Dr. Kaveh Abhari
SDSU’s management information systems (MIS) department gained a new faculty member this fall when Dr. Kaveh Abhari began his tenure as an assistant professor in August 2017. He teaches two tracks of the information systems analysis course (MIS 306).
Before his arrival at the Fowler College of Business, Abhari earned his Ph.D. in communication and information sciences at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2014. After graduation, he stayed at the university to serve as a full-time researcher, principal investigator and MIS instructor.
Q: What do you enjoy most about teaching students in the Fowler College of Business?
I've found teaching as the most meaningful and fulfilling career. I love working with the diverse body of students in the FCB and seeing them excel academically, personally and professionally. Unfortunately, many students were convinced by our education system that they aren't quite talented, capable or creative. The most satisfying part of my teaching experience is changing this mindset! It's absolutely delightful when my students toward the end of each semester realize that their daily actions can change what they believe about themselves and what they can achieve. What would be more enjoyable than helping students become as responsible thinkers, doers, makers, and shakers contributing to their communities for years to come rather than making them worry about getting good grades or mastering technologies or practices that would be absolute in a few years.
Q: What advice would you give to students looking to pursue a degree in MIS?
Students looking into MIS should know that MIS is not about how good they are or can be with technology but how good they can do with technology. Being an IS or IT professional isn't the goal - it's a means to an end. MIS degree is only worthwhile for students if it can serve their life mission, simply help them to be more prolific in creativity, problem-solving, and service. Learning MIS subjects is easy; problem-solving is hard. Anyone can learn how information systems work or how they are designed and maintained. However, the true test of MIS knowledge is whether we can effectively and creatively solve real-world problems with that. So, my advice is to get clear in what you stand for and then, start using what you learn in the MIS classes to stand out in your community as a change catalyst; start where you are and with you have. If you wait until your graduation, you'll be waiting for the rest of your life!
Q: Where do you see the future of your field of research headed? What innovations are coming?
My research focuses on the democratization of education, innovation, and entrepreneurship by using social technologies. These technologies have already changed the very nature of work from how employees communicate and collaborate to how business leaders formulate and implement business strategies. The applications of social technologies also increasingly appears at various processes such as PR, recruiting, customer relationship management, supply-chain management, and after-sales services. Now, the new generation of these technologies including socially intelligent systems are going to make education accessible, the innovation process open and entrepreneurship attainable for all. For example, social technologies are enabling open learning platforms as reliable alternatives to prolonged and expensive formal education, organically engaging customers and creative-crowd in R&D projects, and empowering underserved communities as an engine of social entrepreneurship.