IS Team Says Aloha to Best Paper Award

PROVO, Utah – Jan 31, 2018 – Students who develop confidence in their abilities to think creatively have a much higher chance of succeeding in their classes than those who don’t. Professor Mark Keith has found this to be true in his IS 201 classes and in his research. Through their efforts, Keith and a team of researchers proved that confidence is a greater indictor of performance than natural creative ability. 

The team’s study, “Development and Validation of the Information Systems Creative-Self-Efficacy Scale,” won the best paper award at the Hawaii International Conference on Social Systems (HICSS), which was held the first week of January.

“We received some of the best reviews I’ve ever seen on a conference paper,” Keith says. “That was a great reward for a lot of hard work.”

The team strove to develop an assessment to accurately measure confidence in creative ability, or creative self-efficacy, using guidelines from an oft-cited paper by Scott B. MacKenzie of Indiana University. Team members collected data fifteen times before determining the correct set of survey questions.

The team presented its findings at HICSS. With over one thousand attendees, HICSS is one of the largest international conferences on information systems and technology. The team’s presentation was well attended, and many participants asked for a copy of the survey questions to use in their own research, according to Keith.

“That was great validation for us that there was a lot of interest in our study and that our findings are useful,” Keith says.

In addition to Keith, the team consisted of Katherine Payne, professor at the University of the Incarnate Word; Jeffry Babb, professor at West Texas A&M University; and Alexandra Spruill, an information systems student at BYU Marriott.

Spruill, a junior from Idaho Falls, Idaho, joined the research team to gain experience in the field performing data collection and analysis.

“Working on this paper was an incredible experience, especially to learn from Dr. Keith and the other professors,” Spruill says. “It’s great to be at BYU and to have opportunities like this as an undergraduate student.”

The experience also helped Spruill learn about different paths within information systems and strengthened her resolve to pursue her PhD. 

“I’ve always wanted to get a PhD,” Spruill says. “This experience was a big confirmation that this is a path I want to follow.”

The team’s success at HICSS is just the beginning for its research. Team members are developing a series of experiments to expand on their findings.

“We have established that creative self-efficacy is a good indicator of performance,” Keith says. “Now we need to figure out how we can improve it in our students and employees.”

The information systems research team poses at the conference in Hawaii
Left to right: Jeffry Babb, Katherine Payne, Mark Keith, and Alexandra Spruill

Media Contact: Jordan Christiansen (801) 422-8938
Writer: Maggie Kuta