Matt Sopha is in his fifth year of the Ph.D. Program in the Department of Information Systems at the W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University. He has an MBA with concentrated studies in Marketing, also from W.P. Carey; additionally, he holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Arizona State University, where he was also a double major in Computer Science and pursued extensive studies in Philosophy, Religious Studies, and Political Science. During the early 2000s he worked in business development for both Best Buy Corporation and Sprint/Nextel. During his time in the Information Systems Ph.D. Program, he has taught CIS 220 – Programming Concepts for Accountancy Majors; CIS 425 – Electronic Commerce Strategy, for which he helped redesign the current curriculum; CIS 440 – Enterprise Systems Development, the capstone course for the IS Undergraduate program; and has guest lectured several times for the MBA Information Systems course. He has also worked as the Editorial Assistant for the Journal of Information Systems. His strengths in the classroom revolve around electronic commerce, web design, web development, object-oriented programming and software design, systems design, and project management.
My Research. “My research focuses on social media in the long tail of electronic commerce, specifically focusing on the factors that drive consumer decision making and branding in this unique and powerful market space. Having come from a strong artistic and technological background – and having worked as an independent musician – I find myself drawn to research that views electronic commerce through the lens of digital entertainment and digital information goods. I have always felt that you should write what you know. My earlier work focused on developing a typology of producer and intermediary types in the long tail, using digital independent music as the frame of reference. Extensions of this work surround the dynamics of the relationships between these different types outlined in the typology, being an evaluation of the principal-agent problem. Working closely with Professors Raghu Santanam and Rob Kauffman, an early version of this paper was presented at the 8th Workshop on eBusiness (2009). Portions of this work have also been published as a chapter in Exploring the Grand Challenges for Next Generation E-Business. Recently my research, working with Professors Raghu Santanam and Bin Gu, has focused on the impacts of different peer influence factors in decision making on social media sites as well as how content producers can effectively leverage the medium for the purposes of branding strategies. My work in this area will be the central focus of my dissertation, and I am presenting early iterations of this work at the 2012 Americas Conference on Information Systems."