Sam Kirshner | AGSM Scholar, Lecturer, School of Information Systems

​​Sam Kirshner is a lecturer in the area of Operations Management and Business Analytics. He studied electrical engineering at the undergraduate level and then obtained my MSc. and PhD in Management Science at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. His primary research interests lie in the areas of revenue management, technology management, and consumer exchange markets. His research addresses pricing and production decisions across a firm's family of products in the face of demand uncertainty using models based on optimization techniques and game theory.

Daniel Schlagwein | Senior Lecturer, School of Information Systems

​​Dr. Daniel Schlagwein is a Senior Lecturer of Information Systems at the UNSW Business School in Sydney. His research is focused on IT-enabled openness, crowdsourcing and digital work. Prior to entering academia, he was a consultant in the ICT industry. Daniel has authored over 30 peer-reviewed papers, and has been published in leading academic journals. Daniel received the UNSW Vice-Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence in 2014. In the same year, the UNSW Business School students granted Daniel their "Student Choice Award". He was a Visiting Professor at the Copenhagen Business School and New York University's Leonard H. Stern School of Business in 2015.

Sandeep Mysore Seshadrinath | Lecturer, School of Information Systems

​​Sandeep is a Lecturer in Information Systems, Technology and Management at UNSW Business School. He holds a PhD in Business & Management from Loughborough University, UK. In his dissertation he studied impact sourcing - a social innovation in outsourcing, in which he explored processes and strategies of social entrepreneurship, community engagement and sociocultural transitions. Broadly, his research interests lie in the social study of information systems, with a special focus on digitally-enabled social transformations. He has published his work in reputed journals such as Information Systems Journal, Information & Management and The Journal of Strategic Information Systems.

Felix Tan | Lecturer, School of Information Systems

​​Dr Felix Tan is an early career Information Systems researcher at the UNSW business school. He actively investigates the enabling effects of enterprise systems and digital platforms, in the contexts of business and society, with particular emphasis on disruption, strategies, structures, and transformation. He has conducted ICT related fieldwork-based research and projects with over 20 companies and technology startups across Asia-Pacific. Dr Tan is an SAP academic alliance professor and delivered related ICT training in Hong Kong, Singapore, China and Australia. Dr Tan has 27 publications in digital enablement research to date.

Highlight achievements

  • Seven network members have a total of 37 different A*/FT45 publications since 2011, including in MIS Quarterly, Information Systems Research, and Journal of the Association for Information Systems.
  • Average m-quotient of 1.1.
  • ARC and other grant awards totalling more than $2.5 million (Finnegan).
  • Pan is current/former Associate Editor of MIS Quarterly, Information Systems Research, Information & Management, and the European Journal of Information Systems. Finnegan is Senior Editor of Information Systems Journal.
  • Finnegan was awarded the 2011 Stafford Beer medal for the most outstanding contribution to the philosophy, theory, or practice of information systems and/or knowledge management published in the European Journal of Information Systems or Knowledge Management Research & Practice.

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