Date of Graduation

7-2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration (PhD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Information Systems

Advisor

Rajiv Sabherwal

Committee Member

Varun Grover

Second Committee Member

Mary Lacity

Third Committee Member

Vernon Richardson

Keywords

supply side, IT performance, product strategy, knowledge development, information system subfields

Abstract

This dissertation comprises two essays investigating information technology (IT) product strategies and IT research over time. The business value of IT literature focuses on the demand side of IT, providing insights into the effects of IT strategies on consumer firms’ performance. However, prior literature gives scant attention to the supply side of the IT market. In the first essay, I seek to address this gap by developing and testing a contingency model of the performance consequences of IT vendors’ product strategy. I consider three aspects of the IT product strategy (newness, distinctiveness, and variety), and compile and use an extensive panel dataset developed from multiple secondary sources for 1996-2019. The results indicate that: (a) IT newness has a positive effect on vendor performance, which strengthens with an increase in environmental turbulence but weakens with an explorative business strategy and increased organizational diversification; (b) IT distinctiveness negatively affects vendor performance, and none of the examined contextual factor moderates this effect; (c) IT variety has an inverted U-shaped effect on performance, which weakens with an exploration business strategy but strengthens with increasing firm size.

Prior IT literature includes occasional introspections into the state of information systems (IS) research. The second essay contributes to this literature through a more long-term (1988 to 2020) and rigorous investigation of the evolution of research, in the entire IS field as a whole and also its individual subfields. Using extant literature, I identify six subfields of IS research, i.e., context, people, specific technologies, design, processes, and implications. Based on the analyses of extensive data on prior research, I find that IS knowledge has been growing over the past few decades but more recently at a decreasing rate, indicating that the IS field may be close to a stage of maturity. This seems to be an excellent sign, but also implies that the IS community needs to recalibrate how the field will contribute in the future. Further, I find that IT processes and IT implications are more mature subfields where future research will benefit from more innovative approaches and new theoretical perspectives, whereas research on specific ITs is less established and merits increasing research attention.

Available for download on Wednesday, July 27, 2022

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