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The Influence of Information Age on Enterprise Development

2017-01-10 | 来源:51due教员组 | 类别:更多范文

英国Dissertation代写论文精选:“The Influence of Information Age on Enterprise Development”,这篇论文主要介绍了信息化时代对于企业发展的重要性以及影响。论文指出,信息系统和技术的进步推动了企业的不断发展,而在现代的市场竞争中,信息技术在实现战略竞争优势方面已经变得至关重要,信息技术不仅能够改善操作性能和管理客户,还能提高盈利能力和推动企业的管理,所以信息化时代对于企业的发展来说有着巨大的作用及影响。

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Advances in information systems and technology (IS/IT) are re1garded as major sources of improvement in the competitive position of firms and industries (Mitropoulos and Tatum, 2000). However, the benefits from technological advances depend on the extent to which these technologies are utilized. Indeed, information is becoming critically important in achieving strategic competitive advantage, particularly in today's competitive environment (Claudia, 2005). This proclamation has led organizations to adopt the most advanced enterprise technology to innovate for a change because organizations that maximize and leverage their information assets have a strategic advantage over their competitors (Claudia, 2005). The ability to speed up making decisions, improving operations performance, managing customer profitability as well as increasing the level of control to management are the core benefits to be considered by decision makers when implementing IT/IS.

 

The rapid emergence of enterprise systems has made applications such as enterprise resource technology (ERP) to be among the most popular technologies used in the industries. Despite its importance to decision makers and also researchers in discovering how the emergence of enterprise systems contributes to organizational performance, there is uncertainty about IT payoff and accountants' involvement in determining business and information strategy of an organization. The typical judgmental by organizations on investments of IS/IT is always to battle competition by improving productivity, profitability and quality of operations. Hence, to understand the organizations' decisions to innovate always remain as the critical topic of discussion among IS/IT scholars particularly when it relates to the perceptions of accountants as the internal provider of information. Historically, organizational innovations were distinguished process from product innovations (Zmud, 1982; Robey, 1986; Swanson, 1994) and further differentiated between administrative and technological process innovations (Robey, 1986; Swanson 1994).

 

Accountants play a significant role as the internal provider of information for business operations and for competitive positions in the market. Accountants are also described as the gatekeeper of the financial markets (Wallman, 1995). Without information expertise of accountants, businesses would not be able to evaluate their cost and profit position, gauge product or business unit performance or to plan for future financial success (Brecht and Martin, 1996). Traditionally, accountants were trapped on standard financial reporting or financial-related information and having historical orientation (Mia, 1993) to support management in making decisions. However, as information technologies grow more advanced and competitive pressure for innovation increased, the responsibility of accountants to furnish decision makers with valuable information in making intelligent decision becomes very crucial. Therefore, accountants must quickly response to this evolving information environment to make sure on the efficient business, information strategy and competitive positions in the industry

 

Most of prior researches have extensively addressed and explained the phenomenon about IS/IT innovation (Rogers, 1983), the perspective of users acceptance of new technology (Davis, 1986) and its impact on organizational competitive advantage (Barney, 1991). Indeed, there are various literatures on IS/IT acceptance among researchers (Gallivan, 2001; Rogers, 2003; Swanson and Ramiller, 2004; Zhu, Kraemer and Xu, 2006) and IT-payoff (Brynjolfsson, 1996; Bharadwaj, Bharadwaj and Konsynski, 2000; Devaraj and Kohli, 2000). However, interdisciplinary research between two different schools of thought that discussed issues on Information Technology and accounting has been given less attention to date. Hence, this research is intended to discover, understand and explain the basis for enterprise systems innovation and accountants' involvement in determining the information and business strategy of an organization. In this case, a grounded theory approach is adopted with the aim to explore the opportunities for accountants to contribute on enterprise systems innovation that leads to the following research questions:

 

What drives organizations innovate for the latest technology?

How does it give impact on competitive position of an organization?

 

THE EVOLUTIONARY PROCESS OF ENTERPRISE SYSTEMS

 

The evolution of enterprise systems began in the 1950s as inventory control systems (Yen, Chou and Chang, 2001), where the manufacturing systems' main focus was to handle inventory control in order to replace the traditional inventory concept. Later, bookkeeping, invoicing and reordering have been introduced to support business operations and management (Yen et al., 2001). Material requirement planning (MRP) was then developed in the 1960s with an objective to translate the master production schedule into requirements of raw material planning and procurement. Subsequently, manufacturing resource planning (MRPII) has evolved into a more advanced system with the objective to optimize the production process and distribution management (Yen et al. 2001). It has been extended to include areas such as corporate finance, personnel management, engineering process and business process management.

