Dr. Fatemeh “Mariam” Zahedi
UW-M Distinguished Professor Emerita
UW-M Distinguished Professor (2016-2018)
Church Mutual Insurance Faculty Scholar in ITM (2016-2018)
Roger L. Fitzsimonds Distinguished Scholar (2014-2016)
James R. Mueller Distinguished Scholar (2012-2014)
Roger L. Fitzsimonds Distinguished Scholar (2010-2012)
Tricept Solutions Professor (2007-2010)
Wisconsin Distinguished Professor (1997-2007)
Sheldon B. Lubar School of Business
University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
Zahedi pic

Profile Summary

Professor Zahedi teaches in the undergraduate seniors, masters, and doctoral programs at the Lubar School of Business.  She offers doctoral seminars in behavior and design theories and their applications in information technology management.  She has chaired many PhD students’ dissertations and served as chair of the school’s Research Committee that grants research awards. Dr. Zahedi has two bachelor degrees (in accounting and economics, the latter from Tehran University) and two masters degrees (accounting and MBA, the latter from Indiana University – Bloomington) and a doctoral degree in business (from Indiana University – Bloomington) in decision and information systems. She has received extensive training and a number of certifications in information technology as the technology has evolved.

Research Focus

Professor Zahedi’s research focus could be summarized in five words: individuals’ encounters with information technology.  Professor Zahedi is internationally known for the body of her theoretical and empirical research in individual and group decision-making; software quality and reliability; individuals’ behavior issues related to satisfaction, loyalty, trust, privacy and security in cyberspace; and novel designs of web-based systems for serving individuals in stressful conditions.  Pre-Internet, Professor Zahedi was recognized for her work in decision-making, particularly methods that could improve decision and information quality and reliability.  She was among the first to advocate for a rigorous quantitative approach to information and software quality and reliability in the IS field.  Her paper in MIS Quarterly in 1987 about the reliability of information systems based on critical success factors was a pioneering work in this area and continues to be cited almost 30 years after its publication. She was the first to publish a book on information quality metrics. Her paper on the innovative way of formulating software reliability published in 1992 is still being cited.  Her work in the analytic hierarchy method for decision-making is well-known. Her paper published in Interface1986 is one of the highly cited papers on the topic and still is being cited (more than 1,100 citations so far).  Her book on intelligent systems with expert systems and neural networks was among the first in the field to advocate machine learning in 1993, 20 years before using machine learning for improving decisions became a hot topic in business analytics.

As technology advanced and the Internet increasingly dominated people’s lives, Professor Zahedi brought her methodological and theoretical knowledge to bear on investigating individuals’ beliefs, decisions, concerns, and risks as they increasingly rely on and use information technology, particularly the web, in their lives.  Her work on the theory and measurement of web-customer satisfaction as impacted by website contents (published in Information Systems Research in 2002) is one of the highly cited papers on this topic , more than 1,500 citations and still counting.  Her published theory-based work on website design elements and their impacts on individuals’ beliefs and behaviors, published in Management Science, is heavily cited.  Her research in individuals’ online privacy concern and trust has received high citations.  She is the principle investigator (PI) of an NSF grant for investigating individuals’ online security behaviors in dealing with fake/phishing websites and the ways to enhance them.    Receiving an NSF grant is rare in business schools and is a testament to Professor Zahedi’s renowned abilities in tackling new challenges as people interact with technology.   Professor Zahedi continues her rigorous and innovative work by designing systems that could assist individuals in coping with stressful circumstances.  Her pioneering work in the ontology of web-based natural disaster management recently published in IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and CyberneticsPart A and in MIS Quarterly opens a new venue for research in managing disasters using the web to assist people in various stages of natural disasters.  Her new work on using people’s real avatars (with remote sensors) to treat patients in group settings is another up-and-coming impactful work.  Her work on the comparison of online security perceptions and behaviors in the US and China (forthcoming in MIS Quarterly) highlights the multi-contextual differences of Internet users in the two nations.  Professor Zahedi continues to investigate consequences of individuals’ encounters with information technology and the ways to improve them.

Research Publications

Professor Zahedi has published more than 120 refereed papers, refereed conference papers and book chapters. She also has published two books.  Her refereed papers have appeared in leading journals, including MIS Quarterly, Information Systems Research, Journal of Management Information Systems, Management Science, Operations Research, IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics-Part A, IIE Transaction, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, and the Review of Economics and Statistics. She also has published in well-regarded journals, including Journal of AISInformation & ManagementIEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, European Journal of Information SystemsDecision SciencesDecision Support SystemsJournal of the Operational Research SocietyEuropean Journal of Operational Research, Interfaces, IEEE Intelligent System, Journal of Computer Information System, ACM Transactions on Information Systems, Organizational Computing and E-Commerce, DATABASE, IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, Mathematical and Computer Modelling, Empirical Economics, Computers and Operations Research. Her pipeline of new work includes more than 10 papers, with more under preparation.

Funded grants

Professor Zahedi has been active in grant writing.  She has been the PI in all (except one) of her grant proposals.  Her more recent grant activities include being the PI for a funded NSF grant on security behavior in the cyberspace, “A User-Centric Approach to the Design of Intelligent Fake Website Detection Systems,” and as PI for the John and Jeanne Byrnes Grant, CTSI, Medical College of Wisconsin, “Treating Patients’ Real Avatars in Virtual Offices.”

Research and Teaching Awards

Professor Zahedi has received numerous awards for her research and teaching.  Since 1997, she has been recognized for her research by receiving named professorship awards, including UWM Research Foundation Senior Faculty Award (2015), Izzet Sahin Research Award (2015), Roger L. Fitzsimonds Distinguished Scholar (2014-2016), James R. Mueller Distinguished Scholar (2012- 2014), Roger L. Fitzsimonds Distinguished Scholar (2010-2012), Trisept Solutions Professor in MIS (2007-2010), and Wisconsin Distinguished Professor (1997-2007). Professor Zahedi has also received the Izzet Sahin Research Award from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Business Council in 2003 and 2008.  Her papers were nominated or received best paper awards, including Best PhD Student Award Nomination for her PhD student’s work, DERESTT 2011, Milwaukee, WI; Best Paper Award, Americas Conference on Information Systems,  2010, Lima Peru; Best Paper Award Nomination, International Conference for Information Systems, December 2008, Paris; Best Paper Award, at Americas Conference on Information Systems, 2005;  R. J. Joenk Jr. Best Paper Award, IEEE Transactions for Professional Communications 2002; and Best Paper Award, Americas Conference on Information Systems, 2001.

Professor Zahedi has also received recognition for the quality of her teaching with Gold Star Professor Award, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Lubar School of Business, 2004; and the Teaching Excellence Award from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Lubar School of Business, 2000.

Professional Services

Professor Zahedi has served as a senior editor (SE) of MIS Quarterly (2009-2012) and continues to serve as the SE for papers in the pipeline.  She has served as an associate editor (AE) for Information Systems Research (2008-2010) and AE of MIS Quarterly (2008-2009), and as a member of the editorial board of the Journal of MIS (2008-2009).  She has also served on the editorial boards of a number of other journals since 1990.  Professor Zahedi has served as conference co-chair, program committee chair, AE, track chair, and session chair for numerous international, national and regional conferences in her field.

Industry Experience

Professor Zahedi has had a number of opportunities to work on empirical research with industries in Wisconsin and in Massachusetts in decision-making and analytics/data mining approaches.  She continues to make her expertise available to the industry in Wisconsin.

imgfAn electronic billboard display at the Interstate highway, downtown Milwaukee, December 2013.