How do IT capabilities create strategic value? Toward greater integration of insights from reductionistic and holistic approaches

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations

Abstract

After more than two decades of intensive research, researchers are still struggling to explain the strategic value of information technology (IT) capabilities. The current study suggests that sufficient advancement has not been made in this area of research because of the gap between the richness of theoretical formulations and the minimalism of the reductionistic approach taken to test them. While theoretical formulations describe complex relationships between IT capabilities and competitive advantage, reductionistic explanations rely on models that represent the integration of simple relationships. This area of research can, therefore, benefit from the wider adoption of a holistic approach that attributes competitive advantage to profiles of IT capabilities. This study draws on the resource-based view and configurational theory to develop two reductionistic (direct and mediation) and two holistic (gestalt and profile-deviation) models of IT strategic value. The four models are tested with data collected from IT managers. The empirical analysis illustrates the insights that can be gained by drawing on the relative strengths of reductionistic and holistic explanations of IT strategic value.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-33
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Journal of Information Systems
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2011

Keywords

  • IT capabilities
  • IT strategic value
  • competitive advantage
  • configurational theory
  • resource-based view

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems
  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Information Systems and Management

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'How do IT capabilities create strategic value? Toward greater integration of insights from reductionistic and holistic approaches'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this