Kaveh Abhari, Ph.D.
I’m committed to making digital transformation more humane, digital entrepreneurship more accessible, and digital innovation more equitable.
I am a Professor of Digital Innovation, Zahn Professor of Creativity & Innovation, and Director of the Digital Innovation Lab (DiLab) at Fowler College of Business at San Diego State University. Additionally, I serve as an affiliate faculty member at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Possessing a multifaceted academic foundation, with Ph.D.s in Communication and Information Sciences and Strategic Marketing, coupled with an M.S. in Engineering, I have dedicated over two decades to leveraging this expertise to spearhead digital innovation and strategic growth within the industry.
My area of expertise is in open innovation platforms, specifically social product development (SPD) communities and social innovation networks. Through my research, I analyze the strategic, procedural, and technological drivers that influence open innovation behavior. My work covers a range of topics, such as how to model open innovation, operationalizing open innovation behavior, identifying the motivational, risk, and experiential factors that impact open innovation outcomes, and exploring the role of digital technology in open innovation.
I explore various aspects of digital transformation, including planning, implementation, and governance. My focus is on understanding and managing the impact of digitalization on strategic, operational, and individual levels, with a particular interest in the experiential values it brings. Additionally, I investigate how automation and augmentation of business processes affect employee experience, work practices, and their transformation.
I work on creating innovative teaching and learning approaches that encourage self-directed learning in knowledge networks. One of my areas of focus is connectivity, autonomy, diversity, and openness in social and professional learning networks, as well as in K-12 and postsecondary settings. As a result of my research, I have introduced models like authentic social learning, which have been put into practice successfully. These models have been tested through federally-funded research and service projects in Hawaii, and have proven beneficial for Native Hawaiian and other diverse learners.
My fourth reseach focus is on exploring the realm of digital entrepreneurship. My area of interest lies in discovering pragmatic, inventive, and enduring methods for crafting models of entrepreneurship education, as well as other support systems that cater to the needs of marginalized youths and underserved communities. I delve into the research and creation of technologies that can aid in the growth of intelligent entrepreneurial systems.
I am nurturing compassionate digital transformation leaders. I teach core and elective Information Systems courses such as Information Systems Analysis, Business Intelligence, and Digital Innovation & Entrepreneurship. I also developed and taught undergraduate and graduate classes in data management, data analytics, and business applications, CRM, and enterprise systems.
my teaching philosophy
Firstly, I believe ‘learning how to learn’ surpasses the importance of merely acquiring current knowledge. For instance, honing analytical skills is more crucial than mastering a particular tool. Secondly, in-depth learning is fostered by maintaining ties between different concepts, ideas, individuals, and real-world applications. Hence, identifying and elaborating these connections is crucial for meaningful learning. Thirdly, knowledge, which resides in a diversity of opinions, should not be assumed but rather acquired in authentic and diverse environments. Fourthly, students require experiential learning opportunities beyond the classroom to effectively learn in today’s networked society. Lastly, student engagement in learning is central to modern education, with teachers primarily responsible for guiding learners to effectively choose what, how, where, when, and from whom to learn.
Education should inspire action rather than lingering in the mind, leading to indecisiveness. I am convinced that meaningful learning transpires when students cultivate skills in exploring, experimenting, evaluating, and tackling real-world problems. As a pragmatist, I assist my students in applying their knowledge to actual situations through experimental inquiry rather than merely imparting organized bodies of knowledge. I motivate students to harness the power of inquiry to broaden their understanding, ascertain consequences, and reflect on potential solutions. Moreover, I amalgamate academic disciplines to enhance critical thinking in an interdisciplinary fashion. To enrich this learning experience, I value students’ critical reflection in my class, treating it as a community of inquiry. I foster critical thinking by having students collectively decide in light of potential consequences. My firsthand knowledge of inclusive education aids in expanding the participation of marginalized students.
