University of Southern California

Omar El Sawy
Professor of Data Sciences and Operations

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

Phone: 
213-740-4837
Education: 
PhD, Stanford University; MBA, American University in Cairo; BS, Cairo University

Overview

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.

Research

Park, Y., El Sawy, O. A., and Fiss, P. C. (2013) "From GLM to QCA: How to Build Richer Theories for the Information Systems Field,".
Park, Y., El Sawy, O. A., and Fiss, P. C. (2013) "The Holistic Nature of Digital Ecodynamics: An Empirical Examination Using a Set-Theoretic Configurational Approach.,".
Lucas, H., Agarwal, R., Clemons, E., El Sawy, O. A., and WEber, B. (2012) "Impactful Research on Transformational IT," MIS Quarterly.
Gray, P., El Sawy, O. A., ASper, G., and Thordarson, M. (2012) "REalizing Strategic Value through Center-Edge Digital Transformation in Consumer-Centric Industries," MIS Quarterly Executive, 2013, March.
Bharadwaj, A., El Sawy, O. A., Pavlou, P., and Venkatraman, N. (2012) "Digital Business Strategy: Towards a Next Generation of Insights," MIS Quarterly, 2013 (June).
El Sawy, O. A., and Pereira, F., Business Modelling in the Dynamic Digital Space, Springer 2012.
Arjan, R., and El Sawy, O. A. (2012) "Silence or Knowing in IT-Enabled Face-to-Face Meetings," Journal of Organizational Computing and Electronic Commerce.
Clark, J., El Sawy, O. A., and Pereira, F. (2011) "Capabilities, Configurations and Customer-Contexts: A Business Model Framework for the Process of Digital Service Innovation,".
Pavlou, P., and El Sawy, O. A. (2011) "Understanding the Elusive Black Box of Dynamic Capabilities," Decision Sciences, 2011 (February).
El Sawy, O. A., and Gray, P. (2010) "Decision Modes as Cultural Mirror: Implications for Decision Support Systems," Journal of Decision Systems, 19 (4).
El Sawy, O. A., Malhotra, A., Park, Y., and Pavlou, P. (2010) "Seeking the Configurations of Digital Ecodynamics: It Takes Three to Tango," Information Systems Research , Forthcoming.
Park, Y., and El Sawy, O. A. (2010) "Understanding the Causal Dynamics of BI-Based Organizations," MIS Quarterly.
Pavlou, P., and El Sawy, O. A. (2010) "The Third Hand: IT-Enabled Competitive Advantage in Turbulence through Improvisational Capabilities," Information Systems Research.
keen, P. g., El Sawy, O. A., and keen, P. (2010) "CIO/CXO Conversations that Matter," MIS Quarterly Executive.
Widmeyer, G., El Sawy, O. A., and Walls, J. (2009) "Looking for Open Models in Information Systems Design Researchence and Information Systems Design Theory," MIS Quarterly.
El Sawy, O. A., and Pavlou, P. (2008) "“IT-Enabled Business Capabilities for Turbulent Environments," MIS Quarterly Executive.
Thordarson, M., El Sawy, O. A., Gray, P., and Asper, G. (2008) "Rolling Thunder IT Implementations: Enabling Value Configurations in Healthcare Services,".
Park, Y., and El Sawy, O. A. (2008) "Towards a Design Theory for Hedonic Systems: Delivering Superior User Experience in the Digital Home Entertainment Context," Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Design Science Research in Information Systems and Technology (DESRIST)., 3, 323-328.
Carlsson, S., and El Sawy, O. A. (2008) "Managing the Five Tensions of IT-Enabled Decision Support in Turbulent and High Velocity Environments," Information Systems and e-Business Management.
El Sawy, O. A., and Short, J. (2008) "Handbook for Generating Business Models for Digital Home Entertainment," Alfred Sloan Foundation .
El Sawy, O. A., "Invited Foreword," in Rouibeh, K., eds., Emerging Markets and e-Commerce in Developing Economies, IGI Publishing 2008.
