Sunil Mithas

Ralph J. Tyser Professor of Information Systems

4357 Van Munching Hall
Ph.D., University of Michigan

Dr. Sunil Mithas is the Ralph J. Tyser Professor of Information Systems in the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland and the author of the books Dancing Elephants and Leaping Jaguars and Digital Intelligence: What Every Smart Manager Must Have for Success in an Information Age. He earned his PhD from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and an engineering degree from IIT, Roorkee. Before pursuing his PhD, he worked for nearly ten years in engineering, marketing, and general management positions with the Tata group.

He was identified as a 2011 MSI Young Scholar by the Marketing Science Institute. The MSI Young Scholar Program selects about 20 of "the most promising 'younger' (i.e., doctorate received 3-6 years ago) academics" and a "likely leader of the next generation of marketing academics" every two years.

Sunil is a frequent speaker at industry events for senior leaders. He has worked on research or consulting assignments with organizations such as Johnson & Johnson, Lear, A.T. Kearney, the Tata group, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Sunil’s research focuses on strategies for managing innovation and excellence for corporate transformation, focusing on the role of technology and other intangibles, such as customer satisfaction, human capital, and organizational capabilities. His research has appeared in premier journals, including Management Science, Marketing Science, Information Systems Research, MIS Quarterly, Journal of Marketing, and MIT Sloan Management Review. Some of this work has been featured in business publications such as Bloomberg, CIO, Computerworld, and InformationWeek. His papers have won best-paper awards and have received several best-paper nominations. He has also won the best reviewer award at an INFORMS conference.


Mithas, S. 2015. Making the Elephant Dance: The Tata Way to Innovate, Transform and Globalize (Kindle version is available at New Delhi: Penguin Portfolio [This version of the book is adapted, retitled and published for the Indian Subcontinent in 2015 with a Foreword by Mr Ratan N. Tata based on my book "Dancing Elephants and Leaping Jaguars," published by Finerplanet in 2014 which is available at outside India]

Mithas, S. Dancing Elephants and Leaping Jaguars: How to Excel, Innovate, and Transform Your Organization the Tata Way Finerplanet, North Potomac, 2014 [Interview on MPTV about the book]

Mithas, S. Digital Intelligence: What Every Smart Manager Must Have for Success in an Information Age, Finerplanet, North Potomac, 2012

Interview on MPTV about the "Digital Intelligence" book: Aired in August 2012


Whitaker, J., Mithas, S., and Liu, C.-W. 2018. "Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder: Toward a Contextual Understanding of Compensation for IT Professionals Within and Across Geographies," Information Systems Research (Conditional Acceptance)

Sharma, P. N., Morgeson, F., Mithas, S., and Aljazzaf, S. 2018. "An Empirical and Comparative Analysis of E-Government Performance Measurement Models: Model Selection via Explanation, Prediction, and Parsimony," Government Information Quarterly (Forthcoming)

Foerderer, J., Kude, T., Mithas, S., and Heinzl, A. 2018. "Does Platform Owner's Entry Crowd Out Innovation? Evidence from Google Photos," Information Systems Research (29:2) ), pp. 444-460

Khuntia, J., Saldanha, T., Mithas, S., and Sambamurthy, V. 2018. "Information Technology and Sustainability: Evidence from an Emerging Economy," Production and Operations Management (27:4), pp. 756-773

Huang, P., Tafti, A., and Mithas, S. 2018. "The secret to successful knowledge seeding," MIT Sloan Management Review(59:3), pp. 10-13

Huang, P., Tafti, A., and Mithas, S. 2018. "Platform Sponsor’s Investments and User Contributions in Knowledge Communities: The Role of Knowledge Seeding," MIS Quarterly (42:1), pp. 213-240

Ravichandran, T., Han, S., and Mithas, S. 2017. "Mitigating Diminishing Returns to R&D: The Role of Information Technology in Innovation," Information Systems Research (18:4), pp. 812-827

Khuntia, J., Mithas, S., and Agarwal, R. 2017. "How Service Offerings and Operational Maturity Influence the Viability of Health Information Exchanges," Production and Operations Management (26:11), pp. 1989-2005

Kim, K., Mithas, S., and Kimbrough, M. 2017. "Information Technology Investments, and Firm Risk Across Industries: Evidence from the Bond Market," MIS Quarterly (41:4), pp. 1347-1367

