Tabitha James, professor of business information technology in the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech, was named the R.B. Pamplin Professor of Business Information Technology by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

Established in 1994, the R.B. Pamplin Professorship in Business Information Technology is one of several named professorships established with part of the $10 million gift presented to the college by the Robert B. Pamplin family. The professorship supports excellence in management science and information technology education.

A member of the Virginia Tech faculty since 2002, James is an internationally recognized scholar whose current research focuses on the societal and business impacts of technology use. Specifically, her research investigates how the use of technologies such as fitness technologies and social media influence people’s well-being, privacy behaviors, and negative psychological outcomes such as addiction or envy. Her research also examines how analytics can be used to support business decisions, including how to design metaheuristic algorithms to provide better solutions for complex business problems.

She has published over 40 peer-reviewed journal articles and over 15 conference papers. Her paper "Using Organismic Integration Theory to Explore the Associations between Users’ Exercise Motivations and Fitness Technology Feature Set Use," published in Management Information Systems Quarterly, is part of a research program that examines how people’s motivational characteristics are associated with how they use fitness technologies such as Fitbit and Strava and the influence of people’s use of these technologies on their well-being. This research has had an impact on the health information technology field by helping to pioneer a vibrant stream of information systems research on wearables and wellness apps.

James also has made significant contributions to the social media literature by examining, for example, how people’s need to belong drives addiction to social media platforms such as Facebook, how different types of use can help build group dynamics on online health communities that improve users’ perceptions of the social support that they receive from them, and what drives privacy decisions such as the decision to disclose information or the use of privacy controls on social media platforms.

In the classroom, James has taught 14 different undergraduate and graduate courses and has worked to develop, extend, and enhance undergraduate and graduate education in data visualization, information security, and artificial intelligence.

She also has taught data visualization and artificial intelligence at IÉSEG School of Management in Paris and Lille, France, as well as cybersecurity for Virginia Tech’s partnership with NMIMS in India. She is active in doctoral education, having taught a doctoral seminar on social network analysis, and recently developed and taught a multidisciplinary doctoral seminar on artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning in business.

James has co-chaired or served on the dissertation or thesis committees of several Ph.D. and master’s students in the Department of Business Information Technology and Management and as an external member for students at IÉSEG School of Management and Georgia State University.

She is currently an associate editor for the European Journal of Information Systems and Decision Sciences Journal, and she serves on the editorial review board of the Journal of the Association for Information Systems. James was the co-chair of the junior faculty consortium at the 2016 Americas Conference on Information Systems and was a mentor for it at the 2022 conference.

She received her bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Mississippi.

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