Associate Professor Don Kerr - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Associate Professor Don Kerr

PhD Griff., GCHEd Griff., BSc Griff., CertAg QldAgColl.

  • Associate Professor, Information Systems
  • USC Business School HDR Coordinator
+61 7 5459 4860
Office location
Sunshine Coast
Associate Professor Don Kerr

Don Kerr is an Associate Professor of Information Systems at USC and higher research degrees coordinator for the USC Business School. His research areas include intelligent decision support systems development, implementation and evaluation in the health informatics domain. He also has research interests in enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementations and is specifically interested in workarounds within the ERP environment and their effect on decision making. He has coined the term Feral Information Systems to explain the uncontrolled development of IT applications such as spreadsheets within organizations. Don is presently the immediate past president of the Australian Association of Information Systems (AAIS) and a past president of the Asian Pacific Decision Sciences Institute (APDSI). He is the secretary of the Australian Council of Professors and Heads of Information Systems (ACPHIS) as well as a senior member of the Australian Computer Society and the Decision Sciences Institute.

Don's PhD was multidisciplinary in nature in that it incorporated statistical and heuristics modelling with decision support development for the dairy industry. He has supervised a total of nine PhD students to completion.

Don has published over 100 peer reviewed research publications including 40 journal papers, 63 conference papers, 10 book chapters and two edited books.

Don has obtained over four million dollars in research grants, including four competitive ARC linkage grants from the Australian Research Council (ARC), two internal teaching grants from Griffith University, two seeding grants from USC, and seven industry grants — six from Dairy Australia and one from the Queensland Nursing Council.

Don worked as a principal research scientist for the Queensland Department of Primary Industries prior to joining academia in 2000. He has a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education and has published extensively in the teaching domain. He has a wide variety of teaching experience involving large first-year classes, second and third-year classes, honours and master’s level students and PhD completions. He is the assistant editor for the 'Journal of Information Systems Education'.

Don has undertaken 13 industry consultancies over the past 15 years.

Professional memberships

  • Senior member of the Australian Computer Society
  • Secretary of the Australian Council of Professors and Heads of School for Information Systems
  • Committee member and immediate past president of the Australasian chapter of the Association of Information Systems


These publications represent Don's top 10 research publications:

Spierings, A., Kerr, D. and Houghton, L. (accepted), Issues that support the creation of ICT workarounds: Towards a theoretical understanding of Feral Information Systems, Information Systems Journal.

Gibson, Trish, Kerr, D. and Fisher R., (2016), Accelerating supply chain management learning: Identifying enablers from a university-industry collaboration, Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, 21(4) pp. 470–484.

Houghton, L. and Kerr, D. (2015) Feral information systems creation as sensemaking systems, 3(4), pp. 330–347; doi:10.3390/systems3040330.

Blake, J. and Kerr, D. (2015), Streamlining patient consultations for sleep disorders with a knowledge-based CDSS, Information systems Information Systems, 56, March 2016, pp. 109–119.

Vichitvanichphong, S., Kerr, D., Ghapanchi, A.H., Scott-Parker, B. (2016), Good old gamers, good drivers:  Results from a correlational experiment among older drivers, Australasian Journal of Information Systems, 20.

Kerr, D. and Houghton, L. (2015), The dark side of ERP implementations: Narratives of domination, confusion and disruptive ambiguity Prometheus Critical Studies in Innovation.

Miah, S., Kerr, D. and von Hellens, L. (2014). A collective artefact design of decision support systems: Design science research perspective, Information Technology & People, 27(3) pp. 2–21.

Kerr, D.V., and Houghton, L. (2010), Just in time or Just in case: A case study on the impact of context in ERP implementations, Australasian Journal of Information Systems, 16(2) pp. 5–16.

Mackrell, D., Kerr, D.V. and von Hellens, L. (2009). A qualitative case study of the adoption and use of an agricultural decision support system in the Australian cotton industry: The sociotechnical view, Decision Support Systems, 47, pp. 143–153.

Kerr, D., Houghton, L. and Burgess K. (2007). Power relationships that lead to the development of feral systems, Australasian Journal of Information Systems, 14(2) pp. 141–152.

Kerr D.V. (2004) Factors influencing the development and adoption of knowledge based decision support systems for small, owner operated rural businesses, Artificial Intelligence Review, 22(2) pp. 127–147.

You can also visit Don's Google Scholar site at:

Student research projects (completed PhDs)

  • Robert Tybon, September 2004 – Generating solutions to the jigsaw problem
  • Marc Carter, December 2005 – A process for supporting natural resource management on farms: A case study in the Australian sub-tropical dairy industry
  • Dale Mackrell, September 2006 – Women as farm partners: Agricultural decision support systems in the Australian cotton industry
  • Lisa Soon, March 2008 – Knowledge renewal and knowledge creation in export trading
  • Shah Miah, November 2008 – An ontology based design environment for rural business decision support
  • Jeanette Van Akkren, 2009 – An epidemic of pain in an Australian radiology practice: Modelling, coding and operationalising the four dimensions of the Social Actor Framework
  • Bradley White, 2009 – Experimental development of automated search techniques for discrete combinatorial optimisation
  • Jacqui Blake, 2013 – Investigations into and development of an information system to support the diagnosis of sleep disorders by physicians

