Professor of Information Systems
Organizational Leadership and Information Analytics

Koelbel - 455


Kai R. Larsen is a 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, An Associate Editor of MIS Quarterly, 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 was published by Oxford University Press in 2021. He was named as one of the 75 leading Academic Data Leaders of 2022 by CDO Magazine along with some of the world’s best computer scientists, and one of the 50 Best Undergraduate Business Professors of 2023 by Poets and Quants.

Kai has published papers in top journals of three disciplines, and his paper with Lee and Kozar is one of the top 5 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.

Kai earned a degree in pedagogics and has developed several novel approaches to teaching, many of which have been adopted by other faculty worldwide. Innovations include hands-on workstations to teach network design and management, book writing and publishing by undergraduate students, an accessible book on automated machine learning published by Oxford University Press, and a whole tech infrastructure for teaching business analytics, including a karate-belt system breaking down the skills, a website tracking student progress, client-side software, problem sets, server-side software grading student submissions, and a booklet guiding the students, all available at  He sees undergraduates as worthy and capable collaborators for research and has guided over 50 students through research funded by UROP, NSF, and NIH. He has won several Leeds, CU, and Worldwide teaching awards for his teaching innovations and passion for student accomplishment.

Kai has several non-noteworthy accomplishments. He is the best Sulfur-crested Cockatoo trainer on his street (but also the only parrot owner), he voice-acted in The Atlantis II Disney Movie (but no one saw it), and at 23 he was on a team with Elon Musk for an entrepreneurship competition (but lost out to the “foldable cabin”).


  • Association for Information Systems Education Innovation Award for 2023
  • Poets and Quants 50 Best Undergraduate Business Professors of 2023 (Whole List)
  • David B. Balkin and Rosalind and Chester Barnow Endowed Innovative Teaching Award for 2023, Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • National Institutes of Health, one year $355,000 grant to build an ontology of stress in collaboration with Don Edmondson of Columbia University Medical School. 2022-2023.
  • The Kolb Teaching Award for 2022, Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award 2021-2022, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Herbert A. Simon Award for the Best Design Research Paper at the International Conference on Design Science Research in Information Systems and Technology (DESRIST) for 2020, “Validity in Design Science Research” (with Lukyanenko, Muller, Storey, VanderMeer, Parsons, and Hovorka).
  • Best Paper Award for Association of Information Systems Americas Conference (AMCIS) for 2020, "Creating Construct Distance Maps with Machine Learning: Stargazing Trust" (with Gefen, Petter, and Eargle).
  • INFORMS ISS Design Science Award for 2019 (with Jingjing Li and Ahmed Abbasi).
  • Best Prototype Award, WITS, for TheoryOn: An Ontology-Based Search Engine (with Jingjing Li and Ahmed Abbasi). 2016.
  • Association for Information Systems, Technology Challenge Award. 2015.
  • Boulder Faculty Assembly Excellence in Teaching Award, 2006
  • Joseph L. Franscona Teaching Excellence Award, 2005


  • Professor, Information Systems, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Agder, Norway. 2020- 

  • Fellow, Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado, Boulder. 2018-

  • Research Advisor, the Gallup Organization. 2018-

  • Associate Professor, Information Science. 2015-

Recent Papers and Books

  • Larsen, K.R. (2023), “Feeding, Observing, and Changing the Machine: The New Role of Researchers in the Era of Artificial General Intelligence?” in Andrew Burton-Jones “Editing Innovation in MIS Quarterly,” MIS Quarterly, 47(3) pp. vii-ix.
  • Dwivedi, Yogesh K., et al. "“So what if ChatGPT wrote it?” Multidisciplinary perspectives on opportunities, challenges and implications of generative conversational AI for research, practice and policy." International Journal of Information Management 71 (2023): 102642.
  • Kai R. Larsen and Daniel Becker, Automated Machine Learning for Business Accepted for Publication: Oxford University Press (2021).
  • Jingjing Li, Kai R. Larsen, and Ahmed Abbasi (2020), TheoryOn: A Design Framework and System for Unlocking Behavioral Knowledge Through Ontology Learning, MIS Quarterly.
  • Kai R. Larsen, Dirk Hovorka, Jevin West, Alan Dennis (2019), 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