My lesson plans are meticulously designed to integrate contextually relevant cases into the learning experience. Through such applied learning experiences and utilizing different software packages, my students acquire a profound understanding along with practical skills to address actual problems, especially local business cases. Both my general business and IS technical course lesson plans require students to use theories, vocabularies, or models to articulate the components within a case, formulate various technical or analytical solutions to address the problems, and finally evaluate and discuss different scenarios in class. Social responsibility and ethics are intrinsic to all my lesson plans. My students’ successful job placements, based on their class learnings, demonstrate the effectiveness of this approach in preparing them for promising careers.
While I maintain high academic standards, I also assist students in meeting these standards by clarifying expectations, recognizing their efforts, and providing comprehensive feedback, all the while being accessible for guidance. I limit the use of conventional tests, quizzes, and exams, believing that evaluation is for enhancing the learning process and supporting students rather than merely judging them. Contrary to traditional evaluation methods, I embed evaluations into hands-on learning activities, providing students with multiple opportunities to improve and resubmit their work. I devote the necessary time to assist low-performing students in meeting the requirements. Students’ course evaluations reflect their response to and appreciation for my efforts to make evaluation part of the learning process.
My overarching teaching goal is to cultivate students’ capacities, competencies, and confidence to take responsible action for personal and professional success. I pay attention to each student’s individual development by understanding their goals, diverse backgrounds, unique situations, and competencies. I invest time in reaching out to students who may lack interest or self-confidence, as well as those who come to class eager to learn. As a result, my students perceive me as a mentor with whom they can entrust their aspirations and difficulties. This healthy rapport with students fosters open communication and lasting relationships.
publications & presentations
recent refereed publications
Abhari, K., Bhullar, A., Le, J. and Sufi, N. (2023), “Advancing employee experience management (EXM) platforms”, Strategic HR Review, Vol. 22 No. 3, pp. 102-107. https://doi.org/10.1108/SHR-04-2023-0021
Abhari, K., Xiao, B., & Eisenberg, D. (2023). Responsible Digital Innovation in Dark: Toward Access-Control-Transparency Theory. Americas Conference on Information Systems. Panama City.
Estell, P., Davidson, E & Abhari, K. (2023). Platforms for Expression: Enterprise Social Media and its Role in Employee Voicing Behaviors. Academy of Management (AOM) Annual Meeting. Boston.
Abhari, K., Zarei, M., Parsons, M., & Estell, P. (2023). Open Innovation Starts from Home: The Potential of Enterprise Social Media (ESM) in Nurturing Employee Innovation. Internet Research. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/INTR-08-2021-0556
Abhari, K., Davidson, E. J., & Xiao, B. (2022). Inventing Together: The Role of Actor Goals and Platform Affordances in Open Innovation. Journal of the Association of Information Systems. https://doi.org/10.17705/1jais.00716 *
Abhari, K., & McGuckin, S. (2022). Limiting factors of open innovation organizations: A case of social product development and research agenda. Technovation, 102526. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.technovation.2022.102526
Abhari, K., & Vaghefi, I. (2022). Screen Time and Productivity: An Extension of Goal-Setting Theory to Explain Optimum Smartphone Use. AIS Transactions on Human-Computer Interaction. *
Abhari, K., Pesavento, M., & Williams, D. (2022). Supporting participatory innovation during the COVID-19 pandemic: a comparative study of enterprise social media use. Information Technology and People, ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/ITP-01-2021-0041
Abhari, K., Davidson, E., & Xiao, B. (2022). Modeling Social Product Development Process, Technology, and Governance. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management. https://doi.org/10.1109/TEM.2020.2973234 *
