scispace - formally typeset
Search or ask a question
Journal ArticleDOI

A literature overview on strategic information systems planning

01 Dec 2008-Social Science Research Network (Münster: Westf. Wilhelms-Univ.)-
Abstract: Strategic Information Systems Planning (SISP) has been among the highest ranked issues on management agendas for many years. As such, SISP should be a major concern for researchers as well. However, SISP does not play that important of a role in the academic discussion, at least in Germany. Leading German textbooks on Information Management devote only small sections to strategy themes. Moreover, the recommendations given for conducting SISP in these textbooks are mainly normative and hardly take international research findings into account. Taking this as a motivation, we conducted a comprehensive literature review of German and Anglo-American information systems journals. Our objective was to understand more fully what we know about SISP through international research. On the flip side, our research aims at identifying fields that are in urgent need for closer academic investigation so that individual speculations and normative recommendations might still substitute for valid research insights. Overall, we found a considerable amount of research conducted in the field of SISP that we organised in five broad thematic fields: Strategic IT impact, approaches to SISP, information systems strategy, and strategic alignment. We give a short overview of research conducted so far and seminal publications available in the research fields. Moreover, based on a sub-sample of our literature base, we compute statistics which indicate the intensity of the academic discussion in the different thematic fields over time. Our statistics show that most attention has been paid to the competitive use of IT. The IS strategy in contrast has only been of limited interest, though it is central to any strategic considerations in IS. Our survey also suggests that German speaking researchers have devoted relatively few efforts to SISP in comparison to their Anglo- American colleagues.

Summary (5 min read)

1 Motivation and Introduction

  • Strategic thinking about information technology (IT) emerged in the 1980s when IT changed its role from an automation tool to a facilitator and, ultimately, an enabler of business.
  • But, with rising strategic concerns in IT, a new type of IT manager emerged: the so called “Chief Information Officer” (CIO).
  • This is particularly true for English textbooks such as [WaPe05] or [GaLe03].
  • But even those parts of the text that are claimed to address strategic questions cover more general themes such as technology management, communication management, quality management, security management, innovation management, knowledge management, and controlling.
  • The perceived incongruence between research on SISP, textbook knowledge and practice led us to review the academic discussion on SISP again.

2 Objectives and Methodology of the Literature Study

  • This overview is intended to describe the field of SISP research and provide some insight into its maturity.
  • The authors review follows the general guidelines for literature reviews [WeWa02; Fett06].
  • In order to obtain an adequate coverage of the most prominent IS journals, the authors extended their database search to further resources including Proquest ABI, Science Direct and the online database of the Association of Information Systems (AIS).
  • Somewhat surprisingly, the authors found that none of the two journals of the Association of Information Systems added to SISP research while a third journal, the Journal of Strategic Information Systems, was a rather fertile source.
  • The second and third columns represent the starting years and starting volumes of their manual lookup:.

3 Development of the Academic Debate

  • The time frame for their study begins in the late 1970s with the evolving discussion on the Management of IT/IS in general and SISP in particular, and ends in 2006.
  • Figure 1 depicts the resulting frequency distribution of publications on SISP in relative frequencies.
  • For the purpose of computing relative frequencies, the authors have counted the overall number of articles published in the journals of their sample.
  • Potential explanations for this will be given on a more granular level in the following section (Section 4).

4 Towards a Knowledge Map

  • The authors aimed at a classification scheme with only a limited number of categories on the top level, and a second level which allows for differentiating these main categories in subcategories where needed.
  • The authors looked through the abstracts of all publications and outlined their contents with a few keywords.
  • The authors also took a closer look at the main text when necessary.
  • The classification process led us to identify five different areas of SISP research, the dominant research area being the “strategic impact of IT”.
  • This question is in the core of the research field of “Strategic Alignment”, which also takes a substantial part of the discussion on SISP.

4.1 Strategic Impact of IT

  • Previously, IT was mainly used to automate existing processes and facilitate paper work.
  • But in the late 1970s, a number of cases showed that IT also had the potential to change the firm’s products or the way a firm competes within its industry, which gave rise to the notion of “Strategic Information Systems” (SIS).
  • SISs were looked upon as systems with specific characteristics that provided firms with a competitive edge.
  • Over time, this early notion of SIS vanished in favour of more theoretical explanations for IT’s impact on competitive advantage.