Carlsson, S., and El Sawy, O. A., "IT-Enabled Decision Support In Turbuklent Environments," in Burstein, F., and Holsapple, C., eds., Handbook of Decision Support Systems, Springer-Verlag 2008.
Asper, G., and El Sawy, O. A. (2008) "Modeling Healthcare Information Systems: Multiple Value Configuration Strategy," GBID Conference Proceedings.
El Sawy, O. A. (2008) "Redesigning IT-Enabled Customer Support Processes for Dynamic Environments," Advances in Management Information Systems, M.E. Sharpe Publishers.
El Sawy, O. A., Malhotra, A., and Gosain, S., "“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," in King, W., eds., , Advances in Management Information Systems, M.E. Sharpe Publishers 2008.
El Sawy, O. A., Clark, J., Johnson, J., Oh, J., and Park, Y. (2007) "Theorizing around the Boundaries of Strategy and Emerging Technologies: Levels of Mindfulness,".
El Sawy, O. A., and Carlsson, S., "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," in 2007.
Malhotra, A., Gosain, S., and El Sawy, O. A. (2007) "Leveraging Standard Electronic Business Interfaces to Enable Adaptive Supply Chain Partnerships," Information Systems Research .
Pavlou, P., and El Sawy, O. A. (2007) "When do Improvisational Capabilities Trump Dynamic Capabilities ?," Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings.
El Sawy, O. A., "Redesigning IT-Enabled Customer Support Processes for Dynamic Environments," in Grover, V., and Markus, L., eds., Business Process Transformation 2007.
El Sawy, O. A., and Pavlou, P. (2006) "Strategic Management of IT-Enabled Capabilities in Turbulent Environments: What Happens When the Music Speeds up ?," SIM Academic Workshop Papers.
Pavlou, P., and El Sawy, O. A. (2006) "From IT Leveraging Competence to Competitive Advantage in Turbulent Environments: The Case of New Product Development," Information Systems Research .
Desouza, K., El Sawy, O. A., Galliers, B., Loebbeke, C., and Watson, R. (2006) "Beyond Rigor and Relevance Toward Responsibility and Reverberation: Information Systems Research that Really Matters," Communications of the Association of Information Systems.
DeSouza, K., El Sawy, O. A., Galliers, R., Loebbeke, C., and Watson, R. (2006) "Beyond Rigor and Relevance Toward Responsibility and Reverberation: Information Systems Research that Really Matters,".
Houghton, r., El Sawy, O. A., Gray, P., Donevan, C., and Joshi, A., "Vigilant Information Systems: The Western Digital Experience," in Desouza, K., eds., Agile Information Systems: Conceptualization, Construction, and Management 2006.
El Sawy, O. A., Krogh, E., and Gray, P. (2005) "Managing Online in Perpetual Perfect Storms: Insights from IndyMac Bank," MIS Quarterly Executive.
El Sawy, O. A., Malhotra, A., and Gosain, S. (2005) "Absorptive Capacity Configurations in Supply Chains: Gearing for Partner-Enabled Knowledge Creation," MIS Quarterly.
El Sawy, O. A., Malhotra, A., and Gosain, S. (2005) "Standardizing Inter-Organizational Interfaces: Leveraging Social Capital in Supply-Chains for Collaborative Information Exchange," Information Systems Research.
El Sawy, O. A., "Harnessing Knowledge Dynamics," in Nissen, M., eds., Harnessing Knowledge Dynamics, Idea Group Publishing 2005.
El Sawy, O. A., Houghton, B., Gray, P., Donegan, C., and Joshi, A. (2004) "Vigilant Information Systems for Managing Enterprises in Dynamic Supply Chains: Real-Time Dashboards at Western Digital," MIS Quarterly Executive.
El Sawy, O. A., and Chell, R. (2004) "Designing Identity Management Systems for Business Value,".
El Sawy, O. A., and Sarkar, M. (2004) "Temporal Biases in Strategic Attention," Long Range Planning.
