CODE 2019: Redefines possibilities in a digital economy

Jan 06, 2020

Cutting edge research papers on functioning of digital economy showcased at the conference.

Touted to be the fourth industrial revolution, digital economy is making new inroads ubiquitously. From government to corporates - the need is felt to understand it better. The 13th edition of the Conference on Digital Economy (CODE) was held in Kolkata from December 27-29, by the Srini Raju Centre for Information Technology (SRITNE) of the Indian School of Business (ISB) to address this need specifically.

This year, the academic conference saw about 25 researchers from 16 globally acclaimed management institutions, presenting their cutting-edge research, to aid a better understanding of the digital economy. The conference continued its tradition to peer review new theories in the management of a networked economy.

The conference flagged off with opening remarks by conference chairs Professor Anitesh Barua of McCombs Business School, University of Texas, Professor Deepa Mani, executive director, SRITNE, ISB and Professor Ravi Bapna, Associate Dean for Executive Education and Academic Director of the Carlson Analytics Lab at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management.

This year we have one of the largest numbers of research presented at this conference,' said Anitesh Barua, in his opening address to flag off the conference.

The first day of the conference saw research papers presented around the following themes:

a. Online Commerce and Platforms

The session explored new ways of assessing the effectiveness and impact of interventions in online marketing. The role of different types of network effects in the evolution of platforms from online to offline was discussed during this.

b. E-Commerce and Digital Marketing

Four research presentations featured in this session, concerning managing product returns, use of Twitter to promote corporate transparency, consequences of using 'clickbait' strategy by news organisations and on competitive poaching in search advertising.

c. Research Methods

Two exciting research presentations featured in this session. The first, concerning reading into forward-looking statements of firms to determine their marketing intent, using linguistics and machine learning tools. The second one on using machine learning to better evaluate opinion mining or stance mining with minimal need for hand-labelling.

d. Business value of IT

This session occurred in two parts. In the first half the papers dealt with the role of trade credit and its relationship with labour and performance of IT firms, and on the role of government's e-participation as a growth enabler.

The second leg of the session looked at managing loyalty discounts under congestion for cloud service firms. Then on the role of IT-enabled sensing and search capabilities to undertake strategic decisions related to competitive actions like market entry, exit, participation etc.

At the end of the first day, the conference participants joined for a musical evening on the 'Riviera' barge on Hooghly River. Professor Anitesh Barua on the drums with his rock band 'Hooghly Jam Project' had the crowd swinging to their tunes.

Second day of the conference started with four sessions to present seven important research ideas. These sessions were as follows:

a. Technology innovation and entrepreneurship

Four presentations featured in this session. The first dealt with the impact of social network on VC funding for entrepreneurs. Next one raises and tries to answer the interesting question: does programming tasks bias moral judgement. Third, on findings of an experiment on performance implications using project team autonomy as a tool in software firms. And lastly, on finding the optimal model for technology innovation, diffusion and shelving.

b. Fintech – Content and implications

This session had two papers presented on Cryptocurrency. First, on innovation and returns in Cryptocurrency and another on the use of human-AI hybrids in the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) market. The second paper in this session looked at what pictures can convey and mean for the success of philanthropic crowdfunding.

c. Technology and Policy

This session had one research presentation looking at the human vulnerabilities in collaborating with AI through an experiment looking at the future of work.

d. Technology Strategy

Three research papers featured in this last session. First, discussing the digital strategic posture of firms from a behavioural and agency theoretic perspective. Second, on research evidence from randomised field experiments to understand content-based user engagement in e-learning platforms. And the final research paper on data sharing and how this can aid prominent retailers for collaborative forecasting and replenishment of their stocks.

The theoretical and empirical research presented during CODE 2019 allowed the researchers to identify new perspectives, directions and methods to carry out their research. Concluding the conference for this year, Professor Deepa Mani thanked the participants for their presence during the two-day conference and for disseminating their knowledge.