Dark Side of Information Systems

Schedule and location

Tuesday October 10th  -  Wednesday October 11th 
Tampere University of Technology (Korkeakoulunkatu 10, Tampere), Festia-building, FA128 (Kappelisali)


Registration is open August 7th  - October 2nd .


Professor Monideepa Tarafdar, The Management School, Lancaster University, UK.


Assistant Professor Henri Pirkkalainen, Tampere University of Technology, Finland.


 In this workshop, I will explore different facets of phenomenon spawned by use of Information Systems, which have a negative impact on individuals, organizations and other social units. Collectively known as ‘dark side phenomenon’, they include, among a number of others, IT driven control, information overload, cyber bullying, internet stalking and pornography, IT misuse, technostress and technology addiction. I will cover various theoretical and methodological approaches to studying these phenomenon, as well as opportunities and challenges. Students will work in teams to develop a research proposal on a dark side phenomenon of their own selection. My perspective will be from both a research and editorial standpoint.

Detailed Program


Agenda for Day 1 – October 10


Introduction to the Speaker and the Workshop

Dark Side phenomenon in Information Systems Research






Theoretical approaches for studying Dark Side phenomenon






Team Exercise: Developing a research proposal of a dark side phenomenon – (1) Identify problem; (2) Frame research question; (3) Identify theoretical approach





1530 - 1630

Methods for studying Dark Side phenomenon



Team Exercise: Continuing from the above - (4) Develop research design; (5) Identify theoretical and practical contributions



Reflections and Recapitulation



Agenda for Day 2 – October 11


Team Exercise: Presentation of Research Proposals by teams






Opportunities and Challenges in studying Dark Side phenomenon – illustrated through research on Technostress



Team Exercise: Identification of challenges encountered in research proposals



Closing Session and Final Reflections






1. Pre-Course Individual Assignment

Examine the following (1) research papers and (2) practical descriptions of phenomenon. Each research paper (except the first, which is an editorial) addresses a specific dark side phenomenon. Identify a dark side phenomenon that you think is important and relevant and for which research is scarce – the first paper and some of the practical descriptions will help in that. [Read other practical pieces on your own if you wish to. The ones provided are guidelines to help you get started]. Then read the other research papers as/if relevant to the phenomenon you identify.  Or, you can find other ones. Write a (max) one-page single spaced research proposal that describes the following:

(1)    The phenomenon you wish to study

(2)    The research question you wish to address

(3)    Why it is important and relevant

(4)    What research gaps exist (this can be broad/brief and need not be completely thorough)

(5)    What you wish to measure

(6)    Who will benefit from the answer to the research question – e.g. scholars, organizations, specific functional managers, government, policy makers etc.

Bring your papers to class the first day – they will form part of the discussion.

Research Papers:

  • Tarafdar, M., Gupta, A., Turel, O., Special issue on 'Dark side of information technology use': an introduction and a framework for research, Information Systems Journal, 25, 3, 10 p.
  • Krasnova, H., Widjaja, T., Buxmann, P., Wenninger, H., and Benbasat, I. 2015 “Why following friends can hurt you: An exploratory investigation of the effects of envy on social networking sites among college-age users,” Information Systems Research (26: 3), pp. 585-605.
  • Ohly, S., and Latour, A. 2014. “Work-Related Smartphone Use and Well-Being in the Evening: The Role of Autonomous and Controlled Motivation,” Journal of Personnel Psychology (13:4), pp. 174–183.
  • Tarafdar, M., Qiang Tu, Ragu-Nathan, B. S., and Ragu-Nathan, T. S. 2007. “The Impact of Technostress on Role Stress and Productivity,” Journal of Management Information Systems (24:1), pp. 301–328.
  • Turel O and Serenko A (2012) The benefits and dangers of enjoyment with social networking websites. European Journal of Information Systems 21(5), 512–528, doi: 10.1057/ejis.2012.1
  • Zuboff, S. 2015. “Big other: surveillance capitalism and the prospects of an information civilization,” Journal of Information Technology (30:1), pp. 75–89.

Practice papers (PDF’s attached of the last two):

2. Group work on research proposal

Team Exercise: Develop and present a research proposal of a dark side phenomenon. Your presentation should include the following – (1) Identification of research problem; (2) Research objectives and questions; (3) Theoretical approach; (4) Research design; (5) Theoretical and practical contributions. You can work further on your initial proposal for pre course assignment or develop completely new proposals. The presentation time will depend on the number of teams, but should be roughly 20-30 minutes.


Credit points

Doctoral students participating in the seminar can obtain 2 credit points. This requires participating both days and completing the assignments: The seminar includes a pre-course assignment and group working on a research proposal. 

Registration fee

This seminar is free-of-charge for Inforte.fi member organization's staff and their PhD students. For others the participation fee is 400 €. The participation fee includes access to the event and the event materials. Lunch and dinner are not included.