4.1.1 Strategic Information Systems

  • The dominant research method was the case study.
  • SIS remained a dominant concern in the academic debate throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, even spawning a journal of the same title in 1991, the “Journal for Strategic Information Systems” (Table 2).
  • Using “IT as a competitive weapon” then became the prevailing idea [Pars83; IvLe84].
  • These publications were authored by both academics and as well as consultants.

4.1.2 IT and Competitive Advantage

  • The subject of IT and competitive advantage is rooted in the discussion on Strategic Information Systems of the 1980s, and it cannot be properly demarcated from the SIS discussion.
  • The discussion had its peak in the late 1980s and the early 1990s, but still continues today on a lower level of intensity.
  • A comparison of both lines indicates that more than 50% of all publications in the field of SISP contribute to the discussion on the strategic impact of IT (with multiple attributions possible).
  • The discussion on IT and competitive advantage is heavily driven by managerial planning theory and, more particularly, by theories of competition.
  • In addition, there is a fourth position which denies the strategic relevance of IT.

Market Based View

  • The Market Based View (MBV) emerged from Porter’s adaptation of principles in the field of Industrial Organisation to the field of Management Studies [Port80].
  • His well-known Five-Forces-Model highlights the forces that shape the power balance in an industry and that can be influenced in favour of the firm or to its disadvantage.
  • It has been acknowledged early on in Management Studies that IT plays a vital role in changing the industry power balance.
  • Accordingly, this topic has been a matter of an intensive debate from the middle of the 1980s onwards [PoMi85; BaTr86].
  • The Resource Based View on IT and competitive advantage (see below) refines such thinking in terms of corporate resources.

Resource Based View

  • While the MBV can be regarded as the classical perspective of explaining IT enabled competitive advantage, more recent work recognises the resource based perspective as a more sub- stantial way to explain sustainability of such advantages [MaFB95; WaHu04; PiIv2005].
  • Adherents of the RBV admit that resources conceptually “remain an amorphous heap” [Wern95, p. 172].
  • While resources are identified with more physical assets, capabilities are defined as the “capacity to deploy resources, usually in combination, using organizational processes, to effect a desired end” [AmSh93, p. 35].
  • It has been well acknowledged that IT resources are a fundamental prerequisite for delivering IT enabled strategies.
  • [PoDe97] distinguish complementary resources in human and organisational resources.

Dynamic Capability View

  • The Dynamic Capability View (DCV) builds on the RBV but criticises it at the same time for not recognising the dynamic nature of both the resources and the competitive environment.
  • Hence, the intensity and continuity of learning are crucial to building dynamic IT capabilities [BhGr05; TiSo03; PiIv05].
  • Commodity View IT’s power to provide firms with competitive advantages was an unchallenged assumption for IS research and practice until recently, when Nicholas Carr’s assertion that “IT Doesn’t Matter” gave rise to much controversy.
  • Instead, Carr views IT as an infrastructure technology and compares it to railroad and telegraphs, whose benefits are also accessible to anyone and hence do not provide competitive advantage [Carr03].
  • This lack of support is partly due to measurement problems [Pott98].

4.2 SISP Approach

  • The discussion on IT and competitive advantage highlighted the strategic impact of IT.
  • At the same time, it emphasized the need for deliberately planning strategic IT/IS investments [PeWa04].
  • These include comprehensiveness, formalisation, vertical flow, and participation [SeGr99; SaKi95; Pybu82].
  • The SISP approach is at the heart of the academic discussion on SISP .

4.2.1 SISP Methods

  • Conducting SISP is a complex and difficult endeavour for managers who are in charge of it.
  • Prominent methodologies from consulting practice include IBM’s Business Systems Planning [Zach82], James Martin’s Strategic Information Planning [MaLe89; Teub03], or Method/1 by the now defunct Arthur Anderson [LeGa92].
  • These methodologies strongly build on formal modelling techniques borrowed from Software Engineering that are integrated throughout the whole SISP process: from planning objectives to defining IS projects.
  • Some of them have been proposed in textbooks [Wise85; Gall88; Hein05] and from there found their way into research papers.
  • Until now, there has been only preliminary insight into the effectiveness and the specificity of the different methodologies [LeSe88; BeBL91; FlGo93].

