Professor David K Allen

Professor David K Allen



PhD in Information Management, The University of Sheffield
MSc in Information Systems Management, The University of Stirling


David is a Professor of Information Management in the Leeds University Business School and Director and Founder of the AIMTech Research Centre (  He has spent most of his academic life exploring information management practices and the influence of technology on organisational work. This has been facilitated by over 50 externally funded projects conducted with colleagues in the AIMTech Research Centre. David acted as PI on over 43 of these projects. His current work explores the following five areas:

1. New forms of digital infrastructure: David has been working on a number of sequential projects with industrial partners and policy partners to explore the development of a new form of digital infrastructure:  The Emergency Services Network. This infrastructure is an agglomeration of a number of components: a next generation network, new software services, new hardware and new business processes. His latest project in this area was funded by the Home Office. 

2. Developing Digital Platforms: Successful design and implementation of collaborative information systems remains an intractable problem for many organisations.  David is currently engaged in research to blend elements of Activity Theory and principles of participative design build digital platforms.

3. Evaluating new and emerging technologies: Evaluation of technology is a problematic area for both IS practitioners and researchers.  Working with Alistair Norman and Stan Karanasios, David initially developed a framework for using activity theory to provide a practical, coherent and pluralistic theoretical underpinning for IS evaluation: the Activity Systems Evaluation Framework. This has been developed iteratively over a number of projects in different contexts and is now being used and extended with Deloitte Digital in a national project to understand and evaluate the influence of mobile technology on work processes in policing. 

4. Information Quality and Self-Service Data Analytics: David is leading to a project to understand the organisational issues which influence organisational information behaviour in relation to input and creation of data. He is also working on a related project which focuses on the use of self-service data analytics. 

5. Activity Theory and engaged Scholarship: David uses Activity Theory within many of his research projects and is actively engaged in developing and extending the theory. This year he worked with colleagues to co-chair the EGOS track on Activity Theory and Formative Interventions, gave the keynote at the Workshop Developing Activity Theory in Information System and acted as a mentor at the Activity Theory Summer School (held in Sweden) with Clay Spinuzzi, Yrjö  Engeström, Annalisa Sannino and Stan Karanasios. 

His work has been published in leading information systems and management journals including the Management Information Systems Quarterly, the European Journal of Information Systems, the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, the Information Systems Journal, and Information Research Journal, Information Research and elsewhere.  David has a longstanding relationship with the University of Porto where he holds a visiting position. David is a Fellow of the British Computer Society.


  • Director AIMTech Research Centre

Research groups and institutes

  • Adaptation Information Management and Technology

Current postgraduate researchers