University of Southern California

Omar El Sawy
Professor of Data Sciences and Operations

USC Marshall School of Business
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0808

PhD, Stanford University; MBA, American University in Cairo; BS, Cairo University


Omar El Sawy specializes in IT-enabled business strategy in turbulent environments, and business models for digital platforms. He is the author of over 100 papers, serves on several editorial boards, and is a six-time winner of the Society for Information Management's Annual Paper Award. He served as Director of Research for Marshall's Institute for Communications Technology Management. Prior to joining USC, Professor El Sawy worked as an engineer at NCR Corporation, and as manager of computer services at Stanford University. He served as an advisor to the United Nations Development Programme in Egypt, and was a Fulbright scholar in Finland.


From GLM to QCA: How to Build Richer Theories for the Information Systems Field 2013
The Holistic Nature of Digital Ecodynamics: An Empirical Examination Using a Set-Theoretic Configurational Approach. 2013
Digital Business Strategy: Towards a Next Generation of Insights 2012
Impactful Research on Transformational IT 2012
REalizing Strategic Value through Center-Edge Digital Transformation in Consumer-Centric Industries 2012
Business Modelling in the Dynamic Digital Space 2012
Silence or Knowing in IT-Enabled Face-to-Face Meetings 2012
Capabilities, Configurations and Customer-Contexts: A Business Model Framework for the Process of Digital Service Innovation 2011
Understanding the Elusive Black Box of Dynamic Capabilities 2011
Decision Modes as Cultural Mirror: Implications for Decision Support Systems 2010
Seeking the Configurations of Digital Ecodynamics: It Takes Three to Tango 2010
Understanding the Causal Dynamics of BI-Based Organizations 2010
The Third Hand: IT-Enabled Competitive Advantage in Turbulence through Improvisational Capabilities 2010
CIO/CXO Conversations that Matter 2010
Looking for Open Models in Information Systems Design Researchence and Information Systems Design Theory 2009
“IT-Enabled Business Capabilities for Turbulent Environments 2008
Rolling Thunder IT Implementations: Enabling Value Configurations in Healthcare Services 2008
Managing the Five Tensions of IT-Enabled Decision Support in Turbulent and High Velocity Environments 2008
Handbook for Generating Business Models for Digital Home Entertainment 2008
Invited Foreword 2008
IT-Enabled Decision Support In Turbuklent Environments 2008
Redesigning IT-Enabled Customer Support Processes for Dynamic Environments 2008
“Preparing for Successful Orchestrated E-Process Supply Chains Partnerships,” (with A. Malhotra and S. Gosain) in King, W. (Ed.) Planning for Information Systems, M.E. Sharpe 2008
Modeling Healthcare Information Systems: Multiple Value Configuration Strategy 2008
Theorizing around the Boundaries of Strategy and Emerging Technologies: Levels of Mindfulness 2007
Managing the Five Tensions of IT-Enabled Decision Support in Turbulent and High Velocity Environments,” (With S. Carlsson), in Burstein, F. & Holsapple, C. (eds.) Handbook of Decision Support Systems, Springer-Verlag 2007
Leveraging Standard Electronic Business Interfaces to Enable Adaptive Supply Chain Partnerships 2007
When do Improvisational Capabilities Trump Dynamic Capabilities ? 2007
Redesigning IT-Enabled Customer Support Processes for Dynamic Environments 2007
Strategic Management of IT-Enabled Capabilities in Turbulent Environments: What Happens When the Music Speeds up ? 2006
From IT Leveraging Competence to Competitive Advantage in Turbulent Environments: The Case of New Product Development 2006
Beyond Rigor and Relevance Toward Responsibility and Reverberation: Information Systems Research that Really Matters 2006
Beyond Rigor and Relevance Toward Responsibility and Reverberation: Information Systems Research that Really Matters 2006
Vigilant Information Systems: The Western Digital Experience 2006
Managing Online in Perpetual Perfect Storms: Insights from IndyMac Bank 2005
Absorptive Capacity Configurations in Supply Chains: Gearing for Partner-Enabled Knowledge Creation 2005
Harnessing Knowledge Dynamics 2005
Standardizing Inter-Organizational Interfaces: Leveraging Social Capital in Supply-Chains for Collaborative Information Exchange 2005
Vigilant Information Systems for Managing Enterprises in Dynamic Supply Chains: Real-Time Dashboards at Western Digital 2004
Critical Issues in Research On Real-Time Knowledge Management In Enterprises 2004
Assessing Information System Design Theory in Perspective: How Useful was our 1992 Rendition? 2004
Designing Identity Management Systems for Business Value 2004
Temporal Biases in Strategic Attention 2004
Coordinating for Flexibility in e-Business Supply Chains 2004
The Impact of Common e-Business Interfaces 2003
The 3 Faces of IS Identity: Connection, Immersion, and Infusion 2003
Realizing the vision for Web Services: Strategies for Dealing with Imperfect Standards 2003
The four Tigers of Global e-business Infrastructure: Strategies and Implications of Emerging Economies 2003
Absorptive Capacity Configuration in Supply Chains: Gearing for Collaborative Knowledge Creation 2003
