An investigation into the process, context and organisational factors that lead to IS driven sustained competitive advantages in financial services, retailing and manufacturing
The study undertook an examination of the process, context and organisational factors that lead to an IS-driven sustainable competitive advantage. The research contributes theory-based conceptual synthesis and empirical evidence to an area that has transformed radically over the last fifteen years. The methodology adopted a pluralistic approach drawing upon both positivism and interpretist evidence. Care was taken to ensure that the primary research undertaken in Financial Services, Retailing and Manufacturing was subject to a variety of validating procedures and controls. The study identifled a role for the IS derived sustainability model and found that technology alone did not sustain a performance edge but that it needs to be combined with complementary resources to create an isolating mechanism. The work demonstrated that trade secrets, communication links to external organisations, innovative developments and accessing unique resources were the source of sustained competitive advantages. The findings also provided evidence that open culture and communications, workgroup consensus, top management support and possessing a highly flexible organisation were also important attributes of non ephemeral IS based advantages. A practical framework was proposed which allows an organisation to assess the potential of deriving IS based sustainable competitive advantage from analysing its resources and capabilities and discusses ways in which those resources and capabilities can be augmented.