Mithas, S., Whitaker, J. W., and Tafti, A. R. 2017. "Information Technology, Revenues and Profits: Exploring the Role of Foreign and Domestic Operations," Information Systems Research (28:2), pp. 430-444

Hult, G.T.M., Morgan, N., Morgeson, F.V., Mithas, S., and Fornell, C. 2017. "Do managers know what their customers think of their firms' products and services and why?" Journal of Academy of Marketing Science (45:1), pp. 37-54

Saldanha, T., Mithas, S., and Krishnan, M. S. 2017. "Leveraging Customer Involvement for Fueling Innovation: The Role of Relational and Analytical Information Processing Capabilities," MIS Quarterly (41:1), pp. 267-286

Mithas, S., Krishnan, M. S., and Fornell, C. 2016. "Information Technology, Customer Satisfaction, and Profit: Theory and Evidence," Information Systems Research (27:1), pp. 166-181

Mithas, S., and Rust, R. T. 2016. "How Information Technology Strategy and Investments Influence Firm Performance: Conjectures and Empirical Evidence," MIS Quarterly (40:1), pp. 223-245

Lariviere, B., Keiningham, T. L., Aksoy, L., Yalcin, A., Morgeson, F. V., and Mithas, S. 2016. "Modeling Heterogeneity in the Satisfaction, Loyalty Intention and Shareholder Value Linkage: A Cross-Industry Analysis at the Customer and Firm Level," Journal of Marketing Research (53:1), pp. 91-109

Mithas, S., and Arora, R. 2015. "Lessons from Tata's Corporate Innovation Strategy," IEEE IT Professional (17:2), pp. 2-6

Kim, K., Mithas, S., Whitaker, J., and Roy, P.K. "Industry-specific human capital and wages: Evidence from the business process outsourcing industry," Information Systems Research (25:3) 2014, pp 618-638

Sharma, R., Mithas, S., and Kankanhalli, A. "Transforming decision-making processes: A research agenda for understanding the impact of business analytics on organisations," European Journal of Information Systems (23:4) 2014, pp 433-441

Gillon, K., Aral, S., Lin, C.-Y., Mithas, S., and Zozulia, M. "Business Analytics: Radical Shift or Incremental Change?" Communications of the Association for Information Systems (34) 2014, pp 287-296

Han, K., and Mithas, S. "The Real Savings From IT Outsourcing," MIT Sloan Management Review (Winter) 2014

Srivastava, S.C., Mithas, S., and Jha, B. "What is your global innovation strategy?" IEEE IT Professional (15:6, Nov-Dec) 2013, pp 2-6

Mithas, S., Tafti, A.R., and Mitchell, W. "How a Firm’s Competitive Environment and Digital Strategic Posture Influence Digital Business Strategy," MIS Quarterly (37:2) 2013, pp 511-536

Tafti, A., Mithas, S., and Krishnan, M.S. "The Importance of IT-Enabled Flexibility in Alliances," MIT Sloan Management Review (54:3) 2013, pp 13-14

Han, K., and Mithas, S. "Information technology outsourcing and non-IT operating costs: An empirical investigation," MIS Quarterly (37:1) 2013, pp. 315-331

Tafti, A., Mithas, S., and Krishnan, M.S. "The Effect of Information Technology Enabled Flexibility on Formation and Market Value of Alliances," Management Science (59:1) 2013, pp. 207-225

Mithas, S. "Career Coach: Tips for boosting your digital IQ," Washington Post (Capital Business, 2 July 2012), Washington, DC, 2012

Mithas, S., Tafti, A.R., Bardhan, I.R., and Goh, J.M. "The impact of IT investments on profits," MIT Sloan Management Review (53:3) 2012, p 15

Mithas, S., Tafti, A.R., Bardhan, I.R., and Goh, J.M."Information Technology and Firm Profitability: Mechanisms and Empirical Evidence," MIS Quarterly (36:1) 2012, pp. 205-224 (This paper also won European Research Paper of the Year 2013 Award)

Morgeson, F.V., Van Amburg, D., and Mithas, S. "Misplaced Trust? Exploring the Structure of the E-Government-Citizen Trust Relationship," Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory (21:2) 2011, pp 257-283

Mithas, S., Ramasubbu, N., and Sambamurthy, V. "How Information Management Capability Influences Firm Performance," MIS Quarterly (35:1) 2011, pp 237-256