4.2.2 SISP Process

  • SISP methodologies can be regarded as being comprised of two interrelated features: techniques and process [Bake95, 69; Teub05].
  • In an early understanding, the SISP process was interpreted as the process of “SIS-Planning”, i.e. planning for competitive IS (e.g., [King78; Wise85]).
  • In the 1980s, when the option generating methods proposed by academics received wider attention, a more proactive stance was taken.
  • When the ideas of business process reengineering became popular in the 1990s, extraordinary attention was also paid to the impact of IT on business process- es. Planning concerns widened from purely competitive concerns to the organisation’s overall structure and processes [Gall93b; Earl98].
  • SISP also shifted from reactive top-down planning to proactively identifying opportunities to leverage the organisation through IT [KiTe00].

4.2.3 SISP Organisation

  • Closely related to the SISP process is the question of how to organise the activities involved in SISP.
  • Apart from IT/IS management, the following participants have been proposed to be involved in SISP (compare [SaKi95; Earl93]): top management [Ruoh91; FlGo93], end user representatives [HaKa99], and line managers [Repo94; Heck03].
  • Assigning the role of a “sponsor” to top management [Mart89] implies that IS/IT initiatives need support from top management level while top management is not expected to actively participate in the initiatives.
  • Depending on the composition of the committee, authority can be shared and weighted between different groups in the organisation.
  • The authors further investigate the effectiveness of the different IT governance mechanisms in four strategic decision areas (compare Table 7): IT principles, IT standards, the IT infrastructure, the application needs of the business, and investments in IT/IS.

4.2.4 Success of Different SISP Approaches

  • The study by [RoWe04] uses measures for the performance of the whole organisation as indicators and proxies for the success of different SISP governance mechanisms.
  • A first stream of research on the SISP approach has investigated success factors for conducting SISP.
  • Success factors are broadly defined in this context as “necessary conditions for successful SISP” [Earl93 5f.].
  • The use of a planning procedure, and the right choices for it, is also important.
  • External conditions are factors outside the organisation such as information intensity of the industry or stability of markets.

4.3 Information Systems Strategy

  • While the process of SISP has received quite some attention in academic research, its outcome, the information systems strategy (ISS) and its content, has been widely neglected so far [TeAn00].
  • The authors found that only one of every eight papers in their sample was concerned with the IS strategy itself .
  • Hence, rather than looking at definitions, the authors have tried to discern concepts of ISS instead.
  • The authors have discerned three different concepts: IS strategy as the “use of IS to support business strategy,” the “master plan of IS function” and the “shared view of the IS role within the organization".

4.4 Strategic Alignment

  • Generally speaking, alignment is concerned with “bringing together” business and IT.
  • [Smac01] asserts that IT is persuasive in business and thus should not be conceptualised as being separate from it.
  • While the term “strategic alignment” was used only sporadically in the 1980s, it became a common term in the 1990s.
  • The time when Henderson and Venkatraman first published their seminal article on this model [HeVe93] also marked the beginning of an intensified academic debate .
  • While acknowledging the unidirectional top down integration of business and IS strategy, the authors argue that this ‘traditional’ way of alignment might be inappropriate in some planning situations.

4.5 Strategy Implementation

  • Strategy implementation has received by far the least attention in the SISP discussion .
  • Ward and Peppard [WaPe02, p. 127] make the point when stating: “Despite an understanding of the importance of strategic planning for IS, in the past decade many organizations have developed perfectly sensible IS strategies that have been left to gather dust, or have been implemented in a half-hearted manner (…)”.
  • A study of Norwegian organisations revealed that after five years only 42% of the projects that were defined in the strategy had been implemented [Gott99b].
  • Others find the most important barriers in vanishing peer commitment, ill-defined responsibilities, and problems in measuring benefits [EnHG01; Wils91].
  • A software project manager may have the authority to ensure successful software development while having problems enforcing organisational changes in the business units necessary for successful software implementation and embedding.

5 Conclusions and Desiderata for Future Research

  • The discussion on SISP started in the early 1980s, peaked in the 1990s, and has declined thereafter.
  • The knowledge map developed in this report may act as a basis for finding blind spots in the academic debate.
  • Business strategy and strategy planning have implications for the SISP approach, IS strategy itself, and the impact of IS strategy.
  • If this is at least partly correct for SISP research, a better understanding of the IS strategy, i.e. the “what” to achieve, could well stimulate further research on the process, i.e. the “how” to achieve the “what”.
  • Theoretical deficits such as this certainly present a barrier for SISP research [LeSa96].