 

The robust development of MRP II has encouraged IT experts to develop more advanced technologies such as enterprise resource planning (ERP), supply-chain management (SCM) and customer relationship management (CRM) over some period of time to leverage information about strategic enterprise management, improving operations performance, managing customer profitability, human resource and supply chain information and improving direct/indirect business process (William and William, 2003). These technologies are more sophisticated and efficient in handling multiple business units such as sales and operations planning, inventory/materials management, manufacturing, purchasing, order processing, accounting and finance, human resources, customer relationship management, supply chain management and more. However, due to some limitations particularly in analytical decision-making, these systems could not facilitate the decision support function (Chou et al., 2005).

 

In the 1990s, much adoption of IS/IT was focused on the enterprise systems. The benefits over decisions to adopt IS/IT are basically on cost reduction, transactional efficiency, internal process management, back and front end process automation and transactional status visibility. As businesses continue to use enterprise systems for a growing number of functions, they face the challenge of processing and analyzing huge amount of data into intelligent decision-making. Although current enterprise systems could integrate business transactions data for organizational planning, essentially, it would not support management particularly on analytical and decision support process. The changing of business requirements, new technologies and the software vendors' development capabilities has enforced the enterprise applications continue to emerge. The emergence of Business Intelligence (BI) tools in the early 2000s, where its main function is to extract valuable information from existing enterprise systems, is anticipated to improve organizational performance and competitive advantage (Davis, 2002) and with its capability in conveying intelligent decisions for decision makers (Buytendijk, 2001; Golfareelli and Cella, 2004). Hence, the relevant and suitability of enterprise systems innovation towards competitive position of a firm remain favourable topics of discussion between scholars as it reflects IT-payoff or return on investment of an organization.

 

PRIOR RESEARCH

 

The literature provides different definitions of innovations: Rogers (1976) defines innovation as an idea, practice or object perceived as new by an individual or other relevant unit of adoption which is communicated through certain channels over time among the members of a social system. Tornatzky and Klein (1982) define it as an idea, practice or material artifact perceived to be new by the relevant unit of adoption. Swanson (1994) defines information system innovation as innovation in the organizational application of digital computer and communications technologies. Swanson (1994) added that organizational innovation refers to the adoption of an idea or behavior that is new to the organization that is adopting it (Daft, 1978). It is further defined as the first or early use of an idea by one set of organizations with similar goals (Becker and Whisler, 1967, quoted by Daft, 1978).

 

Meanwhile, in the year 2000s scholars have defined information system innovation as: Gordon and Tarafdar (2007) describe that innovation process comprised of three broad stages: initiation, development and implementation (Damanpour, 1991; Utterback, 1971; Zmud, 1982). Initiation involves activities leading to an organization's decision to adopt or attempt to adopt an innovation. Motivation could be poor financial or operational performance (Kanter, 1982; Tushman and O'Reilly, 1997), internal self-criticism combined with a strategic focus on proactive business innovation (Nonaka, 1988; Tushman and Nadler, 1986). Development involves design and development of product and process innovations planned in the initiation stage. This stage has activities such as idea generation and problem solving (Tushman and O'Reilly, 1997), rapid information process and fast decision making (Eisenhardt and Tabrizi, 1995), new information is acquired from competitors (Tushman and O'Reilly, 1997) and customers (Drucker, 1998) and connected with existing knowledge (Galbraith, 1982) to create new product/processes. Implementation involves activities surrounding the adoption and assimilation of innovations designed and developed during the ‘development' stage. Process and product redesign leads to changes in different processes and control systems (Davenport, 1993), effective and reasonably strict control systems are required for efficiently accomplishing the administration and co-ordination activities necessary for implementation of the innovation (Galbraith, 1982).

 

Innovating with IT, according to Swanson and Ramiller (2004), is a journey that involves four core processes: comprehension, adoption, implementation, and assimilation. First, organizations collect and interpret information from their environments about the existence and basic idea of an IT innovation. Second, this comprehension effort informs organizations' decisions on whether to adopt the innovation, plus the articulation of supporting rationales. Third, where adoption is actually pursued, the innovation is deployed—hardware and software are installed, business processes are changed, users are trained, and so on. Fourth, in due course the innovation becomes assimilated into the routines of organizational work systems. Wang and Ramiller (2009) further define IT innovation as an information technology perceived as new by the adopting organization (Rogers 2003; Swanson 1994). Their perspective on innovation is oriented towards adopters and organizations innovate with IT by applying new IT to their business processes. Therefore, in this research, enterprise systems innovation could be defined as enterprise systems that comprised an integrated planning and resource management system that coordinates information across all enterprise functions (Bendoly et al, 2008) and the capability of the systems to provide valuable information for managements in determining the business and information strategy of an organization.

