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Exploring the Important Role of Organizational Factors in IT Business Value: Taking a Contingency Perspective on the Resource-Based View

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email: frank.wiengarten@esade.edu

Abstract

Despite the importance to researchers and practitioners of how information technology (IT) contributes to organizational performance, there is an ongoing debate about the extent of IT business value (ITBV) and how to measure ITBV. Recently, a number of researchers have applied resource-based view (RBV) and contingency theory to investigating ITBV, with mixed results. Researchers have started to recognize that ITBV is closely associated with the synergies created from IT and a variety of complementary organizational factors, which might be an alternative way to explain these mixed results. Through a review of the literature, this paper assesses the current level of knowledge in ITBV research. It identifies that significant progress has been made in the research domain, but that in-depth inquiry into ITBV is still needed. Based on RBV and contingency theory, a research framework has been developed. The framework suggests that firms might be able to gain significant performance improvements if IT resources are in alignment with additional organizational factors (i.e. organizational strategy, organizational process, organizational culture, organizational structure). The authors believe that this framework will be valuable in assisting researchers and practitioners in understanding the complex ITBV process.

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