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s41338797_phd_abstract.pdf Final Thesis Lodgement application/pdf 69.88KB 8
s41338797_phd_totalthesis.pdf Final Thesis Lodgement application/pdf 5.28MB 32
Author Acklesh Prasad
School, Centre or Institute School of Business
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2010-02
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Dr. Jon Heales
Professor Peter Green
Total pages 326
Total colour pages 19
Total black and white pages 307
Subjects 15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Abstract/Summary The rapid advancement and penetration of information technology (IT), amid continued questions over its benefits, has resulted in research efforts to understand the extent to which IT resources contribute to organisational performance. There is little question that the presence of IT contributes to organisational performance. Our understanding of how and where IT contributes to value in organisations, however, is limited. Current IT business value research advances the notion that firm’s IT-related capabilities ability to leverage their IT resources explains the IT-related performance differences across firms. Understanding the nature of the IT-related capabilities, and their relationship with IT resources can provide a better understanding of how organisations can make better use of their IT resources. IT resources are dynamic and change at a rapid pace. Current IT business value research suggests the firm’s IT-related capabilities at a point in time can source value from the IT resources. However, firms IT-related capabilities must demonstrate parallel dynamics to maximise their influence on their IT resources. In this dynamic resource relationship environment, firm’s ability to sustain a level of influence on their IT resources will determine the extent of IT resources’ value-creating ability. Using the resource-based view of the firm that suggest an organisation is a bundle of resources, and using a complementary theoretical lens, this study introduces a higher-level resource, co-created by combining two or more complementary resources. This higher-level resource is capable of contributing to business value on its own, and importantly, can help organisations sustain their existing IT-related capabilities. The sustainable IT-related capabilities will have a better influence on the IT resources and will source better IT-related business value. This higher-level resource can also help with the timing of IT investments, and can provide an environment where a firm’s technical IT skills can better integrate the IT resources into the business processes. On measurement of organisational performance, this study suggests that a unique combination of organisational resources creates an efficient and effective internal environment that then becomes a powerful tool to enhance the key external process of customer service. Such enhancements in process-level efficiency and effectiveness will carry forward to be recognised in overall firm-level performance. This study develops and tests a model that assesses the association between the two generic IT resources (IT investment and technical IT skills), three IT-related capabilities (top management commitment, shared organisational knowledge, and flexible IT infrastructure), and internal process-level performance. It also assesses whether the IT-Usage Platform, a higher-level co-created resource, on its own associates with, and enhances the generic IT resources’ and IT-related capabilities’ association with internal process-level performance. The study also proposes that improvement in internal process-level performance will be positively associated with external process-level performance of customer service. Firms that improve their internal and external process performance should also improve their firm-level performance. The results, as hypothesised, failed to reject the non-association between the generic IT resources and the internal process-level performance. The study, as predicted, found a positive association between the three IT-related capabilities, IT-Usage Platform, and the internal process-level performance. The IT-Usage Platform indeed enhances the association between the IT-related capabilities and internal process-level performance. The results also suggest that the association between the technical IT skills and internal process-level performance improves in the presence of the IT-Usage Platform. Firms’ improved internal process-level performance also relates to improvement in external process-level performance. Improvement in the internal-external process performance also contributes to performance at the firm level. For research, this study demonstrates that the complementarity and the resource-based view theories allow inclusion of a greater variety of resources in a bundle of capable resources that could be a source of IT-related business value. The complementary theoretical lens also enables one to consider firms’ higher-level resources, co-created from complementary resources. The result is a robust model with the flexibility to consider other forms of resource interactions that sustain firms existing IT-related capabilities. The model also enables comparison of IT and other organisational resources on a level-platform and allows for a deeper understanding of how organisations can better leverage their IT resources. The study also presents the internal-external coordination path of IT-related value creation. For decision makers this study reinforces the importance of the concept of a coordinated IT-related change to secure value from their IT investments. It also presents decision makers with a visual IT business value path from internal process benefits to external process benefits, and finally to firm-level benefits. This study suggests all organisational resources, through various combinations, could be a source of IT-related business value. Future research can consider resources that are at the boundary of capable/non-capable resources to evaluate whether firms various resource arrangements can make these resources more valuable in sourcing IT-related business value. This research also provides strong theoretical arguments to consider other higher-level factors that may have the potential to sustain firms existing IT-related capabilities.
Keyword information technology (IT)
business value
IT-related capabilities
IT-Usage Platform
business process performance
firm-level performance
resource-based view
complementarity theory
dynamic capabilities
internal-external process coordination
Additional Notes Color Pages: 160, 286, 300-303, 305-309, 317-318, 320-324 Landscape Pages: 169, 170-172, 193, 197, 206

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Created: Thu, 29 Jul 2010, 19:43:18 EST by Mr Acklesh Prasad on behalf of Library - Information Access Service