A Survey on Integrated IS and Competitive Advantage



Purpose of this paper: Using a large-scale sample survey where responses were obtained from CIOs and senior business executives, we provide robust evidence of the \"IT organizational assimilation capacity\" mediating role and propose a model

Design/methodology/approach: Based on theoretical proposition that IT business value is generated by the deployment of IT and complementary organizational resources, we develop a research model and propose two hypotheses. These are tested with a survey from 466 top managers in Italian companies. The research design included, as control variables, the size of the company. The 466 questionnaires were analyzed in two steps. In the first step, a series construct validations using factor analysis was performed in order to validate the scales. In the second step, a series of analysis using linear regression were performed between the two independent variables and the dependent variable to validate the mediator function of the IT organizational assimilation capacity.

Findings: Data suggest that most firms have not merged IS integration with the right complementary organizational resources. The findings also support the notion that competitive advantage do not arise from replicable resources, but from complex, firm-specific and intangible resources and capabilities. The findings help to explain why some firms struggle while others flourish with the same ITs, and why IT-based advantages tend to dissipate so rapidly

Research limitations/implications (if applicable): Managerial Implications: This research suggests that ITs do not merge themselves automatically with human and business resources. Evolving Leavitt's organization diamond (1965) and using our data, we can sustain that information systems, process, change, flexibility and training are interrelated and mutually adjusting, so when information systems is changed the other components often adjust to dump out the impact of the innovation.

Practical implications The proposed model can be used complimentary to the requirements methods offered by the IS development methodologies, to mitigate their inherent defects in addressing social, organizational and other non-technical issues, when developing a new IS.

What is original/value of paper: This paper proposes a model to be used complimentary to the requirements methods offered by the IS development methodologies


assimilation capacity, information system (IS) integration, EAI


Enterprise Application Integration


Journal of Enterprise Information Management, Vol. 23, #2, pp. 201-214, Zahir Irani, February 2010

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