Kaveh Abhari, Ph.D.


I focus on making digital transformation humane, digital entrepreneurship accessible, and digital innovation equitable.

As the Professor of Digital Innovation and Director of the Digital Innovation Lab at Fowler College of Business, San Diego State University, I leverage two decades of experience in research, industry consultation, and technology development.

I am committed to training future business leaders and actively advising technology startups to shape the digital innovation landscape.



innovation platforms

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.

digital transformation

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.

learning platforms

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.

digital entrepreneurship

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.

Instructional Method

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.

Lesson Plan

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.

Personal Development

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


Mucha, T.Ma, S. and Abhari, K. (2023), “Riding a bicycle while building its wheels: the process of machine learning-based capability development and IT-business alignment practices”, Internet Research, Vol. 33 No. 7, pp. 168-205. https://doi.org/10.1108/INTR-10-2022-0769

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 Systemshttps://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 Peopleahead-of-printhttps://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 Managementhttps://doi.org/10.1109/TEM.2020.2973234 *

Mucha, T. M., Ma, S., & Abhari, K. (2022). Beyond MLOps: The Lifecycle of Machine Learning-based Solutionshttps://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 Employeeshttps://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 Needs1, 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 Developmenthttps://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 Technologyhttps://aisel.aisnet.org/treos_icis2021/19

Mucha, T. M., Ma, S., & Abhari, K. (2022). Sustainability of Machine Learning-based Solutions: A Lifecycle Perspectivehttps://aisel.aisnet.org/pacis2022/262 *

Su, N., Mcguckin, S., & Abhari, K. (2022). The Limits of Open Innovation: A Literature Review and Research Agendahttps://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 Classroomshttps://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 Experiencehttps://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 Technologieshttps://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 Airbnbhttps://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. AMCIShttps://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 Perspectivehttps://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

before 2020

Abhari, K., Davidson, E. J., & Xiao, B. (2019). Collaborative innovation in the sharing economy: Profiling social product development actors through classification modeling. Internet Research29(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 Interaction11(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 Practicehttps://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 Research28(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 Profileshttps://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 Conferencehttps://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 Validationhttps://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 Scienceshttps://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

recent talks

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

2011 – 2014        Hawaii Model Demonstration Project – funded by the US Department of Education.


Digital Innovation Lab (DiLab) is a leading research group at SDSU focused on recent development in digital innovation and transformation at the intersection of digital technology, business strategy and organizational psychology. The lab also offers undergraduate and graduate research experience, professional development training, student mentorship, digital consultancy, and community services to local startups. For more information visit: https://innovation.sdsu.edu

Alephnet is a data science as a service (DSaaS) ecosystem. Data science and AI help organizations extract value from a world of data regardless of source and format. Empowered companies accelerate value creation, digitization, scaling both quality and volume to outperform competitors while future-proofing the business. For more information visit: https://www.alephnet.ai/

STEMD2 R&D Group provides educational services. We innovate, test, and disseminate research-based practices to support STEM education in diverse populations. STEMD2 service portfolio includes the design, implementation, and evaluation of inclusive pedagogies, curricula, teacher professional development events, and learning platforms. For more information visit: http://stemd2.org

IID8 is a Hawaii-based non-profit that seeks to foster ideation and expression to create positive impacts. They specialize in education, creativity and technology, and focus on supporting people, planet and philanthropies. Their mission is to empower people to become agents of positive change. They seek to leverage ideation and expression skills for the betterment of all. Learn more: https://id8.org

Kanalytix is a human intelligence institute that provides consulting services in the area of employee experience management. Kanalytix assists its clients with identifying their employees’ needs, evaluating their experience and performance, and constructing data-driven employee support systems. Kanalytix service portfolio includes the design, deployment, and maintenance of human intelligence solutions, open innovation platforms, and employee experience management systems. For more information visit: http://kanalytix.com/