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Friday, October 8, 2010



BRADFORD, Pa. – Dr. Y. Ken Wang, assistant professor of computer information systems and technology at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, spent part of his summer lecturing in China and publishing an article about technology.

Wang gave research talks at two universities in China, Shanghai University and Zhejiang University, where he spoke to undergraduate and graduate students as well as younger members of the faculty.

At Shanghai School of Management, he gave a lecture on the social aspects of information systems and information security in finance systems.

Wang conducted a case study of differences in online security between China and the United States.

Wang said that customers in China demand more protection in online transactions, in part because of differences in the law that would not allow them to recoup their losses.

“In China, people are less concerned about privacy,” he said. “They’re willing to trade privacy for security.”

At Zhejiang University, Wang presented in the School of Communications about social media and how it has changed the way people communicate in business, especially in areas such as customer relations.

He also presented research he conducted on cyberostracism, or being ignored online. Wang said he and other researchers set up an online chatting environment and recruited volunteers to participate in the experiment.

The volunteers who were ignored by their chatting partners felt even worse than those who were getting harsh feedback from the partners.

Wang said the same is true for social sites such as Facebook. “People feel really bad if no one responds to their idea – worse than if they get negative feedback.”

Wang also coauthored a paper “A Technology Commitment Model of Post-Adoption Behavior” with Pratim Datta of Kent State University. The paper appeared in the Information Resources Management Journal and discussed why once people use a technology they keep using it, even if it becomes outdated.

Wang said the first reason is ease of use. When people get used to a technology, they believe it’s easier to use than other technologies. The second reason is perception of sunken cost. If they spent much time and effort learning a technology, they don’t want to give it up.

Another reason is inertia: people just don’t like to change if they don’t have to. “That’s a powerful reason,” Wang said.

Wang earned his doctoral degree in business administration from Washington State University in 2008, where he also earned his Master of Business Administration degree in 2006.

He is an active researcher and has published his research in a number of scholarly journals and conference proceedings. His research interests include information systems continuance and use, human-computer interaction, social aspects of information systems and knowledge management.

He lives in Bradford with his wife and 4-year-old daughter.

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