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revisiting their strategy to stay ahead of their competitors. As information technology has made advancement at many levels, its use at business level may not be surprising but has varying effects. Some companies that have integrated their strategy with information technology have achieved their objectives at their desired level whereas some have failed in their attempt to do so. This research aims to provide the impact of IT integrated corporate strategy in the business organizations and to assess its role during the difficult times recession. Introduction The scenario in the world of business is changing every now and then with new entrants in the market making sincere attempts to make it to the top. Any organization either to survive or compete in the industry needs to re-formulate its strategy keeping in view the market condition and rivals. According to Grant (Bowman, E.H and Helfat, C.E., 2001) business strategy deals with the ways in which a single business firm or an individual business unit of a larger firm competes within a particular industry market whereas corporate strategy deals with the ways in which a corporation manages a set of business together. Chew E.K. and Gottschalk, P. (2009) states that strategy is about creating a competitively differentiated position to win customers in the marketplace. Yannis and Treacy (1986) mentioned that 1
senior executives, strategic planners and information system managers are nowadays formulating policies to include information technology to achieve competitive advantage in the industry market. The technology offers great array of capabilities at lower costs that has motivated the companies to utilize the technology for better decision making process. Information technology is useful in trying to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of current organization and out maneuver the others in the competition. The components of corporate strategy, which include internal, competitive and business portfolio strategy, are affected by information technology that improves the efficiency of the firm’s operation. It has become necessary in today’s competitive climate for every business organization to utilize the information technology in its operations to achieve the objectives in scheduled time. Therefore the present study intends to find the importance of information technology as part of corporate strategy and its usefulness to the management and also to evaluate its impact during the turbulent times of recession when most of the companies were going bankrupt and filing for liquidation. Research Question The present study is research on the importance of information technology in corporate organizations and management in taking decisions with regard to achieving the objectives through various literature reviews. It is intended to study the impact of IT strategy in development of company’s internal strategy and how it is useful in attaining its goals and objectives. 2
Therefore, a short study will be carried out in one of the organizations to study its corporate information strategy and how it is effective in taking managerial decision making process. Review of literature Arquilla and Borer (2007, p.4) relating information strategy to history mentioned that the first giant leap came with electrical telegraph that allowed information to move at the speed which was unheard at that time. And presently, Information Technology (IT) is referred to as wildcard in business by Applegate et al (2008, p.1), a source of opportunity and uncertainty, of advantage and risk. It is further stated that the evolution of technology, work and workforce over the past 40 years has dramatically influenced the concept of organizations and the industries and IT is not considered as a back office transactions tool, it has become a strategic part of businesses enabling the redefinition of markets and industries and strategies and designs of firm competing within the them. It is further stated that ability to achieve alignment among the environment, strategy and capabilities is central to the creation of successful business model that delivers value to all stakeholders. Casidy (Chew and Gottschalk, 2009, p.76) opines that true strategic alignment is achieved when IS/IT strategy is developed concurrently with business strategy so that it ensures that all IS / IT activities provide optimal support for the business goals, objectives and initiatives. It is further stated that IS/IT strategy is a combined strategy including business context and business direction, strategies like mission, 3
management systems, people, organization and technology are all combined elements of an IS/IT strategy. McFlaran (Applegate, 2008, p.35) suggested that an organization’s portfolio of IT initiatives and projects should be assessed along two key dimensions based on the impact on the business operations and the impact on strategy. Lucas C.H. (2009, p29) stresses upon the importance of management by reiterating the need to develop a corporate strategy for organizing and deploying competencies which will then act as road map in identifying those core competencies which need to be build and their required technologies. Chew, E.K. and Gottschalk P. (2009, p.84) further states the importance of IS/IT regarding achieving the benefits of company, studying the hierarchical perspective of operational, tactical, and strategic management, etc. Banerjee U.K. (2008, p.148) mentioned that IT is fast becoming an integral part of overall business planning, understood and managed senior and top levels for management strategizing and policy making. It is further stated that IT can operate as catalyst helping in achieving the fundamental changes in managing business. The technologies are utilized to forge new kinds of strategic actions like electronic alliance and relationship marketing involving databases and analysis on clients, industry, products, prices, markets and quality. The use of IT in business and industry has increased rapidly due to its utility factors like providing data and other information related to production, market, sales, workforce, etc. helping the computer – numerate managers and executives in decision making process. 4
The impact of IT can be understood from the fact that during 2003, on an average companies spend 4 percent of their revenues on IT and in United States, 40% of IT investments are not sufficient to realize the goals of country. The number further increases as Applegate mentions that $148 billion was purchased on software purchases, $40 billion on custom built software for insiders and additionally $40 billion for software that will be used by outside parties. (Applegate, 2008, p.35) According to Lucas (2009, p.29) management must combine corporate wide technologies and production skills into competencies for competitions that are the collective learning in the organization about how to integrate multiple technologies and coordinate diverse production capabilities. The core competencies which are identified should be able to provide access to a wide variety of different markets, make a significant contribution to the end product and must be difficult to imitate. Applegate (2008, p.41) has laid much importance on assessing whether IT can change the basis of competition, nature of relationships, the balance of power among buyers and suppliers, build or reduce barriers to entry, increase or decrease costs, and whether it can add value to the existing products and services which is nothing but a PESTLE analysis regarding the use of IS/IT in the business. Further, relating the organizations to information processing systems, Applegate (2008, p.42) mentions those limitations in vertical and horizontal information processing capacity directly influences the range of
