Understanding the phenomenon of IS success in China through the lens of the IS-Impact model

Cao, Lan (2011) Understanding the phenomenon of IS success in China through the lens of the IS-Impact model. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


This study is conducted within the IS-Impact Research Track at Queensland University of Technology (QUT). The goal of the IS-Impact Track is, “to develop the most widely employed model for benchmarking information systems in organizations for the joint benefit of both research and practice” (Gable et al, 2006). IS-Impact is defined as “a measure at a point in time, of the stream of net benefits from the IS, to date and anticipated, as perceived by all key-user-groups” (Gable Sedera and Chan, 2008). Track efforts have yielded the bicameral IS-Impact measurement model; the “impact” half includes Organizational-Impact and Individual-Impact dimensions; the “quality” half includes System-Quality and Information-Quality dimensions. The IS-Impact model, by design, is intended to be robust, simple and generalizable, to yield results that are comparable across time, stakeholders, different systems and system contexts. The model and measurement approach employ perceptual measures and an instrument that is relevant to key stakeholder groups, thereby enabling the combination or comparison of stakeholder perspectives. Such a validated and widely accepted IS-Impact measurement model has both academic and practical value. It facilitates systematic operationalization of a main dependent variable in research (IS-Impact), which can also serve as an important independent variable. For IS management practice it provides a means to benchmark and track the performance of information systems in use. The objective of this study is to develop a Mandarin version IS-Impact model, encompassing a list of China-specific IS-Impact measures, aiding in a better understanding of the IS-Impact phenomenon in a Chinese organizational context. The IS-Impact model provides a much needed theoretical guidance for this investigation of ES and ES impacts in a Chinese context. The appropriateness and soundness of employing the IS-Impact model as a theoretical foundation are evident: the model originated from a sound theory of IS Success (1992), developed through rigorous validation, and also derived in the context of Enterprise Systems. Based on the IS-Impact model, this study investigates a number of research questions (RQs). Firstly, the research investigated what essential impacts have been derived from ES by Chinese users and organizations [RQ1]. Secondly, we investigate which salient quality features of ES are perceived by Chinese users [RQ2]. Thirdly, we seek to answer whether the quality and impacts measures are sufficient to assess ES-success in general [RQ3]. Lastly, the study attempts to address whether the IS-Impact measurement model is appropriate for Chinese organizations in terms of evaluating their ES [RQ4]. An open-ended, qualitative identification survey was employed in the study. A large body of short text data was gathered from 144 Chinese users and 633 valid IS-Impact statements were generated from the data set. A generally inductive approach was applied in the qualitative data analysis. Rigorous qualitative data coding resulted in 50 first-order categories with 6 second-order categories that were grounded from the context of Chinese organization. The six second-order categories are: 1) System Quality; 2) Information Quality; 3) Individual Impacts;4) Organizational Impacts; 5) User Quality and 6) IS Support Quality. The final research finding of the study is the contextualized Mandarin version IS-Impact measurement model that includes 38 measures organized into 4 dimensions: System Quality, information Quality, Individual Impacts and Organizational Impacts. The study also proposed two conceptual models to harmonize the IS-Impact model and the two emergent constructs – User Quality and IS Support Quality by drawing on previous IS effectiveness literatures and the Work System theory proposed by Alter (1999) respectively. The study is significant as it is the first effort that empirically and comprehensively investigates IS-Impact in China. Specifically, the research contributions can be classified into theoretical contributions and practical contributions. From the theoretical perspective, through qualitative evidence, the study test and consolidate IS-Impact measurement model in terms of the quality of robustness, completeness and generalizability. The unconventional research design exhibits creativity of the study. The theoretical model does not work as a top-down a priori seeking for evidence demonstrating its credibility; rather, the study allows a competitive model to emerge from the bottom-up and open-coding analysis. Besides, the study is an example extending and localizing pre-existing theory developed in Western context when the theory is introduced to a different context. On the other hand, from the practical perspective, It is first time to introduce prominent research findings in field of IS Success to Chinese academia and practitioner. This study provides a guideline for Chinese organizations to assess their Enterprise System, and leveraging IT investment in the future. As a research effort in ITPS track, this study contributes the research team with an alternative operationalization of the dependent variable. The future research can take on the contextualized Mandarin version IS-Impact framework as a theoretical a priori model, further quantitative and empirical testing its validity.

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ID Code: 46673
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Gable, Guy & Sedera, Darshana
Keywords: IS success model, IS-Impact measurement model, China, enterprise systems, qualitative research, inductive enquiry approach, multidimensional construct
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 27 Oct 2011 04:20
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2011 04:27

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