Morgeson, F.V., Mithas, S., Keiningham, T.L., and Aksoy, L. "An Investigation of the Cross-National Determinants of Customer Satisfaction," Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science (39:2) 2011, pp 198-215

Whitaker, J., Mithas, S., and Krishnan, M.S. "Organizational learning and capabilities for onshore and offshore business process outsourcing," Journal of Management Information Systems (27:3) 2011, pp 11-42

Mithas, S., and Lucas, H.C. "What is your digital business strategy?" IEEE IT Professional (Nov-Dec) 2010, pp. 4-6

Mithas, S., and Lucas, H.C. "Are Foreign IT Workers Cheaper? U.S. Visa Policies and Compensation of Information Technology Professionals," Management Science (56:5) 2010, pp 745-765.(Appeared as a lead research article)

Fornell, C., Mithas, S., and Morgeson, F.V. "The Economic and Statistical Significance of Stock Returns on Customer Satisfaction," Marketing Science (28:5) 2009, pp 820-825.

Morgeson, F.V., and Mithas, S. "Does E-Government Measure up to E-Business? Comparing End-User Perceptions of U.S. Federal Government and E-Business Websites," Public Administration Review (69:4) 2009, pp 740-752

Mithas, S., and Krishnan, M.S. "From association to causation via a potential outcomes approach," Information Systems Research (20:2) 2009, pp 295-313

Fornell, C., Mithas, S., and Morgeson, F. "The statistical significance of portfolio returns," International Journal of Research in Marketing (26:2) 2009, pp 162-163

Mithas, S., Jones, J.L. and Mitchell, W. "Buyer intention to use Internet-enabled reverse auctions: The role of asset specificity, product specialization, and non-contractibility" MIS Quarterly (32:4) 2008, pp 705-724

Ramasubbu, N., Mithas, S., Krishnan, M.S., and Kemerer, C.F. "Work Dispersion, Process-Based Learning and Offshore Software Development Performance," MIS Quarterly (32:2) 2008, pp. 437-458

Mithas, S., and Krishnan, M.S. "Human Capital and Institutional Effects in the Compensation of Information Technology Professionals in the United States," Management Science, (54:3) 2008, pp. 415-428 (Appeared as a lead research article)

Ramasubbu, N., Mithas, S., and Krishnan, M.S. "High-tech, High-touch: The Effect of Employee Skills and Customer Heterogeneity on Customer Satisfaction with Enterprise System Support Services," Decision Support Systems (44:2) 2008, pp. 509-523

Bardhan, I.R., Mithas, S. and Lin, S. "Performance Impacts of Strategy, Information Technology Applications, and Business Process Outsourcing in US Manufacturing Plants," Production and Operations Management, (16:6) 2007, pp. 747-762

Whitaker, J., Mithas, S., and Krishnan, M.S. "A Field Study of RFID Deployment and Return Expectations," Production and Operations Management, (16:5) 2007, pp. 599-612

Mithas, S. and Whitaker, J. "Is the World Flat or Spiky? Information Intensity, Skills, and Global Service Disaggregation," Information Systems Research, (18:3) 2007, pp. 237-259 (Appeared as a lead research article)

Mithas, S. and Jones, J.L. "Do Auction Parameters Affect Buyer Surplus in E-Auctions for Procurement?" Production and Operations Management (16:4) 2007, pp. 455-470 (Appeared as a lead research article)

Tafti, A., Mithas, S. and Krishnan, M.S. "Information Technology and Autonomy-Control Duality: Toward a Theory," Information Technology and Management (8:2) 2007, pp. 147-166

Mithas, S., Ramasubbu, N., Krishnan, M.S. and Fornell, C. "Designing Websites for Customer Loyalty across Business Domains: A Multilevel Analysis," Journal of Management Information Systems (23:3) 2006, pp. 97-127

Bardhan, I.R., Whitaker, J. and Mithas, S. "Information Technology, Production Process Outsourcing and Manufacturing Plant Performance," Journal of Management Information Systems (23:2) 2006, pp 13-40 (Appeared as a lead research article)

Mithas, S., Almirall, D. and Krishnan, M.S. "Do CRM Systems Cause One-to-one Marketing Effectiveness?" Statistical Science (21:2) 2006, pp 223-233

Fornell, C., Mithas, S., Morgeson, F. and Krishnan, M.S. "Customer Satisfaction and Stock Prices: High Returns, Low Risk," Journal of Marketing (70:1) 2006, pp 3-14 (Appeared as a lead research article)

Mithas, S., Krishnan, M.S. and Fornell, C. "Why Do Customer Relationship Management Applications Affect Customer Satisfaction?" Journal of Marketing (69:4) 2005, pp 201-209.