Did you find this useful? Give us your feedback

Content maybe subject to copyright    Report

ERCIS – European Research Center for Information Systems
Editors: J. Becker, K. Backhaus, H. L. Grob, T. Hoeren, S. Klein,
H. Kuchen, U. Müller-Funk, U. W. Thonemann, G. Vossen
Working Paper No. 6
ISSN 1614-7448
Working Papers
A Literature Overview on
Strategic Information
Systems Planning
Rolf Alexander Teubner, Martin Mocker
Teubner, R. A.¸ Mocker, M.: A Literature Overview on Strategic Information System
Planning. Working Paper No. 6, European Research Center for Information
Systems. Eds.: Becker, J. et al., Münster 2008.


1
Contents
Working Paper Sketch.................................................................................................................... 4
1 Motivation and Introduction ..................................................................................................... 5
2 Objectives and Methodology of the Literature Study .............................................................. 7
3 Development of the Academic Debate ................................................................................. 10
4 Towards a Knowledge Map .................................................................................................. 11
4.1 Strategic Impact of IT .................................................................................................. 11
4.1.1 Strategic Information Systems ...................................................................... 12
4.1.2 IT and Competitive Advantage ...................................................................... 13
4.2 SISP Approach ........................................................................................................... 18
4.2.1 SISP Methods ................................................................................................ 19
4.2.2 SISP Process ................................................................................................ 20
4.2.3 SISP Organisation ......................................................................................... 21
4.2.4 Success of Different SISP Approaches ......................................................... 22
4.3 Information Systems Strategy ..................................................................................... 24
4.4 Strategic Alignment ..................................................................................................... 26
4.5 Strategy Implementation ............................................................................................. 27
5 Conclusions and Desiderata for Future Research ................................................................ 29
Literature ...................................................................................................................................... 31

2
List of Figures
Figure 1: Frequency distribution of SISP publications ................................................................ 10
Figure 2: Share of publication devoted to each knowledge domain ........................................... 11
Figure 3: Share of publications on IT and competitive advantage over time .............................. 13
Figure 4: Sample IT impacts on Porter’s competitive forces ....................................................... 14
Figure 5: Share of publications on SISP approach over time ..................................................... 18
Figure 6: Contingency model of SISP success ........................................................................... 22
Figure 7: Share of publications information strategy contents over time .................................... 24
Figure 8: Share of publications on Strategic Alignment over time .............................................. 27
Figure 9: Research framework .................................................................................................... 30

3
List of Tables
Table 1: Top ranked international IS journals covered by the databases ..................................... 7
Table 2: Anglo-American journals manually reviewed .................................................................. 8
Table 3: Sampling process ............................................................................................................ 8
Table 4: Exemplary SIS success stories ..................................................................................... 12
Table 5: IT resources in literature ............................................................................................... 16
Table 6: Exemplary SISP impact methods.................................................................................. 19
Table 7: Activities covered by traditional SISP methodologies ................................................... 20
Table 8: SISP governance .......................................................................................................... 21
Table 9: Operationalisation of constructs of the contingency model of SISP success ............... 23
Table 10: Conceptions of IS strategy prevailing in academic literature ...................................... 25
Table 11: Enablers and inhibitors to information strategy implementation ................................. 28