El Sawy, O. A., Walls, J., and Widmeyer, G. (2004) "Assessing Information System Design Theory in Perspective: How Useful was our 1992 Rendition?," Journal of Information Technology Theory and Application, 6 (2).
El Sawy, O. A., and Majchrzak, A. (2004) "Critical Issues in Research On Real-Time Knowledge Management In Enterprises," Journal of Knowledge Management, 8 (4), 21-37.
El Sawy, O. A., Gosain, S., and Malhotra, A. (2004) "Coordinating for Flexibility in e-Business Supply Chains," Journal of Management Information Systems.
El Sawy, O. A., Gosain, S., Malhotra, A., and Chehade, F. (2003) "The Impact of Common e-Business Interfaces," Communications of the ACM.
El Sawy, O. A. (2003) "The 3 Faces of IS Identity: Connection, Immersion, and Infusion," Communications of the AIS, 12.
El Sawy, O. A. (2003) "Realizing the vision for Web Services: Strategies for Dealing with Imperfect Standards," CTM Research Paper.
El Sawy, O. A., and Sarkar, M. (2003) "The four Tigers of Global e-business Infrastructure: Strategies and Implications of Emerging Economies," Communications of the AIS, 12.
El Sawy, O. A., Malhotra, A., and Gosain, S. (2003) "Absorptive Capacity Configuration in Supply Chains: Gearing for Collaborative Knowledge Creation," Knowledge Management Sysposium.
El Sawy, O. A., and Nissen, M. (2002) "The Rolodex Model: Understanding Relationship Complexity as a Precursor to the Design of Organizational Forms for Chaotic Environments," Technical Report, Naval Postgraduate School.
El Sawy, O. A. (2002) "Collaborative Integration in e-Business through Private Trading Exchanges," Information Systems and e-Business Management, Inaugural.
El Sawy, O. A., and Pavlou, P., "A Classification Scheme for B2B Exchanges: Implications for Inter-Organizational e-Commerce," in Warkentin, M., eds., Business-to-Business Electronic Commerce 2002.
El Sawy, O. A., and Josefek, Jr., R., "Business Process as Nexus of Knowledge," in Holsapple, C., eds., Handbook of Knowledge Management 2002.
El Sawy, O. A., Housel, T., Zhong, J., and Rodger, W. (2001) "Measuring the Return on e-Business Processes: The Knowledge Value-Added Approach," Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems.
El Sawy, O. A., Housel, T., Zhong, J., and Rodger, W. (2001) "No Title," Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems.
El Sawy, O. A., "Redesigning Enterprise Processes for e-Business," in McGraw-Hill, , eds., Redesigning Enterprise Processes for e-Business 2001.
El Sawy, O. A. (2001) "Identifying Structural Models of B2b Procurement Exchanges," External Acquisition Research Prfogram.
El Sawy, O. A., Eriksson, I., Raven, A., and Carlsson, S. (2001) "Understanding Shared Knowledge Creation Spaces Around Business Processes: Precursors to Process Innovation Implementation," International Journal of Technology Management.
El Sawy, O. A. (2000) "Rethinking the Supply Chain for e-Business," Marshall Magazine.
El Sawy, O. A., and Hars, A. (2000) "Redesigning the Information Systems Research Process for the Electronic Economy," Journal of Organizational Computing & Electronic Commerce.
El Sawy, O. A., Eriksson, I., and Dickson, G. (2000) "Reflections On Designing Field Research For Emerging Topics: The Case of Understanding Shared Knowledge Creation," Communications of the Association of Information Systems.
El Sawy, O. A. (1999) "Integrating Supply Chains and Electronic Commerce in a Unified Europe," Proceedings of the Carnegie-Bosch Conference on the Impact of the Global. Information Revolution on International Management.
El Sawy, O. A., and Gates, B. (1999) "Business @ the Speed of Thought: Using a Digital Nervous System," Information, Communication, and Society.
El Sawy, O. A., Malhotra, A., Gosain, S., and Young, K. (1999) "IT-Intensive Value Innovation in the Electronic Economy:Insights from Marshall Industries," MIS Quarterly.
