Shahrokh NikouAffiliated researcher
Shahrokh Nikou is a Docent in Information Systems and a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Business and Economics, Åbo Akademi University and affiliated with Stockholm University. Shahrokh received his PhD (Econ & Bus. Adm.) in 2012. He is interested in information systems research, information studies, literacy studies, digital platforms, digitalisation and digital economy with a particular focus on the role of digital transformation as enablers for organisational change. He has published more than 70 peer-reviewed articles and is a member of the editorial board of Telematics and Informatics, Electronic Markets, PLOS ONE and Digital Economy. He is an academic editor in PLOSONE, assocaite editor in the Electronic Markets journal and in the Journal of Digital Business and serves a section editor in the Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research.
A selection from Stockholm University publication database
Emotional intelligence and materialism
2022. Aušra Rūtelionė (et al.). Journal of Consumer MarketingArticle
Purpose – The purpose of this study is to examine the nature of the relationship between emotional intelligence and materialism by exploring how subjective well-being mediates this link.
Design/methodology/approach – Data was collected from surveying 1,000 Lithuanians within random sampling, and structural equation modelling (SEM) techniques using SmartPLS were used to analyze the data.
Findings – The results show that emotional intelligence not only has a negative indirect effect on materialism but also a positive impact on both dimensions of subjective well-being (satisfaction with life and affect balance). In addition, the findings indicate that both satisfaction with life and affect balance predict a decrease in materialism. Finally, the SEM analyzes show that the path between emotional intelligence and materialism is partially mediated by both satisfaction with life and affect balance.
Social implications – The results of this study expand the understanding to what extent and how emotional intelligence is able to assist in adjusting materialistic attitudes, which have become more prevalent with the respective growth of consumerism and consumer culture worldwide. In the light of unsustainable consumption patterns threatening the survival of humankind and nature, the opportunities that could reverse this trend are presented for marketers and policy makers. This study gives insight into the potential pathways for diminishing consumer materialism, which is considered detrimental to subjective well-being and mental health.
Originality/value – The relationship between emotional intelligence and subjective well-being has been well documented, as has the link between materialism and subjective well-being. However, the simultaneous examination of the relationship between emotional intelligence, subjective well-being and materialism is lacking. The current study adds to the understanding of materialism not only by examining the effect of under-researched antecedent such as emotional intelligence but also by explaining the underlying mechanism of subjective well-being by which emotional intelligence connects to materialism.
Aligning artificial intelligence with human values
2021. Shengnan Han (et al.). AI & SocietyArticle
Artificial Intelligence (AI) must be directed at humane ends. The development of AI has produced great uncertainties of ensuring AI alignment with human values (AI value alignment) through AI operations from design to use. For the purposes of addressing this problem, we adopt the phenomenological theories of material values and technological mediation to be that beginning step. In this paper, we first discuss the AI value alignment from the relevant AI studies. Second, we briefly present what are material values and technological mediation and reflect on the AI value alignment through the lenses of these theories. We conclude that a set of finite human values can be defined and adapted to the stable life tasks that AI systems will be called upon to accomplish. The AI value alignment can also be fostered between designers and users through technological mediation. Upon that foundation, we propose a set of common principles to understand the AI value alignment through phenomenological theories. This paper contributes the unique knowledge of phenomenological theories to the discourse on AI alignment with human values.
Health-seeking behaviours of immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees in Europe
2022. Hamed Ahmadinia, Kristina Eriksson-Backa, Shahrokh Nikou. Journal of Documentation 78 (7), 18-41Article
Purpose - Immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees living in Europe face a number of challenges in accessing or using health information and healthcare services available in their host countries. To resolve these issues and deliver the necessary services, providers must take a comprehensive approach to better understand the types of health information and healthcare services that these individuals need, seek and use. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to develop that comprehensive approach.
Design/methodology/approach - In this paper, a systematic literature review of peer-reviewed publications was performed, with 3.013 articles collected from various databases. A total of 57 qualifying papers on studies conducted in Europe were included in the review after applying the predefined inclusion and exclusion requirements, screening processes and eliminating duplicates. The information seeking and communication model (ISCM) was used in the analysis.