Citations
More filters
Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This Special Issue of The Journal of Strategic Information Systems explores information systems strategy and strategizing from a practice perspective and the emergence of a body of research that focuses on strategizing or the ‘doing of strategy’.
Abstract: The ‘‘rigor versus relevance’’ debate and the questioning of the practical relevance of much contemporary research are recurring themes not just in the field of Information Systems (IS) (Straub and Ang, 2011; Klein and Rowe, 2008; Roseman and Vessey, 2008) but in the wider field of management (c.f. Kieser and Leiner, 2009; Knights and Scarbrough, 2010; Mohrman et al., 2001; Nicolai and Seidl, 2010; Moisander and Stenfors, 2009; Shrivastava, 1987). In IS in particular, this has led to some scholars questioning the practical value of much of the published research (cf. Benbasat and Zmud, 1999; Desouza et al., 2006; Keen, 1991; Lyytinen, 1999; Senn, 1998). A central premise of the arguments these protagonists present is that much research draws on methods that are inappropriate to the applied nature of the discipline (Breu and Peppard, 2003; Galliers and Land, 1987, 1988). The foundation of this argument reflects the social sciences ‘practice turn’ that sees all knowledge as existing within the fields of practice (Schatzki et al., 2001). In philosophy, the turn to pragmatism similarly values knowledge through practitioners’ eyes and places the practitioner at the center of theory development (Putnam, 1995; Rorty, 1998). This movement toward practical relevance prefers concrete micro actions rather than abstract macro analysis. People and knowledge that make a difference in practice are thus, or at least should be, central to research endeavours. In line with these arguments, the Strategic Management field has seen the emergence of a body of research that focuses on strategizing or the ‘doing of strategy’ (Jarzabkowski, 2004; Jarzabkowski and Spee, 2009; Jarzabkowski et al., 2007; Johnson et al., 2003a,b, 2007; Whittington, 1996, 2002a,b, 2006). Often referred to as the ‘‘Strategy as Practice’’ school, it emphasizes the actual day-to-day activities, contexts, processes and content that relate to strategic outcomes. This move towards a more micro perspective is in response to growing frustrations with contemporary strategy literature regarding its relevance to practitioners. Part of the problem is that there has been a dominant macro focus in strategic management research that is remote from practice, particularly the normative models resulting from it. Research in the Strategy as Practice genre emphasizes how people engage in the ‘real work’ of developing a strategy and strategizing. In addressing strategy as practice, the focus of research is on strategy praxis, strategy practitioners and strategy practices (e.g., Jarzabkowski et al., 2007; Whittington, 2002a) – the work, workers and tools of strategy in other words. In line with this movement, this Special Issue of The Journal of Strategic Information Systems explores information systems strategy and strategizing from a practice perspective. Reflecting the arguments for research relevance, the call for papers echoed Lee’s (2010: 346) recent comment that ‘‘the starting point of IS research need not be the existing theory (primarily epistêmê) located in the IS discipline’s own (or any other) research literature; rather, the starting point could be the technê

173 citations


Cites background from "A literature overview on strategic ..."

  • ...E-mail address: rgalliers@bentley.edu Alan Thorogood...

    [...]

  • ...Moreover, less attention has been paid to implementation issues in IS strategy discussions (Teubner and Mocker, 2008)....

    [...]

Book
01 Jan 1996
TL;DR: In this article, the authors measured business strategic orientation, IS strategic orientation and IS strategic alignment, and investigated their implications for perceived IS effectiveness and business performance, and found that IS alignment is a better predictor of IS effectiveness than is strategic orientation.
Abstract: Information systems strategic alignment---the fit between business strategic orientation and information systems (IS) strategic orientation---is an important concept. This study measured business strategic orientation, IS strategic orientation, and IS strategic alignment, and investigated their implications for perceived IS effectiveness and business performance. Analyses of data gathered in a mail survey of North American financial services and manufacturing firms indicated that 1) business strategic orientation, IS strategic orientation, and IS strategic alignment are modeled best by utilizing holistic, ‘systems’ approaches instead of dimension-specific, ‘bivariate’ approaches, 2) three generic IS strategic orientations can be detected, 3) user information satisfaction does not capture important strategic aspects of IS effectiveness, 4) IS strategic alignment is a better predictor of IS effectiveness than is strategic orientation, and 5) business strategic orientation, IS strategic alignment, and IS effectiveness have positive impacts on business performance.

100 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
16 Jul 2013
TL;DR: The paper depicts the current state of IS strategy research with the aim of identifying research needs as well as appropriate ways to study IS strategy in the future and sheds light on current practice as uncovered in case-study research and through in-depth interviews with IS strategy professionals.
Abstract: The paper depicts the current state of IS strategy research with the aim of identifying research needs as well as appropriate ways to study IS strategy in the future. To this end, the paper introduces the results of an extensive analysis of academic literature on IS-strategy. In addition, it sheds light on current practice as uncovered in case-study research and through in-depth interviews with IS strategy professionals. A comparison reveals that the issues prevalent in practice and the ones traditionally focused on in the academic debate on IS strategy often vary considerably. A conspicuous attempt to fill this is the so-called “Strategizing” framework put forward by Robert Galliers. This framework, which is receiving increasing attention in the current academic debate, calls for a practice turn in IS strategy research in that it treats strategy as something people or, more precisely, IS strategists do. In addition, by identifying the challenges and problems IS strategists are faced with, the framework intends to better reflect the new planning conditions which are often seen as characteristics of the information age. The framework distinguishes three general problem domains of IS strategizing: exploration, exploitation, as well as implementation and change management.

