Curriculum Vita

Honors / Awards

Research Statement


Teaching Statement

Teaching Evaluation

Service Activities



MIS 748

IS 485



(Software Patents)


Matt E. Thatcher

Associate Professor

Management Information Systems

University of Nevada Las Vegas

4505 Maryland Parkway

Box 456034

Las Vegas, NV 89154-6034

(702) 895-4897 (phone)

(702) 895-0802 (fax)

Biographical Information


I am an Associate Professor of Management Information Systems at the College of Business at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where I have been a member of the faculty since 2006. I hold a B.S. in economics and an M.A. and Ph.D. in information systems from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. My research examines the strategic and economic impacts of information technology (IT) with a focus on four themes: IT value, software patent policy design, IT offshoring, and the social costs of information privacy.

(1)    My work in IT value uses formal economic models to dispel the notion that IT investments made by profit-maximizing firms should necessarily increase measures of business value (productivity, profits, and consumer welfare) or even move them in the same direction. This work shows that many of the seemingly contradictory empirical findings in the IT value literature are actually consistent with economic theory as embodied in these models. These findings will help firms to more effectively manage their portfolio of IT investments and to better align IT investments with strategic and economic goals.

(2)    My work in software patent policy design uses formal economic models to examine the impact of patent policy design on strategic decisions (e.g., R&D investments, product innovation, product imitation, patent decisions, product pricing) made by firms in the software and e-commerce arena. This work not only models the patent policy design that maximizes social welfare in a range of business environments but also examines the impact of alternative policy designs on the distribution of welfare among software innovators, imitators, and consumers. Building on existing economic theory, this research develops a new approach to address the current software patent issues and will help guide the active debate, in the visible public policy arena, over software patents in the years ahead.

(3)    My work in IT offshoring uses organizational learning models to examine the potentially adverse impacts of IT offshoring projects on not only short- and long-term coordination costs, but also on long-term production costs due to losses in accumulated production knowledge. This work formally illustrates the conditions under which IT offshoring may benefit firms, leading to a set of heuristics for IT managers considering the IT offshoring decision.

(4)    My work in the social costs of information privacy examines menu designs (or policy options) an insurer may offer to applicants under alternative market conditions to maximize consumer participation at affordable premiums in the presence of information asymmetries in the individual health insurance market. Given the dramatic changes in genetic privacy laws at the state and federal levels over the past decade, this work has important strategic implications for the health insurance industry and the ongoing social policy debates.


My research has appeared or is forthcoming in Information Systems Research, MIS Quarterly, Communications of the ACM, Journal of Management Information Systems, Decision Support Systems, Journal of Information Technology Theory and Application, and the Journal of Financial Services Research and has been presented at numerous conferences, including the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), the INFORMS Conference on Information Systems and Technology (CIST), the Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS), and the Workshop on Information Systems and Economics (WISE). See my curriculum vita, research statement, and publications for further details.


My major teaching assignments have been to teach senior-level undergraduate courses on Human-Computer Interaction and Systems Analysis and Design and graduate courses on the Social and Economic Impacts of IT and Financial Decision-Making for IT Investments. I have received several teaching awards at the University of Arizona (where I was an Assistant Professor of MIS between 1997 and 2006), including the:


         MIS Professor of the Year Award (2004, 1998)

         Certificate of Appreciation for Outstanding Commitment and Contributions to Students of the Eller College (Spring 2005, Spring 2004, Spring 2003, Spring 2002, Fall 2001, Spring 2001)

         Faculty/Teaching Recognition Award (2001, 2000)

         Excellence in Teaching Award (1999).


See my teaching statement and teaching evaluation for further details.

Internally, I have served on College Research Committees, MIS Undergraduate Committees, MIS Graduate Committees, MIS Recruiting Committees, and MIS Merit Committees. Externally, I have served on the Program Committee for the 2005 and 2006 INFORMS Conference on Information Systems and Technology (CIST). I have served as the Chair of the session on Strategy – Economics of IT in the MIS Fall Conference on Managing IT in Networked Organizations at the University of Arizona (October 24 – 25, 2003). I have also served as an Associate Editor for the Business, Markets, and Economy track in the 23rd International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS) in Barcelona, Spain (2002). In addition, I am a reviewer for many of the leading MIS journals and conferences. Finally, I have indirectly served, through my undergraduate Human-Computer Interaction course, over 100 organizations by advising student teams who analyze business problems and design, prototype, and evaluate software solutions to make business processes better, faster, and cheaper. See my service activities for further details.


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Webpage maintained by Matt Thatcher