Findings - The findings revealed that while many health information and healthcare services are accessible in Europe for immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees, many of these individuals are unaware of their existence or how to access them. While our findings do not specify what health-related information these groups need, use or seek, they do suggest the importance and value of providing mental health, sexual health and HIV, as well as pregnancy and childbirth information and services. Furthermore, according to our results, health information services should be fact-based, easy to understand and raise awareness about healthcare structure and services available in Europe for this vulnerable population.
Practical implications - This study has a range of practical implications, including (1) highlighting the need for mental health and behavioural health services and (2) stressing the value of addressing cultural context and religious values while investigating (health) information seeking of people with foreign background.
Originality/value - This is one of the first studies to systematically review and examine the behaviour of immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees in relation to health information and healthcare services in the European context.
An analysis of students' perspectives on e-learning participation - the case of COVID-19 pandemic
2021. Shahrokh Nikou, Ilia Maslov. The international journal of information and learning technology 38 (3), 299-315Article
Purpose - During the COVID-19 pandemic, educational institutions were forced to shut down, causing massive disruption of the education system. This paper aims to determine the critical factors for the intention to participate in e-learning during COVID-19.
Design/methodology/approach - Data were collected by surveying 131 university students and structural equation modelling technique using PLS-SEM was employed to analysis the data.
Findings - The results showed that the COVID-19 related factors such as perceived challenges and COVID-19 awareness not only directly impact students' intention but also such effects are mediated through perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use of e-learning systems. However, the results showed that the educational institution's preparedness does not directly impact the intention of students to participate in e-learning during COVID-19. The results also showed that the gender and length of the use of e-learning systems impact students' e-learning systems use.
Originality/value - These results demonstrated that, regardless of how well the educational institutions are prepared to promote the use of e-learning systems, other COVID-19-related challenges play a crucial role in forming the intention of students to participate in e-learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Theoretical and practical implications are provided.
An assessment of the interplay between literacy and digital Technology in Higher Education
2021. Shahrokh Nikou, Milla Aavakare. Education and Information Technologies 26, 3893-3915Article
Digital technologies fundamentally transform teaching and learning in higher education environments, with the pace of technological change exacerbating the challenge. Due to the current pandemic situation, higher education environments are all now forced to move away from traditional teaching and learning structures that are simply no longer adaptable to the challenges of rapidly changing educational environments. This research develops a conceptual model and employs Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) using Partial least Squares (PLS) to examine the impact of information and digital literacy on 249 Finnish university staff and students' intention to use digital technologies. The findings show the complex interrelationship between literacy skills and digital technologies among university staff and students. The results illustrate that information literacy has a direct and significant impact on intention to use; while, unlike our expectation, digital literacy does not have a direct impact on the intention to use. However, its effect is mediated through performance expectancy and effort expectancy. The authors suggest that to understand the changes that are taking place in higher education environment, more attention needs to be paid to redefining policies and strategies in order to enhance individuals' willingness to use digital technologies within higher education environments.
Artificial Intelligence Value Alignment Principles
2021. Shengnan Han, Shahrokh Nikou. 34th Bled conference proceedings, 675-682Conference
Information and communication technologies (ICTs) must be designed and used for humane ends. The rapid adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has raised the critical question of whether we can ensure AI's alignment with human values in order to guide its development and application. For the purposes of addressing this question, we conduct a selective literature review of the papers published in the top information systems (IS) research outlets (basket of 8 journals and 5 AI journals in IS) from 2000-2020. The results show that there is no research has been conducted in the IS research contributing a better understanding of the AI value alignment principles. The mainstream IS research on AI is mostly dominated from its technical and managerial aspects. Thus, the future research agendas are proposed accordingly. The paper provides some food for thoughts in studying human values and AI within the context of IS research.