79 citations


Cites background or methods from "A literature overview on strategic ..."

  • ...The review includes publications from the beginnings of IS strategy research in the 1970s up to 2005 (Teubner and Mocker 2008; Chen et al. 2010)....

    [...]

  • ...In our studies of the academic literature on IS strategy (Teubner and Mocker 2008; Chen et al. 2010), we were able to identify four different “mental concepts” (Laurence and Margolis 1999): First, IS strategy is seen as the basic disposition towards IT, or the generally accepted role of IT in the company....

    [...]

  • ...In our studies of the academic literature on IS strategy (Teubner and Mocker 2008; Chen et al. 2010), we were able to identify four different “mental concepts” (Laurence and Margolis 1999): First, IS strategy is seen as the basic disposition towards IT, or the generally accepted role of IT in the…...

    [...]

  • ...Figure 1 depicts the publication activity as a distribution graph using data collected in a comprehensive literature study which investigated publications from 10 leading Anglo-American and five German IS journals beginning in the 1970s (Teubner and Mocker 2008)....

    [...]

  • ...An analysis of the content reveals that the majority of SISP publications deal with the question of whether and how companies are able to gain a competitive advantage through the application of IT (Teubner and Mocker 2008)....

    [...]

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A multidimensional framework of potential practical relevance is developed and used to conduct a multimethod descriptive review of 109 IS strategy papers published over the past 10 years in top IS journals.
Abstract: While studies suggest that IS strategy is an important topic for practitioners, in-depth explorations of the potential practical relevance of this research area are lacking. In this paper, we develop a multidimensional framework of potential practical relevance and use it to conduct a multimethod descriptive review of 109 IS strategy papers published over the past 10 years in top IS journals. The framework contributes to the IS literature by synthesizing various characteristics that make a research project conducive to being practically relevant. The review highlights how IS strategy research has offered the potential for practical relevance in the past and recommends opportunities to increase this, especially in the digitalization era.

49 citations


Cites background or methods or result from "A literature overview on strategic ..."

  • ...First, we add to prior studies on the state of practical relevance in IS (e.g., Taylor et al., 2010) and ISS (Teubner and Mocker, 2008) by providing a more detailed and updated analysis....

    [...]

  • ...Accordingly, like some prior studies of IS relevance (Srivastava and Teo, 2005; Teubner and Mocker, 2008), we focus on research published in top...

    [...]

  • ...Accordingly, like some prior studies of IS relevance (Srivastava and Teo, 2005; Teubner and Mocker, 2008), we focus on research published in top tier scholarly journals....

    [...]

  • ...(2010) as it provides a balanced coverage and parsimony in identifying some core subtopics, which facilitates the organization of our review, and also because it has been used in other reviews of ISS relevance (Teubner and Mocker, 2008)....

    [...]

  • ...…et al., 2012; Renaud et al., 2016), we draw from Chen et al. (2010) as it provides a balanced coverage and parsimony in identifying some core subtopics, which facilitates the organization of our review, and also because it has been used in other reviews of ISS relevance (Teubner and Mocker, 2008)....

    [...]

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: An in-depth, extensive review of the academic literature on IT/IS strategy, time-framed to the years 2008–2018, distils five different directions in the development of IT/ IS strategy research and presents an emerging debate on how digitalization challenges traditional IT/is strategy wisdom.
Abstract: IT/IS strategy is of central importance to practice and many well-developed lines of research have contributed to our understanding of IT/IS strategy. However, throughout the last decade, digitalization has fundamentally transformed the business world and put into question traditional strategy wisdom. As information technologies are the driver of this digital transformation, we can expect an even more fundamental change in IT/IS strategy thinking. To verify this expectation, we undertook an in-depth, extensive review of the academic literature on this topic. Our review, which is time-framed to the years 2008–2018, distils five different directions in the development of IT/IS strategy research. It also identifies a shift in how IT/IS strategy is defined and investigated over this period. Moreover, we present an emerging debate on how digitalization challenges traditional IT/IS strategy wisdom. As this debate is still in its infancy, we take it further by entering into the larger discussion on digitalization, including digital innovation, digital ecosystems, and digital transformation. Building on this, we derive at deeper insights on how IT/IS strategy could, should, or should better not be understood in the digital age.

41 citations

References
More filters
Book ChapterDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors examined the link between firm resources and sustained competitive advantage and analyzed the potential of several firm resources for generating sustained competitive advantages, including value, rareness, imitability, and substitutability.

