Robert D. Galliers
This article attempts to unpack the concept of the information system (IS) strategizing framework by articulating, in greater depth, the literature that has informed its development. It focuses on the term strategizing with a view to giving emphasis to the process of strategy making and views IS strategizing as an integral aspect of business strategy. The aim is to provide a rationale for the whole and the component parts, and articulate the meaning of each aspect of the framework. The framework, slightly revised from the 2007 version, is illustrated. Each aspect is considered in turn, commencing with the environment — internal and external — in which the strategizing process is taking place. This article ends with a consideration as to how the framework may be put to good use in organizations.
Information Systems, Business, and the Natural Environment: Can Digital Business Transform Environmental Sustainability?
Nigel P. Melville
This article outlines the evolution of information systems (IS) for environmental sustainability. It investigates three ways in which IS might transform environmental sustainability. It discusses complexities, challenges, and business opportunities in carbon emission data management at a large university. A few examples of how researchers might contribute to knowledge in this dynamic, emergent domain of environmental sustainability are reported. Organizational and societal spheres inform beliefs about the natural environment, which lead to managerial actions, which impact the behavior of organizations and the natural environment, as well as the possibility of reverse causality. IS research has shown important differences in individual reactions to information technologies that affect their adoption. Emerging regulation, shifts in consumer demands, and risk arising from the visible and predicted impacts of climate change are significantly increasing environmental information requirements in organizations. There is opportunity and risk at the nexus of IS, business, and the natural environment.
IT‐Dependent Strategic Initiatives and Sustained Competitive Advantage: A Review, Synthesis, and an Extension of the Literature
Michael Wade, Gabriele Piccoli, and Blake Ives
This article outlines some of the trends that have led to the view that changing economic conditions have strengthened the widely held concept that IT is a commodity, and as such, has no place in the creation or sustaining of competitive advantage. However, while it is accepted here in this article that IT assets may be undifferentiated, the article rejects the suggestion that IT-dependent strategic initiatives have no strategic value. In fact, it argues that these initiatives, when formed in projects with complementary organizational resources, can lead to powerful business benefits, and can further form strong barriers to advantage erosion. The key to success is to maintain a sustainability mindset throughout the IT strategic planning process.
Robert M. Grant
During the early part of the 1990s, a number of ideas and streams of research converged to produce what has come to be described as ‘the knowledge-based view of the firm’. The outcome is not so much a new theory of the firm, as a number of explorations into aspects of the firm (and economic institutions more generally) which are unified by their focus upon the role of knowledge in production and exchange. Valuable contributions have been made to the analysis of creativity, learning, new product development, inter-firm collaboration, knowledge transfer, knowledge-based competition, and many other areas. This article tries to draw together some of these themes in order to identify the key elements of the knowledge-based approach to the firm and some of the implications of this approach.
Projects, defined as temporary endeavours undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result, have become a common method for initiating and managing change in modern organizations. Once viewed as a specialized organizational operation within some well-understood settings (construction, new product development, oil and gas exploration, and so forth), projects have evolved to becoming the principle means by which both public and private organizations can make positive changes to their operating environment. Hence, the need for project management skills has never been greater, as more and more organizations seek to adopt project-based work as a proactive method for engaging their customer bases. This chapter highlights the key features of projects, including their critical constraints and management challenges. It focuses in particular on both the promising results that effective project management affords organizations as well as the myriad challenges that project managers face as firms adopt project-based work in their operations.
Robert D. Galliers
This article has a strategic focus and therefore focuses on two key considerations — one more prevalent in the 1980s, the other a focus of attention in the 1990s and into the twenty-first century — namely, competitive advantage and knowledge management. The third consideration — alignment — has been a major focus, and a source of some contention, and the article incorporates this to treat the subject matter. The article focuses more on the process of strategizing than on the outcome of the process, that is, the strategy itself. It argues that benefit is to be gained from a more inclusive, exploratory approach to the strategy process. This perspective is set against the common view, which is concerned more with exploiting the potential of ICT systems for business gain. Implicit in the arguments is the view that it is to be intellectually bankrupt to accept these myths as ‘self evident truths’.
Yolande E. Chan and Blaize Horner Reich
This article provides a comprehensive review of the information technology alignment literature, noting that it is one of the major concerns of senior executives and IT practitioners alike. The goal is to explore the many perspectives taken on alignment and to suggest ways in which academics and practitioners can integrate, build on, and apply what has been learned. It presents divergent views and new perspectives on alignment, first discussing the motivation for alignment research and moving on to provide a definition of alignment, given the range of perspectives to be found in the literature. This article addresses various issues such as: alignment creation and benefits that can reasonably be expected as a result. It highlights key implications for researchers and practitioners.
Amy W. Ray
A key aspect of the rights and responsibilities associated with the use, storage, retrieval, and collection of data' is the question of security. The first part of this article considers the growing sophistication of newer technologies that demands new security management thinking beyond addressing individual vulnerabilities. It describes some new complexities resulting from interactions among more feature-rich technologies and their use, along with consideration of related security risks. It goes on to present some ideas for improving security management efforts and includes suggestions for more proactively identifying risks resulting from the emergent use of these systems. The potential role of logical models similar to those used for decades for information systems analysis and design is introduced. This article presents an effort to bridge the gap between high-level policy-based security management and low-level technology-based security management to consider how more attention to technological and business processes may lead to improvements in information security management efforts.
Mary C. Lacity, Shaji A. Khan, and Leslie P. Willcocks
The increasing complexity associated with management information system (MIS) in this day and age is reflected in the subject matter: outsourcing. This article aims to extract the insights academics identified for information technology outsourcing (ITO) practice. It provides an overview of the many contributions that MIS research has made to practice. It examines ITO strategies and how IT outsourcing strategies either affect or are affected by firm strategies and firm performance. Researchers have addressed various questions that deal with the strategic intent behind IT outsourcing decisions and its strategic effects. It addresses various aspects of IT outsourcing, namely: determinants of IT outsourcing, IT outsourcing strategy, determinants of ITO success, client capabilities, relationship management, global IT workforce issues, and the future of global sourcing. There remain five persistent prickly issues that continue to plague ITO practice that still need our attention.
This chapter provides an overview of the key factors shaping individuals’ skill formation challenges and options by referring to the growing literature of ‘Transitional Labour Markets’ (TLMs) that examines the changing links between work and life beyond standard employment relationships. It starts by clarifying the key problems that must be addressed for understanding the skill formation challenges and highlights the need for a life course as opposed to a life cycle framing of the issue. A short overview of the TLM approach and a brief sketch of the main challenges of skill-capacity formation over the life course in Europe follow. The bulk of the chapter then examines the key issue of how risks associated with investing in the development of individuals’ skills capacities are shared. The paper concludes by reflecting on the utility of seeing working life as being centrally concerned with lifelong learning.