organizational choices available to managers facilitating them to execute strategy. The literature review presents a broad understanding of the use and importance of Information Technology (IT) in the decision making process by the management in the business. The advancement of technology and competition in the market has motivated the management to include the information technology its corporate strategy so as to enable quick and correct decision making based on accurate data and information. Though the review rightly presents a broad overview of the importance of IT in corporate strategy and the management process, it is necessary to extend the study to gather information regarding its utility and effectiveness during the recession when most of the companies were filing for liquidation. Research Methodology Ranjit Kumar (2005) states that there are several ways to find answers to professional questions depending on the methods ranging from fairly informal which are based upon clinical impressions, strictly scientific, adhering to the conventional expectations of scientific procedures. Research is one of the ways to find the answers which are undertaken within a framework of a set of philosophies using procedures, methods and techniques that have been tested for their validity and reliability which is designed to unbiased and objective. Research methodology is the path to finding answers to the research questions by choosing from a multiplicity of methods, procedures, models 6
which helps in achieving the objectives of research (Ranjit Kumar, 2005). John W.C. (2003) emphasis on using mixed methodology which includes quantitative as well qualitative, as individually these methods fall short of major approaches that is been used today in social and human sciences. Qualitative methodology is used to gather information through survey that provides answer to the research question and provides valuable insights in the area of research from the organizations perspective. Whereas
Quantitative methodology is also employed to gather information from maximum respondents as far as possible as the issue is related to the use of information strategy in management processes and gathering information in quantum will lead to appropriate analysis with regard to research question. Therefore, qualitative as well as quantitative methods are employed for the purpose of this research. Frowler (2002) mentions the situations where goal of the information gathering is not about data generation of population but to describe a set of people in a more general way. The researchers carry out pilot studies to measure the range of ideas, views and opinions about the topic which may vary from people to people. The systematic sampling method has been used for selecting the number of respondents to be surveyed so as to complete the research. The present research is carried out to evaluate the performance and impact of strategy on the overall business. The sample selected for this study comprises of 20 Managers throughout the
organization, 2 senior executives, review of their corporate strategy with 7
regard to information technology. Further the process of coding or data reduction is explained which involves five separate phases like deciding on a format, designing the code, coding, data entry, and data cleaning. Accordingly the collection information will be analyzed to derive answer to the research question and arrive at a conclusion. The research undertaken is type of human experimentation which is any manipulation, test or procedure of an experimental nature performed on a human being as a part of scientific or social science investigation. (Deni and Judy, 1997) As the present study is related to the strategy of particular company, it is necessary that research ethics are fully complied during the process. Therefore consent will be obtained from the top executives in the company and utmost transparency will be maintained while conducting the survey by explaining the reason for survey to everyone surveyed for the purpose of data collection. Further strict confidentially need to maintained on the individual information as well as company’s collective information and assurance may be provided on not using the information other than to derive answer for the present study. (Gregory I, 2003) Therefore using the above methodology, the researcher attempts to study and evaluate the performance of corporate information strategy in the management process during the turbulent times of recession and to document findings. In spite of certain constraints like finance and time, the researcher intends to conduct the study on the above research question. Project Plan 8
As the research is an attempt to study the corporate strategy, a company which has good number of branches at various locations will be good for the purpose of research. Therefore, an organization will be selected to investigate in detail regarding its corporate information strategy and the importance of IT in management process. It is assumed that more than 20 managers will be interviewed with their due consent and also atleast five top level managers regarding the strategy and how they managed during the recession period and was IT of any use during this period. Later the collected data will be compiled, analysed and documented along with secondary data compared with the literature review as well to identify the solutions for the research question. Time Frame Study of various literature and documentation – Primary Data (Survey and Interview) Data Analysis Final Documentation and Findings 45 days 15 days 5 days 10 days
References 1. Applegate, L.M., Austin, D.M. and McFarlan, F.W.(2008) Corporate Information Strategy, 5th Ed., Tata-McGraw Hill, United States. 2. Arquilla, J and Borer D.A. (2007) Information strategy and warfare: a guide to theory and practice, Routledge.
3. Bowman E.H and Helfat C.E. (2001) Does Corporate Strategy Matter? Strategic Management Journal, Vol, 22, No. 1, John Wiley & Sons, pp. 123 4. Chew E.K and Gottschalk, P. (2009) Information Technology Strategy Management: Best Practices, Idea Group, United States. 5. Deni Elliot and Judy E Stern (1997) Research Ethics – A Reader, UPNE, USA 6. Frowler J.F. (2002) Survey Research Methods, Vol. 1, Ed 3, Sage Publication. 7. Gregory Ian (2003) Ethics in Research, Continuum Research Methods Series, Continuum International Publishing Group. 8. John W.C. (2003)Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Method Approaches, ed. 2, Sage Publications. 9. Lucas. H.C., (2009) Information Technology: Strategic Decision Making For Managers, Wiley-India 10. Ranjit Kumar (2005) Research Methodology: A Step by step guide for beginners, Ed. 2 SAGE Publications, India. 11. Utpal Kumar Banerjee (2008) Management information technology, Concept Publishing Company strategy for
12. Yannis B.J and Treacy M.E. (1986) Information Technology and Corporate Strategy: A Research Perspective, MIS Quarterly, Vol, 10, No. 2, Management Information Systems Research Centre, University of Minnesota, pp. 107-119
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