Business model innovation and firm performance
2021. Mohammad-Ali Latifi, Shahrokh Nikou, Harry Bouwman. Technovation 107Article
Although research has shown that business model innovation (BMI) can create a firm's competitive advantage and enhance its performance, many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) fail to obtain the expected outcomes when innovating their business model. Business Model Innovation (BMI) leads to irreversible fundamental changes in key components of a company's business model, which means it carries with it a high level of risk, ambiguity and uncertainty. Drawing on the data from a cross-industry sample of 563 European SMEs, we apply structural equation modelling to examine how a firm's performance is affected by innovating its business model. A conceptual model is developed to examine how organisational capabilities and implementation of a profit- or growth-oriented strategy, as materialised in BMI, affect a firm's overall performance. The results indicate that, while the direct link between BMI and firm performance is not significant, this path is fully mediated through efficiency growth, organisational capabilities and revenue growth. Furthermore, there are significant direct effects from efficiency growth, organisational capabilities and revenue growth on firm performance. These findings confirm the validity of the model and contribute to existing literature on BMI efforts in SMEs and provide guidelines to help company owners/managers implement informed decisions about the implementation of BMI based on their firm's strategies.
Do Demographics Matter in Consumer Materialism?
2021. Dalia Antinienė (et al.). Engineering Economics 32 (4), 296-312Article
This paper aims to investigate the effects of personal characteristics such as gender, income, education and age on consumer materialism. Research hypotheses are based on both existing marketing literature and an additional integration of gender studies literature in order to further the study of materialism. By using random sampling and surveying 1000 respondents living across different regions in Lithuania, the results show significant differences along gender, age, self-perceived relative income and education in terms of consumers' materialistic dispositions. The study confirms that younger consumers are more inclined to materialistic values than older ones. Women differ from men on materialism centrality, as well as happiness and success measures. Regarding consumers' self-perceived relative income, Lithuanians with low income are more prone to aspire to material possessions. Furthermore, research indicates higher rates of consumer materialism to appear among less educated individuals. This is one of the first representative studies in Lithuania revealing what effects different demographic consumer characteristics have on materialistic behaviour. Our findings have some practical implications; for example, they show that vulnerable segments of the population are more susceptible to materialism, necessitating educational policies to reduce such behavior and encourage a more responsible approach. As a result, these educational programs should be tailored to these individuals, with a greater emphasis on the risks associated with overconsumption.
The impact of literacy on intention to use digital technology for learning
2021. Moonkyoung Jang (et al.). Telecommunications Policy 45 (7)Article
Information and communications technology (ICT) and digital technologies are being actively used for education, and the ICT-enabled education market continues to grow. The recent COVID-19 pandemic situation is undoubtedly very stressful, because all teaching and learning activities have been forced to move online. This is an international comparative study examining the effects of 21st century skills (e.g., digital and information literacy) on intention to use digital technologies for learning in Korea and in Finland. To conduct a rigorous comparison of the two countries, this paper conducts an empirical study on 194 Korean and 192 Finnish young people in their 20s and 30s. A theory-based conceptual model is devised to examine the differences between Korean and Finnish respondents' ICT usage using Structural equation modelling (SEM). The SEM results showed that information literacy has a direct effect on the intention to use digital technologies for learning in Korea and Finland. The higher information literacy is directly related to higher intention to use digital technology for learning with a small effect. The effect of digital literacy on intention to use technologies is fully mediated through the habit and performance expectancy with a medium effect. In addition, this study used multigroup analysis (MGA) to examine whether the impact of digital literacy and information literacy on intention to use digital technology for learning differed between Korean and Finnish respondents. Based on these results, recommendations for prospect research and theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
The nexus between dynamic capabilities and competitive firm performance
2021. Asta Pundziene, Shahrokh Nikou, Harry Bouwman. European Journal of Innovation ManagementArticle
Purpose - Prior research has reported the indirect implications of firm's dynamic capabilities on their competitive firm performance. Our attention now turns to open innovation since it has been confirmed to be an influential factor contributing to the superior performance of technological firms. So far there has been little research on assessing the relationship between a firm's dynamic capabilities as an antecedent of the competitive performance of the firm or investigations into the mediating role of open innovation in this relationship.
Design/methodology/approach - Drawing on the theory of dynamic capabilities, we developed a framework as a way to better understand the role of open innovation, which could then help to better explain the relationship between firms' dynamics capabilities and their competitive firm performance. Based on the empirical data of 465 firms operating in innovative and non-innovative industries, we employed structural equation modelling (SEM) to examine the research hypotheses and the path relationships in the proposed model.