A Classification Scheme for B2B Exchanges: Implications for Inter-Organizational e-Commerce 2002
Business Process as Nexus of Knowledge 2002
The Rolodex Model: Understanding Relationship Complexity as a Precursor to the Design of Organizational Forms for Chaotic Environments 2002
Collaborative Integration in e-Business through Private Trading Exchanges 2002
Identifying Structural Models of B2b Procurement Exchanges 2001
Measuring the Return on e-Business Processes: The Knowledge Value-Added Approach 2001
No Title 2001
Redesigning Enterprise Processes for e-Business 2001
Understanding Shared Knowledge Creation Spaces Around Business Processes: Precursors to Process Innovation Implementation 2001
Rethinking the Supply Chain for e-Business 2000
Redesigning the Information Systems Research Process for the Electronic Economy 2000
Reflections On Designing Field Research For Emerging Topics: The Case of Understanding Shared Knowledge Creation 2000
Business @ the Speed of Thought: Using a Digital Nervous System 1999
Integrating Supply Chains and Electronic Commerce in a Unified Europe 1999
IT-Intensive Value Innovation in the Electronic Economy:Insights from Marshall Industries 1999
Balanced Scorecard Analysis for Strategic Evaluation of IT Investments 1999
RosettaNet e-Business Organizational readiness Study Results 1999
The Competence and Impact of Tools for Business Process Reengineering 1999
A Holistic Methodology for Analyzing Reconfiguration of IT-Enabled Global Value Chains: The Case of Europe 1998
Amazon Contact Expeditions and Egyptian Archeological Digs: Implications for Designing Organizations in Cyberspace 1998
Extending the Boundaries of Operations Management: An International Field Studies Approach integrating Information Systems 1998
Making the World Your Oyster: Experiences from Teaching Information Systems Management for Global Operations 1998
Redesigning the Customer Support Process for the Electronic Economy: Insights from Storage Dimensions 1997
The Nature of Shared Knowledge Creation Spaces around Business Processes 1997
A capability Maturity Model for IT-Enabled Organizational Knowledge Creation 1997
Business Process Reengineering: Do Software Tools Matter? 1997
Equivocal Information Technology Adaptation and Emergent Organizational Design around Collaborative Business Processes 1997
Gaining Competitive Advantage through Shared Knowledge Creation: In Search of a New Design Theory for Strategic Information Systems 1996
Methods for Determining and Assessing Knowledge Sharing Practices in New Product Development 1995
A Design Theory of Virtual Workflows 1994
Building an Information System Design Theory for Vigilant EIS 1992
Picking Research Winners: Rigor, Relevance, & Reverberation in IS Research 1992
Revving up an ISDP Research Generator 1992
Information Technology for Executives and Managers: From symphony Orchestras to Jazz Ensembles 1991
Managing the Lifecycle of Strategic Issues as an Environment for Supporting Decision Processes 1991
Executive Stethoscopes for Fast-Changing Times 1990
Leveraging Information Systems for Crisis Management: Silver Linings 1990
Extending the Boundaries of Operations Management: An International Field-Studies Approach Integrating Information Systems 1989
Towards the Design of Robust Information Systems 1989
How to Make a DSS EIS-Ready 1989
Track Overview for Decision Support Methods and Practice 1989
Issue-Based Decision Support Systems for the Egyptian Cabinet 1988
Triggers, Templates, and Twitches in the Tracking of Emerging Strategic Issues 1988
DSS-87 Transactions, Proceedings of 7th International Conference on Decision Support Systems 1987
Account Data By the Minute 1986
Information Systems for Crisis Management: Lessons From Southern California Edison 1986
Preserving Institutional Memory: The Management of History as an Organizational Resource 1986
PROLIFICATOR: A Decision Support System for Generating Strategic Opportunities 1986
Proactive Surprise Managers 1985
The Logic of Bureaucratic Conduct: An Economic Analysis of Competition, Exchange, and Efficiency in Private and Public Organizations 1985
Implementation by Cultural Infusion: An Approach for Managing the Introduction of Information Technologies 1985
From Separatism to Holographic Enfolding: The Evolution of the Technostructure of Organizations 1985
Personal Information Systems for Strategic Scanning in Turbulent Environments: Can the CEO Go On-Line? 1985
A Comparison of Surprise Management Methods Used by Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs: Implications for Strategic Management 1985
Understanding the Process by which Chief Executives Identify Strategic Threats and Opportunities, Business Policy and Planning Division 1984
The Vygotsky Phenome: A caveat for Decision Support Systems Design 1981
From Mumming and Humming in IT-Enabled Face-to-Face Meetings
IT Use by Middle Managers and Role Attention Shift in Hierarchical Organizations
Key IS Drivers: Definition, Categorization, and Management
The Euro and eBusiness-Envisioning the Future of European Supply Chains
Using a Process Service Perspective for the Strategic Design of B2B Exchanges
“The Value of Configurational Approaches for Studying Digital Business Strategy