Mucha, T. M., Ma, S., & Abhari, K. (2022). Beyond MLOps: The Lifecycle of Machine Learning-based Solutions. https://aisel.aisnet.org/amcis2022/sig_adit/sig_adit/9 *
Abhari, K., Davis, D., Ness, H., Pagador, J., Parsons, M., & Brodskiy, R. (2022). Data Swagger: A Systemic Approach to Train, Motivate and Engage Data Savvy Employees. https://doi.org/10.24251/HICSS.2022.742
Dagoc, F., Abhari, K., Roy, V., & Nobis, E. (2022). Entrepreneurship Education Platform Design: The Relationships between Autodidactic Affordances and Experiential Learning Needs. 1, 17. https://doi.org/10.24251/HICSS.2022.003
Roy, V., Nobis, E., Abhari, K., Dagoc, F., & Parsons, M. (2022). Open Innovation Platform Design: The Case of Social Product Development. https://doi.org/10.24251/HICSS.2022.059
Klase, M., Connors, O., & Abhari, K. (2022). Reflectiveness: The Missing Link between Digital Mindfulness and Mindful Use of Digital Technology. https://aisel.aisnet.org/treos_icis2021/19
Mucha, T. M., Ma, S., & Abhari, K. (2022). Sustainability of Machine Learning-based Solutions: A Lifecycle Perspective. https://aisel.aisnet.org/pacis2022/262 *
Su, N., Mcguckin, S., & Abhari, K. (2022). The Limits of Open Innovation: A Literature Review and Research Agenda. https://doi.org/10.24251/HICSS.2022.686
Abhari, K., Ly, J., Sanavi, A., & Wright, M. (2021). ‘Employees First’: The Relationship between Employee Experience Management Systems and Customer Experience Management.. https://aisel.aisnet.org/amcis2021/strategic_is/strategic_is/18
Estell, P., Davidson, E., & Abhari, K. (2021). Affording Employee Voice: How Enterprise Social Networking Sites (ESNS) Create New Pathways for Employee Expression. 2750. https://doi.org/10.24251/HICSS.2021.336
Rice, R., Abhari, K., & Pesavento, M. (2021). An Authentic Social Learning Model to Improve Collaboration and Engagement in Online and Hybrid K-12 Classrooms. https://aisel.aisnet.org/amcis2021/is_education/sig_education/9
Abhari, K., Ostroff, C., Barcellos, B., & Williams, D. (2021). Co-Governance in Digital Transformation Initiatives: The Roles of Digital Culture and Employee Experience. https://doi.org/10.24251/hicss.2021.704
Abhari, K., Ascue, N., Boer, C., Sahoo, C., & Zarei, M. (2021). Enterprise Social Network Applications: Enhancing and Driving Innovation Culture and Productivity Through Digital Technologies. https://doi.org/10.24251/hicss.2021.089
Sosa, L., Abhari, K., Pesavento, M., Koobchehr, F., Xiao, B., Kohsuwan, P., & Olivares, F. (2021). Service Failure Recovery in the Sharing Economy: A Case Study of Airbnb. https://doi.org/10.24251/hicss.2021.099
Abhari, K., Ascue, N., Boer, C., Sahoo, C., & Zarei, M. (2020). Enterprise Social Networks and Innovation Productivity : The Role of Innovation Culture. AMCIS. https://aisel.aisnet.org/amcis2020/strategic_uses_it/strategic_uses_it/26
Abhari, K., Vomero, A., & Davidson, E. J. (2020). Psychology of Business Intelligence Tools: Needs-Affordances-Features Perspective. https://doi.org/10.24251/HICSS.2020.602
Abhari, K., Koobchehr, F., Huxford, C., Olivares, F., Kohsuwan, P., & Sosa, L. (2020). Redefining Education in the Digital Economy : The Role of Social Innovation- based Learning in Information Systems Education. AMCIS 2020 Proceedings, 1–10. https://aisel.aisnet.org/amcis2020/is_education/is_education/26
Young, R., Wahlberg, L., Davis, E., & Abhari, K. (2020). Towards a Theory of Digital Entrepreneurship Mindset : The Role of Digital Learning Aptitude and Digital Literacy. 1–10. https://aisel.aisnet.org/amcis2020/culture_in_is/culture_in_is/7
Abhari, K., Davidson, E. J., & Xiao, B. (2019). Collaborative innovation in the sharing economy: Profiling social product development actors through classification modeling. Internet Research, 29(5), 1014–1039. https://doi.org/10.1108/INTR-03-2018-0129
Abhari, K., Davidson, E., & Xiao, B. S. (2019). “Experience First”: Investigating Co-creation Experience in Social Product Development Networks. AIS Transactions on Human-Computer Interaction, 11(1), 1–32. https://doi.org/10.17705/1thci.00111
Abhari, M., & Abhari, K. (2019). Design with Perfect Sense: The Adoption of Smart Sensor Technologies in Architectural Practice. https://doi.org/10.24251/HICSS.2019.716
Kelly, J., Jennex, M., Abhari, K., Durcikova, A., & Frost, E. (2019). Data in the Wild: A KM Approach to doing a Census Without Asking Anyone and the Issue of Privacy.