El Sawy, O. A., Gosain, S., Malhotra, A., and Westin, C. (1999) "Balanced Scorecard Analysis for Strategic Evaluation of IT Investments,".
El Sawy, O. A., Gosain, S., and Malhotra, A. (1999) "RosettaNet e-Business Organizational readiness Study Results," RosettaNet Consortium.
El Sawy, O. A., Im, I., and Hars, A. (1999) "The Competence and Impact of Tools for Business Process Reengineering," Information and Management, 36 (6).
El Sawy, O. A., Gosain, S., and Malhotra, A. (1998) "A Holistic Methodology for Analyzing Reconfiguration of IT-Enabled Global Value Chains: The Case of Europe," Informatics in Multinational Enterprises Conference, Helsinki, IFIP WG 8.7.
El Sawy, O. A., and Asper, G. (1998) "Amazon Contact Expeditions and Egyptian Archeological Digs: Implications for Designing Organizations in Cyberspace," SCANCOR Conference on Samples of the Future.
El Sawy, O. A., and Kumar, K. R. (1998) "Making the World Your Oyster: Experiences from Teaching Information Systems Management for Global Operations," Journal of Global Information Technology Management.
Kumar, K. R., and El Sawy, O. A. (1998) "Extending the Boundaries of Operations Management: An International Field Studies Approach integrating Information Systems," Production and Operations Management, 7 (2).
El Sawy, O. A., and Bowles, G. (1997) "Redesigning the Customer Support Process for the Electronic Economy: Insights from Storage Dimensions," MIS Quarterly.
El Sawy, O. A., Eriksson, I., Carlsson, S., and Raven, A. (1997) "The Nature of Shared Knowledge Creation Spaces around Business Processes," Proceedings of Carnegie-Bosch Conference on Knowledge Management in International Corporations, Rome (Italy).
El Sawy, O. A., and Carlsson, S. (1997) "A capability Maturity Model for IT-Enabled Organizational Knowledge Creation," Strategic Management Society Conference, Barcelona, Spain. Summary in Proceedings of the Strategic Management Society.
El Sawy, O. A., Im, I., and Hars, A. (1997) "Business Process Reengineering: Do Software Tools Matter?," Association of Information Systems Conference.
El Sawy, O. A., and Kang, D. (1997) "Equivocal Information Technology Adaptation and Emergent Organizational Design around Collaborative Business Processes,".
El Sawy, O. A., Carlsson, S., Eriksson, I., and Raven, A. (1996) "Gaining Competitive Advantage through Shared Knowledge Creation: In Search of a New Design Theory for Strategic Information Systems," Proceedings of the 4th European Conference on Information Systems.
El Sawy, O. A., and Eriksson, I. (1995) "Methods for Determining and Assessing Knowledge Sharing Practices in New Product Development," Nokia Mobile Phones, San Diego, CA.
El Sawy, O. A., and Khorshid, H. (1994) "A Design Theory of Virtual Workflows," USC White Paper, 94 (03).
El Sawy, O. A., Walls, J., and Widmeyer, G. (1992) "Building an Information System Design Theory for Vigilant EIS," Information System Research.
El Sawy, O. A., and Vij, S. (1992) "Picking Research Winners: Rigor, Relevance, & Reverberation in IS Research,".
El Sawy, O. A., "Revving up an ISDP Research Generator," in Stohr, E., eds., Information Systems and Decision Processes 1992.
El Sawy, O. A., "Managing the Lifecycle of Strategic Issues as an Environment for Supporting Decision Processes," in Huber, G., and Sol, H., eds., Environments for Supporting Decision Processes 1991.
El Sawy, O. A. (1991) "Information Technology for Executives and Managers: From symphony Orchestras to Jazz Ensembles," The Institute of Management Sciences.
El Sawy, O. A. (1990) "Executive Stethoscopes for Fast-Changing Times," USC Business, 1.
El Sawy, O. A., and Housel, T. (1990) "Leveraging Information Systems for Crisis Management: Silver Linings," Advances in Telecommunications Management, 3.