 

In recent years, there are a number of researches that examine the organizational adoption of IS/IT, IT payoff and its impact on organizational performance. IT adoption contributes to various competing models that have been tested in several industries (either services or non-services) and are different in terms of methodological approach, conceptual models and constructs, such as a research model on user acceptance of citation database interface (Lin et.al, 2009), mobile wireless (Kim et.al, 2009; Qi et.al, 2009), internet banking (Lee, 2009a), online trading (Lee, 2009b) and more. Indeed, there are various literatures on IT adoption and acceptance among researchers (Gallivan, 2001; Rogers, 2003; Swanson et.al, 2004; Zhu, Kraemer and Xu, 2006, Qi et al, 2009; Kim and Garrison, 2009) and IT-payoff (Brynjolfsson, 1996; Bharadwaj et. al, 2000; Devaraj et. al, 2000). Within this broad area of investigation, there are several streams of research. One stream of research focuses on individual acceptance of technology by using behavioural intention as a dependent variable (e.g Davis et.al, 1989; Bhattacherjee, 2001; Bhacttacherjee and Premkumar, 2004; Zhu et.al, 2006). The other streams have focused on implementation success at the organizational levels (Grover, 1998; Karahanna et.al, 1999) and task technology fit (Goodhue and Thompson, 1995). However, due to the nature of the research designs employed, these streams of research have not attributed the effect of usefulness of information from enterprise systems innovation and its impact on organizational performance.

 

Furthermore, scholars have documented many studies that examine the relationship between investments in technology and its payoff in terms of enhanced organizational performance (Brynjolfsson and Yang, 1996; Kohli and Devaraj, 2003). There is evidence that there are significant differences among studies in terms of the level of analyses, methodologies employed, variables and contexts examined. Many economic studies (Roach, 1987; Morrision and Berndt, 1991) observed a negative relationship between technology-related variables and performance. At the industry level, the results were mixed with some studies documenting a positive impact of technological investment (Kelley, 1994; Siegel and Griliches, 1992) while other studies by Berdnt and Morrison (1995) and Koski (1999) detect no significant advantage to IT investment. At a more detailed organizational level, Diewert and Smith (1994), Hitt and Brynjolfsson (1995) and Dewan and Min (1997) present results indicating a positive relationship between technology and performance.

 

In this research, information use is tightly related to the technology that provides access to such information. The limitations of the enterprise systems as well as resource constraints on managerial time devoted to information search such as accessing, understanding, transforming and consolidating the information would give the impact on how effectively information use can be converted into strategic results (Bendoly and Cotteleer, 2008). Indeed, IS/IT research concerned with how to design more useful IS for organization (Legris, Ingham and Collerette, 2003; Elbeltagi, 2005; Jeyaraj, Rottman and Lacity, 2006). However, a useful IS/IT is not one that is simply used by individuals or organizations or the one that possesses specific desirable characteristics (such as output information quality, functionality or interface structure). Rather a useful IS/IT is one which can and does support collective action through the nature of the relationship between technological attributes, individual users and organizationally situated tasks (Diez and McIntosh, 2008).

 

Consequently, many prior researchers have struggled to show the direct impact of IT with other disciplines such as accounting on organizational performance. However, several recent studies have shown that the fit between accounting and IT has significant impact on performance (Chan et al, 1991; Cragg et al, 2002) where firms that consider their IT strategy with business strategy perform better than those who do not. Raymond et al (1995) found that firms that align their organizational structure and IT structure also perform better than firms that do not. In another study, Bergeron et al. (2001) found that fit between strategic orientation, organizational structure, and strategic IT management had an impact on firm performance. The issues of matching information requirements and enterprise systems capabilities and also the impact of this matching on performance are important questions which are part of a general debate in accounting information system field (e.g. Galbraith, 1973; Tushman and Nadler, 1978; Van de Ven and Drazin, 1985). Accountants are the internal providers of information to decision makers and accountants must adapt to the competitive pressure and increase their ability to leverage information assets in order to contribute for more effectively to managerial decision making. Therefore, as IS/IT grows more advanced, accountants must react quickly to the changes and need to create and apply non-financial information to achieve organizational performance. Hence, this research will discover the impact of usefulness of information through enterprise system innovation and to investigate the accountants' involvement in determining the information strategy of an organization.

 

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