46,648 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The dynamic capabilities framework as mentioned in this paper analyzes the sources and methods of wealth creation and capture by private enterprise firms operating in environments of rapid technological change, and suggests that private wealth creation in regimes of rapid technology change depends in large measure on honing intemal technological, organizational, and managerial processes inside the firm.
Abstract: The dynamic capabilities framework analyzes the sources and methods of wealth creation and capture by private enterprise firms operating in environments of rapid technological change. The competitive advantage of firms is seen as resting on distinctive processes (ways of coordinating and combining), shaped by the firm's (specific) asset positions (such as the firm's portfolio of difftcult-to- trade knowledge assets and complementary assets), and the evolution path(s) it has aflopted or inherited. The importance of path dependencies is amplified where conditions of increasing retums exist. Whether and how a firm's competitive advantage is eroded depends on the stability of market demand, and the ease of replicability (expanding intemally) and imitatability (replication by competitors). If correct, the framework suggests that private wealth creation in regimes of rapid technological change depends in large measure on honing intemal technological, organizational, and managerial processes inside the firm. In short, identifying new opportunities and organizing effectively and efficiently to embrace them are generally more fundamental to private wealth creation than is strategizing, if by strategizing one means engaging in business conduct that keeps competitors off balance, raises rival's costs, and excludes new entrants. © 1997 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

27,902 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors focus on the linkages between the industry analysis framework, the resource-based view of the firm, behavioral decision biases and organizational implementation issues, and connect the concept of Strategic Industry Factors at the market level with the notion of Strategic Assets at the firm level.
Abstract: We build on an emerging strategy literature that views the firm as a bundle of resources and capabilities, and examine conditions that contribute to the realization of sustainable economic rents. Because of (1) resource-market imperfections and (2) discretionary managerial decisions about resource development and deployment, we expect firms to differ (in and out of equilibrium) in the resources and capabilities they control. This asymmetry in turn can be a source of sustainable economic rent. The paper focuses on the linkages between the industry analysis framework, the resource-based view of the firm, behavioral decision biases and organizational implementation issues. It connects the concept of Strategic Industry Factors at the market level with the notion of Strategic Assets at the firm level. Organizational rent is shown to stem from imperfect and discretionary decisions to develop and deploy selected resources and capabilities, made by boundedly rational managers facing high uncertainty, complexity, and intrafirm conflict.

8,121 citations

Journal Article
TL;DR: A review of prior, relevant literature is an essential feature of any academic project that facilitates theory development, closes areas where a plethora of research exists, and uncovers areas where research is needed.
Abstract: A review of prior, relevant literature is an essential feature of any academic project. An effective review creates a firm foundation for advancing knowledge. It facilitates theory development, closes areas where a plethora of research exists, and uncovers areas where research is needed.

6,406 citations

01 Jan 2000

5,839 citations

Frequently Asked Questions (2)
Q1. What are the contributions in "Ercis – european research center for information systems" ?

Taking this as a motivation, the authors conducted a comprehensive literature review of German and Anglo-American information systems journals. On the flip side, their research aims at identifying fields that are in urgent need for closer academic investigation so that individual speculations and normative recommendations might still substitute for valid research insights. Overall, the authors found a considerable amount of research conducted in the field of SISP that they organised in five broad thematic fields: Strategic IT impact, approaches to SISP, information systems strategy, and strategic alignment. The authors give a short overview of research conducted so far and seminal publications available in the research fields. Moreover, based on a sub-sample of their literature base, the authors compute statistics which indicate the intensity of the academic discussion in the different thematic fields over time. Their survey also suggests that German speaking researchers have devoted relatively few efforts to SISP in comparison to their AngloAmerican colleagues. 

If this is at least partly correct for SISP research, a better understanding of the IS strategy, i. e. the “ what ” to achieve, could well stimulate further research on the process, i. e. the “ how ” to achieve the “ what ”. Thus, building a theoretical basis for SISP with IS strategy at its core would provide significant benefits for future research. Moving towards a comprehensive theory of SISP requires an integration of present partial theories ( e. g. theory on competitive advantage ) and strong research efforts in the future. Combining the German normative, task-oriented approach with the Anglo-American problem-oriented approach might even help to push SISP research further, if the cultural differences can be overcome, where integrating the two perspectives might lead to a more complete understanding of SISP.