El Sawy, O. A., and Kumar, R. (1989) "Extending the Boundaries of Operations Management: An International Field-Studies Approach Integrating Information Systems," Production and Operations Management Systems.
El Sawy, O. A., and Nanus, B. (1989) "Towards the Design of Robust Information Systems," Journal of MIS.
El Sawy, O. A. (1989) "How to Make a DSS EIS-Ready," The Institute of Management Sciences.
El Sawy, O. A. (1989) "Track Overview for Decision Support Methods and Practice," The Institute of Management Science.
El Sawy, O. A., and El Sherif, H. (1988) "Issue-Based Decision Support Systems for the Egyptian Cabinet," MIS Quarterly.
El Sawy, O. A., and Pauchant, T. (1988) "Triggers, Templates, and Twitches in the Tracking of Emerging Strategic Issues," Strategic Management Journal.
El Sawy, O. A. (1987) "DSS-87 Transactions, Proceedings of 7th International Conference on Decision Support Systems," The Institute of Management Sciences.
El Sawy, O. A. (1986) "Account Data By the Minute," American Banker (150th Anniversary Commemorative Issue on Visions of Financial Services' Future and Banking's Past).
El Sawy, O. A., Housel, T., and Donovan, P. (1986) "Information Systems for Crisis Management: Lessons From Southern California Edison," MIS Quarterly.
El Sawy, O. A., Gomes, G., and Gonzalez, M. (1986) "Preserving Institutional Memory: The Management of History as an Organizational Resource," Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings.
El Sawy, O. A. (1986) "PROLIFICATOR: A Decision Support System for Generating Strategic Opportunities," TIMS, Providence, Rhode Island.
El Sawy, O. A., and Evans, J. S. (1985) "Proactive Surprise Managers," The President, American Management Association.
El Sawy, O. A., Breton, , and Wintrobe, (1985) "The Logic of Bureaucratic Conduct: An Economic Analysis of Competition, Exchange, and Efficiency in Private and Public Organizations," Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization.
El Sawy, O. A. (1985) "Implementation by Cultural Infusion: An Approach for Managing the Introduction of Information Technologies," MIS Quarterly.
El Sawy, O. A. (1985) "From Separatism to Holographic Enfolding: The Evolution of the Technostructure of Organizations," Organizational Design.
El Sawy, O. A. (1985) "Personal Information Systems for Strategic Scanning in Turbulent Environments: Can the CEO Go On-Line?," MIS Quarterly.
El Sawy, O. A., and Evans, J. S. (1985) "A Comparison of Surprise Management Methods Used by Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs: Implications for Strategic Management," Summary in Proceedings of the Strategic Management Society.
El Sawy, O. A. (1984) "Understanding the Process by which Chief Executives Identify Strategic Threats and Opportunities, Business Policy and Planning Division," Academy of Management Proceedings.
El Sawy, O. A. (1981) "The Vygotsky Phenome: A caveat for Decision Support Systems Design," DSS-81 Transactions,.
El Sawy, O. A., and Lee, Z. "IT Use by Middle Managers and Role Attention Shift in Hierarchical Organizations," Journal of Management Information Systems.
El Sawy, O. A., and Park, Y., "“The Value of Configurational Approaches for Studying Digital Business Strategy," in Cambre, B., Fiss, P., and Marx, A., eds., Research in the Sociology of Organization: Configurational Theory and Methods in Organizational Research, Emerald Publishers.
El Sawy, O. A., and Brabston, M. "Key IS Drivers: Definition, Categorization, and Management," SIM International.
El Sawy, O. A., Westin, C., Gosain, S., and Malhotra, A. "The Euro and eBusiness-Envisioning the Future of European Supply Chains,".
El Sawy, O. A., and Raven, A. "From Mumming and Humming in IT-Enabled Face-to-Face Meetings," MIS Quarterly.
El Sawy, O. A., and Pavlou, P. "Using a Process Service Perspective for the Strategic Design of B2B Exchanges,".