Findings - The SEM analysis revealed that a firm's dynamic capabilities significantly impact its open innovation performance and that open innovation, consequently, impacts the competitive performance of the firm. Moreover, the results show that the path between dynamic capabilities and competitive firm performance is partially mediated through open innovation.
Practical implications - The findings provide practical implications and draw managerial attention to the importance of: (1) investing in innovation, (2) engaging customers in the innovation process and (3) maintaining innovation management excellence as significant antecedent factors in increasing competitive firm performance.
Originality/value - Considering the lack of empirical research in the literature on the links between dynamic capabilities and open innovation, this paper contributes to the dynamic capabilities and open innovation literature by confirming that open innovation not only mediates the relationship between these two aspects but also strengthens the effect the dynamic capabilities have on competitive firm performance. Besides, due to the significant impact of dynamic capabilities on open innovation, dynamic capabilities might be regarded as an antecedent of open innovation.
More honour'd in the breach
2020. Alex Leering, Lidwien van de Wijngaert, Shahrokh Nikou. Behavior and Information TechnologyArticle
A major issue in the digital age is how to safeguard the security of the massive amount of data being stored, processed and transferred through digital channels. Organisational communication research into data security shows that people are the weakest link. Non-compliant behaviour can lead to security breaches. Existing studies have focused above all on how employees can be motivated to comply with data security procedures. However, focusing on desirable behaviour does not explain why people often ignore security regulations. In addition, existing research tends to focus primarily on self-reported attitudes and perceptions, which can give a distorted impression of people's actual behaviour. In this paper, we address these issues by combining individual, habitual and situational factors to explain non-compliant behaviour in a vignette study, using SmartPLS to analyse survey data from 651 subjects in a large Dutch government organisation. The results indicate that bad habits play a significant role in non-compliant behaviour. This behaviour is fuelled by situational factors like time pressure, while a lack of self-efficacy also increases non-compliant behaviour. Based on these results, a communication strategy that addresses bad habits in a situational context may provide an alternative way to improve people's compliant behaviour.
The revitalization of service orientation
2020. Albert Plugge, Shahrokh Nikou, Harry Bouwman. Business Process Management Journal 27 (8), 1-24Article
Purpose Due to the convergence of rapid business developments and digitization challenges, service orientation is back on the research agenda as a concept to improve firms' business services. Yet, little is known about the type of determinants that are relevant and to what degree they affect a firm's service-oriented strategy. Design/methodology/approach Building on structural equation modeling (SEM) and a unique data set of 131 international firms from different continents, the authors identify and analyze the key determinants in the context of a firm's service-oriented strategy. Findings The findings show that in order to cater for changes, organizations have to manage and adapt the coherence of the determinants' business services, business processes and knowledge sharing continuously. Moreover, the results show that a service-oriented strategy is not only influenced by business services as such, but business services mediate the relationships between business processes, governance and process-aware information systems to a service-oriented strategy. Research limitations/implications A limitation is imposed by the limited sample size and the unbalanced response of participants (executive management). In future research, a more extensive survey among a broader group of participants will help the authors to develop their model further in order to generalize the results, as well as more finely grained research related to geography and size might be pursued. Future empirical research is necessary to identify and test the relationships between other constructs and study their effect on a firm's service-oriented strategy. Practical implications On a practical level, the authors postulate that an organization's executive management should pay attention to invest in an organizational entity (department) that manages business services continuously. This organizational entity has to ensure that related processes and knowledge sharing are in place to establish and maintain a service-oriented strategy. Originality/value This research contributes to service-oriented literature by operationalizing the implementation of an organization's service-oriented strategy. The authors' insights go beyond the findings of Aieret al.(2011). The authors found that a service-oriented strategy influences service-oriented project success positively. The authors extended these findings, based on a unique data set, by studying business services and influencing determinants (i.e. business processes, governance, PAIS and knowledge sharing) within the context of service orientation. The renewed attention to the concept of service orientation provides insights into critical determinants that influence the implementation of a service-oriented strategy.