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Keywords:

  • IT investment;
  • board independence;
  • foreign ownership;
  • firm performance;
  • firm size;
  • industry competitiveness

Abstract

Prior studies have reported mixed findings on the impact of corporate information technology (IT) investment on firm performance. This study investigates the effect of corporate governance, an important management control mechanism, on the relation between IT investment and firm performance in the Taiwanese electronics industry. Specifically, we explore board independence and foreign ownership, which have increasingly become salient factors concerning corporate governance in emerging markets. We address their roles across firms of different sizes and in industries where degrees of competitiveness run a wide gamut. Our results show a positive moderating effect of board independence on the IT investment-firm performance relation, especially when competition intensifies. Furthermore, we find that the greater the foreign ownership in small firms, the more positive the IT investment-firm performance relation, suggesting that foreign investors may bring IT expertise to help small firms reap the benefits of using IT. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.