Associate Professor of Information Management
Organizational Leadership and Information Analytics

Koelbel 427


Kai R. Larsen is an Associate Professor of Information Systems in the division of Organizational Leadership and Information Analytics, Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado Boulder. He is a courtesy faculty member in the Department of Information Science of the College of Media, Communication and Information, a Research Advisor to Gallup, and a Fellow of the Institute of Behavioral Science. Kai is most known for providing a practical solution to Edward Thorndike's (1904) Jingle Fallacy and for his contributions to the Semantic Theory of Survey Response (STSR), which holds that results of surveys using attitude scales primarily measure the linguistic relationships between survey questions. Kai’s book on Automated Machine Learning is slated for publication by Oxford University Press in 2019.

Kai has published papers in top journals of three disciplines, and his paper with Lee and Kozar is one of the top 10 most downloaded in the Association for Information Systems' electronic library. Kai and his students have developed several award-winning technologies currently in use by thousands of users, including INN and TheoryOn, and he manages the Theories Used in IS Wiki. As Director of the federally supported Human Behavior Project, he is conducting research to create a transdisciplinary "backbone" for theoretical research. Kai’s research uses natural language processing technologies to create an integrating framework for predictors of human behavior. The research has implications for our understanding of many human behaviors, including technology utilization, investor decisions, voter behaviors, and cancer prevention behaviors.


  • Best prototype award, WITS, for TheoryOn: An Ontology-Based Search Engine (with Jingjing Li and Ahmed Abbasi). 2016.
  • Grant no. NSF 1612580: National Science Foundation (NSF), “Workshop on Ontology Learning for Behavioral Knowledge Embeddedness,” 2016-2017. PI with Michael Paul.
  • Association for Information Systems, Technology Challenge Award. 2015.
  • National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute, “Implementation of recommender engine and dataset detection for Grid-Enabled Measures (GEM) database,” 2013-2014. PI.
  • National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute,“Semi-automatic detection of synonymous constructs in the Grid-Enabled Measures (GEM) database,” 2012-2013. PI.
  • Grant no. NSF 0965338: National Science Foundation (NSF), “TLS and DAT: Construct Utilization in the Behavioral Sciences,” 2010-2013. PI with Jintae Lee and Eliot Rich.
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Canada, Research Grant 2006-2008


  • Association for Information Systems, Technology Challenge Award. 2015.
  • Boulder Faculty Assembly Excellence in Teaching Award, 2006
  • Joseph L. Franscona Teaching Excellence Award, 2005
  • Lise and Arnfinn Heje’s Fund, Competitive Merit Grant
  • Fellow, Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado, Boulder. 2018-
  • Research Advisor, the Gallup Organization. 2018-2019

Recent Refereed Papers and Books

  • Kai R. Larsen and Daniel Becker, Automated Machine Learning for Business Accepted for Publication: Oxford University Press (2019).
  • Kai R. Larsen, Dirk Hovorka, Jevin West, Alan Dennis (forthcoming), Research Perspectives: Understanding the Elephant: A Discourse Approach to Corpus Identification for Theory Review Articles, Journal of the AIS.
  • David Gefen and Kai R. Larsen (2017), Controlling for Lexical Closeness in Survey Research: A Demonstration on the Technology Acceptance Model, Journal of the AIS, 18(10), pp. 727-757.
  • Kai R. Larsen and Bong C.H. (2016): A Tool for addressing Construct Identity in Literature Reviews and Meta-Analyses. MIS Quarterly, 40(3), pp. 529-551; A1-A21. (ISSN 2162-9730).
  • Kai R. Larsen, Susan Michie, Eric B. Hekler, Bryan Gibson, Donna Spruijt-Metz, David Ahern, Heather Cole-Lewis, Rebecca J. Bartlett Ellis, Bradford Hesse, Richard P. Moser, Jean Yi (2016), Behavior Change Interventions: The Potential of Ontologies for Advancing Science and Practice. Journal of Behavioral Medicine. (ISSN 0160-7715).


  • Ph.D., Information Science, University at Albany, SUNY
  • Candidatus Magisterii (Software Engineering), The National College for Teachers of Commerce, Norway
  • Adjunkt (Education), The National College for Teachers of Commerce, Norway
  • Diplomkandidat, NHI College of Computer Science, Norway