Abhari, K., Davidson, E., & Xiao, B. (2018). A risk worth taking? The effects of risk and prior experience on co-innovation participation. Internet Research, 28(3). https://doi.org/10.1108/IntR-05-2017-0196
Abhari, K., Davidson, E. J., & Xiao, B. (2018). Classifying Motivations in Social Product Development Networks: A Discriminant Analysis of Actor Profiles. https://doi.org/10.24251/HICSS.2018.067
Abhari, K., Haron, M. S., & Saad, N. M. (2018). In Search of Customer Experience Management in the Service Industry: The Importance of Experiential Interfaces. ICEMAB 2018.. https://doi.org/10.4108/eai.8-10-2018.2288656
Abhari, K. (2017). A Connectivist Approach to Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners: The Role of Social Technologies. Teaching, Colleges & Community Worldwide Conference. https://www.academia.edu/download/53073008/Connectivism_TCCHawaii_2017.pdf
Abhari, K., Davidson, E. J., & Xiao, B. (2017). Co-innovation Experience in Social Product Development Networks: Construct Development and Measurement Validation. https://aisel.aisnet.org/amcis2017/Openness/Presentations/2
Smidt, H., Thornton, M., & Abhari, K. (2017). The Future of Social Learning: A Novel Approach to Connectivism. The 50th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. https://doi.org/10.24251/HICSS.2017.256
Abhari, K., Davidson, E. J., & Xiao, B. (2017). Perceived Individual Risk of Co-innovation in Collaborative Innovation Networks. 873–882. https://doi.org/10.24251/HICSS.2017.103
Sebastian, I. M., Jebsen C. H., Gittell, J. H., Haskamp, T., Gregory, R., Davidson, E., Smith, A., Hagigi, F., Sedej, T., Roehrich, J., Abhari, K., Kolbjørnsrud, V., Mustak, M., & Henfridsson, O. (2023) Panel: Building Digitally Enabled Relational Ecosystems for Social Value Creation. Academy of Management (AOM) Annual Meeting. Boston.
Abhari., K. (2023). Digital Entrepreneurship Education Workshop. California Entrepreneurship Education Conference. San Diego.
Abhari., K. (2023). Cultivating Digital Entrepreneurship Mindset. California Entrepreneurship Education Conference. San Diego.
Abhari, Kaveh; Mucha, Tomasz Marcin; and Ma, Sijia, “Automation, Augmentation, and Activation Process: A Process behind the Emergence of Successful ML-based Business Solutions” (2022). ICIS 2022 TREOs. 67. https://aisel.aisnet.org/treos_icis2022/67
Seitola, T. A., & Abhari, K. (2022). Digital Entrepreneurial Mindset: How to Nurture the Next Generation of Digital Entrepreneurs. AMCIS. https://aisel.aisnet.org/treos_amcis2022/95
Quiba, R. C., Rubin, D., Tan, J. M., & Abhari, K. (2022). Experiential Approach to Social Platform Design: A Case of Social Travel Application. AMCIS. https://aisel.aisnet.org/treos_amcis2022/96
Klair, J., & Abhari, K. (2022). Organizational Mindfulness in the Digital Economy and Its Impact on Productivity. AMCIS. https://aisel.aisnet.org/treos_amcis2022/97
Carroll, C., Bernal, J., Bhullar, A., & Abhari, K. (2022). The Future of Employee Experience Management (EXM) Platforms. AMCIS. https://aisel.aisnet.org/treos_amcis2022/98
Andrade, L., Tran, V., & Abhari, K. (2021). Digital Innovation Potency in SMEs: A Study of Barriers to Employee Participation in Digital Innovation. ICIS. https://aisel.aisnet.org/treos_icis2021/19
Klase, M., Connors, O., & Abhari, K. (2021). Reflectiveness in Digital Environments: The Missing Link between Digital Mindfulness and Productivity. ICIS. https://aisel.aisnet.org/treos_icis2021/21
Roy, V., Nobis, E., Abhari, K., & Dagoc, F. (2021). Open Innovation Platform Design: From User Experience to User Interface Design. AMCIS 2021.
