Dr Alireza Nili
Faculty of Science,
School of Information Systems
BiographyI investigate digitisation of services from the customer-centric perspective. I design and evaluate personalised digital services. I received my PhD in Information Systems from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand and then my Postdoctoral Research Fellow from QUT before my ongoing Lecturer role at the university. I teach design thinking, business systems analysis, and research methodology. I have had roles such as track chair and associate editor (referee) at major conferences in the field such as International Conference on Information Systems and Australasian Conference on Information Systems. My research bridges the gap between design information systems (IS) and user behaviour IS through conceptual and empirical research. Specifically, I do this by identifying relevant design features and functional affordances (e.g. using the affordance theory) and/or relevant values (using the value-sensitive design approach) and conceptually and empirically explain that how they can contribute to specific user perceptions and related behaviours (predominantly: adoption of, adaptation to, and effective use of emerging technologies). The overall goal is to propose and validate frameworks, guiding principles and theories that help with designing and evaluating effective user-centric digital services. I believe that my research particularly contributes to theories of user behaviour and to information systems practice, particularly because user perceptions of design features, functional affordances, embedded values in design (e.g. public service values that need to be embedded in design of a chatbot-mediated public service), and the way that these perceptions contribute to a specific user behaviour have been overlooked in MIS research and practice. The methods I usually use include:
- The value-sensitive design (VSD) approach, particularly for my research in the area of AI technologies (chatbots…)
- Methods of theory building and evaluation, including: extending an existing theory (particularly the affordance theory) to an emerging context, scenario-based methods, participatory design workshops, and Structural Equation Modelling.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies (particularly chatbots) for personalised and effective delivery of services to users/citizens.
- IOT in the building context / building resilience supply chains.
- Social media platforms focussed on open-ended data and users’ tasks; and social media platforms for collaborative learning.
- Lecturer in Service Science
Faculty of Science,
School of Information Systems
Teaching and research supervision: I have been coordinating and teaching IT Systems Design (IFB103). I have been leading a large team of tutors and students (usually, around 15-20 tutors and over 800 students) since February 2018, and have been constantly receiving the highest coordination quality scores in the unit’s history. I also designed the online version of IFQ552 (Systems Analysis and Design) - a masters level unit. In addition, I teach a part of Advanced Research Topics (INN701) for HDR students. Prior to this, I was teaching several similar units (e.g. project management and business innovation) at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand for four years. My team uses a wide range of e-learning technologies in teaching. I have supervised three PhD students: principal supervisor for a PhD graduate who completed his PhD in September 2021, principal supervisor for a PhD student who is expected to graduate in early 2022, and an associate supervisor for a PhD student who is expected to graduate in early 2022. The research topics my PhD students are working on include: value-based design of cognitive computing systems and chatbots for public service delivery, ageing workforce and adaptation to new IT, and effective use of social media in higher education. My research topics are in the area of management information systems and customer-oriented service delivery.
Recent Teaching History:
- Chief Investigator of a research project with industry partners such as Amazon, Kmart and Bunnings in 2021: As a part of an ARA project, I wrote a research proposal and lead the research activities related to "Designing chatbots that meet the unique needs of consumers". Overall value of the project: QUT awarded funds: $200,000; QUT received funds: $100,000.
- Chief investigator of a prospective project with Canstar: As a part of a research group activity, we submit a research proposal by 4 November 2021 for the project “The effects of trust signals and trust curation to improve CTR - An experimental research program” which focuses on improving rapid trust on digital services provided by Canstar (a service comparison website). Overall value of the project: $40,000.
- Chief Investigator of the project “Reducing Consumer Uncertainty in Spatial Data” (a CRC project with PSMA Australia) in 2017 and 2018: my activities included contribution to collecting and analysing qualitative and quantitative data from twenty major consumers and producers of spatial data products in Australia and New Zealand. Overall value: $172,000.
- Contributing to the “Connected Communities” project (an ARC Linkage project with Bank of Queensland) in 2017 and 2018: I helped with designing a social media platform that connects communities of property seekers with businesses such as banks and conducted an extensive user behaviour study in the context of using the wisdom of crowd in decision making. The platform was commercialised in 2020. Overall value of the project: ~ $400,000.
- A post-doc project with Services Australia (Department of Human Services) in 2017: The project focused on designing a digital service process in the service ecosystem of the enterprise to enhance effectiveness of service delivery. Overall value: ~ $150,000.
- New projects in the area of supporting customer trust and establishing social licence for using AI technologies (e.g. chatbots) in delivering customer-oriented services. Research methodology includes methods of data collection such as participatory design approach and value-based design.
- Makasi T, Nili A, Desouza K, Tate M, (2022) A Typology of Chatbots in Public Service Delivery, IEEE Software, 39 (3), pp. 58-66.
- Makasi T, Tate M, Desouza K, Nili A, (2021) Value–Based Guiding Principles for Managing Cognitive Computing Systems in the Public Sector, Public Performance & Management Review, 44 (4), pp. 929-959.
- Barros A, Johnstone D, Nili A, Tate M, (2020) An approach for selecting and using a method of inter-coder reliability in information management research, International Journal of Information Management, 54.
- Makasi T, Nili A, Desouza K, Tate M, (2020) Chatbot-mediated public service delivery: a public service value-based framework, First Monday, 25 (12).
- Ziaimatin H, Nili A, Barros A, (2020) Reducing consumer uncertainty: Towards an ontology for geospatial user-centric metadata, ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, 9 (8).
- Niesel C, Buys L, Nili A, Miller E, (2022) Retirement can wait: A phenomenographic exploration of professional baby-boomer engagement in non-standard employment, Ageing and Society, 42 (6), pp. 1378-1402.
- Herath Jayarathna L, Eden R, Fielt E, Nili A, (2020) The Effective Use of Social Media Networks for Collaborative Learning in Higher Education, Proceedings of the 41st International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS 2020).
- Nili A, Tate M, Johnstone D, (2019) The process of solving problems with self-service technologies: a study from the user's perspective, Electronic Commerce Research, 19 (2), pp. 373-407.
- Nili A, Barros A, Tate M, (2019) The public sector can teach us a lot about digitizing customer service, MIT Sloan Management Review, 60 (2), pp. 84-87.
- Nili A, Tate M, Johnstone D, (2017) A framework and approach for analysis of focus group data in information systems research, Communications of the Association for Information Systems, 40, pp. 1-21.