Potential research projects for HDR and Honours students

  • the use of technologies to reduce social isolation among older people
  • development and evaluation of clinical decision support systems
  • investigations into ICT workarounds
  • evaluation of assistive technologies for aged care

Research grants

Project name Investigators Funding body Year
ARC Linkage project LP0882065

Remote patient assessment using digital stethoscope for telehealth systems in Australia
Chief Investigators – A/Prof R Gururajan; Prof V Popovic; Dr DV Kerr; Mrs AM Scott; Mr C Moloney; Prof C Kesavan


Total – including in kind from industry partner and university A$1,364,962

ARC Linkage project LP0561724

Title - Investigations into and development of an intelligent decision support system for general practitioners in home-based sleep disorder diagnosis
Chief investigators – Don. Kerr, R. Gururajan University of Southern Queensland; T. A. Vuori Murdoch University; M.S. Khan Murdoch University; C. Moloney Toowoomba Health Service District


Total – including in kind from industry partner and university - A$332,044 – Commenced March 2006

ARC Linkage project LP0455115

Title – A generic decision-making design environment to enable end users in rural industries to develop expert systems
Chief investigators – John Gammack, Don Kerr, and Tom Cowan.
Host organisation – Griffith University


Total – including in kind from industry partner and university - A$201,373 – in the second year

ARC Linkage project C49937045

Title – Participatory development with dairy farmers of information/expert systems for optimising production and resource management practices on sub-tropical dairy farms
Chief investigators – Tom Cowan, Don Kerr, T Gardiner and B. Frank
Host organisation – University of Queensland


Total – including in kind from industry partner A$183,884 – completed 2002

Queensland Nursing Council (experienced researcher) – A study into the factors of adoption of wireless technology for rural nursing Chief Investigator - Clint Moloney
Co-Investigator A – Associate Professor Raj Gururajan
Co-Investigator B – Associate Professor Jeffrey Soar
Co-Investigator C – Dr. Don Kerr


In kind contributions are absorbed by Queensland Health – commenced May 2006

UNGR10061 – Analysis of the national land and water resources audit and other survey data to determine the relationship between environmental best management practices and profitability of Australian dairy farms Chief investigator – Don Kerr. Postgraduate student to analyse national dairy farm survey data
Dairy Australia stipend
Host organisation - Griffith University

(A$21,000 stipend per year for 3 years plus A$30,000 operating expenses)

Total funding A$93,000 from DRDC
Completed 2004

DAQ-174 - Development of a knowledge based decision support system for strategic decision making on dairy farms Chief investigator - Don Kerr
Host organisation – Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Griffith University


Griffith University - A$57,558 – carried over
A$74,000 from DRDC
A$24,000 from Queensland state government (smart state initiative). A$116,000 in kind from DPI

DRDC-104 – Development of a common digital library of dairy information to enhance decision making of dairy managers Chief investigator – Geoff Johnston
Collaborator – Don Kerr Griffith University
Host organisation – Queensland Department of Primary Industries

(A$150,000)Queensland Department of Primary Industries
Completed 2003

STDP – 001 Improved resource use and management practices to achieve environmental and production efficiency benefits on subtropical dairy farms Chief investigator – Dr David Gramshaw, Brad Silver, Helen Patton and Glen Chopping Collaborator – Don Kerr Griffith University
Host organisation – Queensland Department of Primary Industries

(A$858,610) Queensland Department of Primary Industries and the Department of Natural Resources total in kind A$1,500,000
Completed 2004

STDP small grant (no reference number given) Development, implementation and analysis of a survey of dairy farms in northern Australia Chief Investigator – Don Kerr
Host organisation – Queensland Department of Primary Industries

External Sub Tropical Dairy Program fund (A$5,000). In kind Industry commitment to the project estimated to be A$50,000
Completed 1999

DAQ – 77 Development of whole farm predictive models for the northern Australian dairy industry Chief investigator - Don Kerr
Host organisation – Queensland Department of Primary Industries

External DRDC funds (A$13,000). In kind Industry Commitment estimated to be A$120,450
Completed 1993


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Research areas

  • aged care – the adoption of assistive technologies for in-home aged care
  • research into workarounds within enterprise resource planning systems implementations
  • health informatics with emphasis on decision tool development and adoption
  • analytics development and use of intelligent decision support systems for aged care and other health applications
  • studies on the adoption of decision support systems
  • studies into loneliness and social isolation with older people living at home

Teaching areas

  • Information and Communication Technologies Professional Practice and Ethics
  • Master of Business Administration and Executive Master of Business Administration – Introduction to Informatics
  • Information Systems Management Issues
  • Business Information Systems
  • Management Support Systems
  • Enterprise Systems Integration

Associate Professor Don Kerr's specialist areas of knowledge include information technology, communication and technology, information systems, business information systems, management support systems, human resource information systems, business process models, distributed decision support systems, enterprise systems integration, knowledge management, data analysis of survey data, development of statistical models, intelligent decision support systems, enterprise resource planning

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