Dagoc, F., Abhari, K., Roy, V., & Nobis, E. (2021). How to Design Entrepreneurship Education Platforms: A User Experience Study. AMCIS 2021.
Su, N., & Abhari, K. (2021). The Limits of Open Innovation: A Case Study of a Social Product Development Platform. AMCIS 2021.
Sandoval., I. O., & Abhari., K. (2021). Profiling Digital Entrepreneurs. AMCIS 2021.
Klase, M., & Connors, O., & Abhari., K. (2021). Digital Mindfulness: The Role of Reflection. AMCIS 2021.
Koobchehr, F., Olivares, F., Abhari, K., Pesavento, M., & Sosa L. (2020). Use Smart, Not Less: Toward a Theory of Self-Monitoring in the Digital Age. ICIS 2020.
Abhari, K. & Bekeris, Z. (2020). Employee Experience Management during Digital Transformation: How to Measure the Experiential Values of Digital Transformation. ICIS 2020.
Abhari, K., Pesavento, M., Williams, D., & Bram, A. (2020). Adapt or Perish: Enterprise Social Networks and Innovation during Covid-19 Pandemic. ICIS 2020.
Pagador, J., Huynh, N., Davis, D., & Abhari, K. (2020). Data Swagger: Cultivating Data Literacy to Drive Digital Transformation. ICIS 2020.
Cabrera, C., Cardenas, M., Hardrick, L. L., & Abhari, K. (2020). Self-service Analytics Adoption: A Sociocultural Framework. ICIS 2020.
Adzgauskaite, M., & Abhari, K. (2020). Virtual Reality Applications and Experiential Learning Needs : The Needs-Affordances- Features Perspective. AMCIS 2020.
Abhari, K., & Solomon, Z. (2020). Reciprocal Relationship between Employee Experience Management and Digital Transformation. In AMCIS 2020.
Ostroff, C., Barcellos, B., & Abhari, K. (2020). Digital Culture , neither Strategy nor Technology , Drives Digital Transformation. AMCIS 2020.
Abhari, K. (2020). Digital Transformation and Experiential Values of Work. Interdisciplinary Conference on Advances in Communication and Information Sciences. HICSS 2020. Honolulu.
Abhari, K. (2020). Authentic Social Learning in Time of Crisis. San Diego State University, San Diego.
Abhari, K., (2020). Panel: Digital Entrepreneurship. California Entrepreneurship Education Conference.Use Smart, Not Less: Toward a Theory of Self-Monitoring in the Digital Age. ICIS 2020.
Ostroff, C., Barcellos, B., & Abhari, K. (2020). Digital Culture , neither Strategy nor Technology , Drives Digital Transformation. AMCIS 2020.
Abhari, K., & Solomon, Z. (2020). Reciprocal Relationship between Employee Experience Management and Digital Transformation. AMCIS 2020.
Abhari, K., Sue, S. & Furutani, D. (2020). Symposium: Secrets to Priming Entrepreneurship Platforms for Deep Learning & AI Research. The 52nd Hawaii International Conferences on System Sciences, Maui.
recent funded projects
2020 – 2023 Project Hoʻokuʻi IV: ʻOhana Lōkahi, (co-PI), funded by the US Department of Education
2018 – 2022 Ne’epapa Ka Hana 2.0 (PI) – funded by the US Department of Education.
2018 – 2022 Hoʻokuʻi III: Na Kumu Alakaʻi (co-PI) – funded by the US Department of Education.
2014 – 2017 Ne’epapa Ka Hana (PI) – funded by the US Department of Education.
2013 – 2014 Kakau Mea Nui Project – funded by the US Department of Education
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