AbstractWith over forty institutes of higher education in Lebanon, each offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in Computer Science and IT-related majors, it is surprising and disappointing not to have any academic publications in IT managerial issues. This complete silence may be partly due to the fact that the focus of such programs is more technical than managerial, and partly because the majority of Lebanese universities are “teaching-oriented”, rather than “research-oriented” institutions. One of the major contributions of this thesis is to pioneer IT managerial research in Lebanon and pave the way for future research in this vital area.
The main scope of this thesis is to determine how to derive business value from enterprise IS investments, and what conditions maximize that value. While each of the extant theoretical models provides insight on one key aspect of the IT value proposition, what seems missing is a model that combines the salient points from each of various models, and one that incorporates both a process and variance orientation, providing a more comprehensive explanation of the IT value proposition. Therefore, the main contribution of this thesis is development of a comprehensive new IT value model, providing a framework of the processes and factors needed to derive optimal business value from such investments. The new model incorporates salient features of extant IT value models, and is grounded in the data gathered in this thesis. The strength of the new model lies in combining three individual IT value research threads. The first is the RBV research stream, which posit that to derive business value from IS investments, organizations must invest in organizational resources, and must develop individual and organizational IS competencies. The second is the IS process research stream, which evaluates the path that IT investments take from value conception to value creation, and proposes a sequence of phases and activities that must be followed during that investment journey. The third research stream stresses the importance of considering additional contextual factors when engaging IS investments.
A review of the extant literature is conducted to develop an initial conceptual framework combining salient features of existing IT value models. Next, using multi-grounded theory and multiple investigative methods, primary data is gathered from thirty-six large Lebanese organizations representing several business sectors. In order to ensure validity and reliability, data is gathered in iterative phases, starting with one-on-one structured interviews with CIOs, followed by a survey and CIO group discussions using the “communities of practice” method, and culminates in one-on-one structured interviews with all other stakeholders involved in the IS value proposition at four of the thirty-six participating organizations using the “deep case study” method. The data is analyzed to determine the key challenges inhibiting the success of IS investments, the key competencies and factors needed to derive business value from such investments, to validate and refine the initial conceptual IT value model, and to ground the attributes of the new model to reflect the Lebanese experience.
The thesis concludes by suggesting guidelines for how organizations may develop and nurture the proposed organizational competencies. It also paves the way and suggests possible future research opportunities in Lebanon and beyond.
|Date of Award||Mar 2014|
|Supervisor||Christine Welch (Supervisor), Martin Read (Supervisor) & Martyn Roberts (Supervisor)|