Prahalad, C.K., Krishnan, M.S. and Mithas, S. "Customer Relationships: The Technology Customer Disconnect," Optimize (December), 2002, pp. 63-70.

Book Chapter(s)

Mithas, S., and Lucas, H.C. "Information Technology and Firm Value: Productivity Paradox, Profitability Paradox and New Frontiers," in: Information Systems and Information Technology (Volume II), H. Topi (ed.), Chapman & Hall/ CRC Press (Taylor and Francis Group), 2014

Mithas, S., Almirall, D., and Krishnan, M.S."A potential outcomes approach to assess causality in information systems research," in: Economics, Information Systems and Electronic Commerce Research II: Advanced Empirical Methodologies, R.J. Kauffman and P.P. Tallon (eds.), ME Sharpe, Armonk, New York, 2009, pp. 63-85

Research related stories in Business Press and Magazines

The following articles in business press feature some of my research findings in a friendly and accessible language for non-academic audience. For a list of my academic articles, please see my CV.

Baldrige Performance Excellence Program (National Institute of Standards and Technology) "'Making an Elephant Dance': How the Baldrige Criteria Helped Transform a Global Conglomerate (5 Sept 2014), available at," 2014

Gatelier, A. "European Research Paper of the Year 2013, The Winner of the ERPOTY 2013 Award!," CIONet (4 June 2013), 2013

Thibodeau, P. "IT investments deliver profits, study finds" CIO, 2012

Dodge, J. "IT investments have greater impact on profitability than R&D or advertising, MIT reports," accessed 3 Apr 2012," in: CIO Enterprise CIO Forum, 2012

Overby, S. "H-1B Visa Holders Earn More Than U.S.-Born IT Professionals, Study Claims," CIO (May 20, 2010)) 2010.

Wadhwa, V. "Why Policy Makers Should Review the Facts Before Marching to the Drumbeat of the Xenophobes," TechCrunch (29 May 2010) 2010.

Winner, R. "IT and firm profitability," Research@Smith, 2008, pp. 6-7

McGee, M.K. "Foreign IT Pros Working In U.S. Earning More Than Americans," InformationWeek (April 28, 2009), 2009.

"Value of MBA," Smith Business Magazine, Fall 2008

Winner, R. "Could Your Job be Offshored," Research@Smith, 2008

Wagner, D., "Success factors in outsourcing service jobs: Which jobs are good candidates for global disaggregation?" MIT Sloan Management Review (48:1) 2006, p. 7

"Stock tips," Smith Business Magazine, Fall 2006

Agarwal, S., "Increased customer satisfaction increases stock prices" Research@Smith, Spring 2006, p. 2

Hoffman, Thomas, "An MBA Pays (And So Does a Y Chromosome)," Computerworld, July 4, 2005.

Sullivan, B.K., "Men Who Have MBAs Are Highest-Paid in Technology, Study Finds," Bloomberg (May 26, 2005), 2005

Garvey, Martin J., "Is an MBA worth it?", InformationWeek (Issue number 1012; November 1, 2004), pp. 31-33.

Chabrow, Eric, "Keep 'Em Happy," InformationWeek (Issue 907, 23 September 2002), pp. 20-22.

Talks and Interviews

Talk at National Management & IT Symposium on 10 Dec 2013 in the Netherlands

Keynote address to about 300 Indian CIOs at a highly-publicized DQ Live conference on 12 Dec 2012 at Mumbai organized by a leading IT research and media company. The event and the address was organized around my research on the effect of IT on profits. [Here is a news article based on the above event: Shanbhag, S. "IT and business value - Over 300 CIOs attend DQ LIVE,," in: Dataquest (12 Dec 2012), 2012]

Interview on MPTV about the book: Aired in August 2012

"Interview with Dr. Sunil Mithas, Professor and Author of the "Digital Intelligence" Book," 2012

Arford, A. "Sunil Mithas Releases New Book on Digital Intelligence," 2012

Interview on MPTV about the H-1B Visa paper: Aired in June 2010