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Title: Information systems strategy for competitive advantage .
Author: Kermanshah, A.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3597 5674
Awarding Body: University of Manchester : UMIST
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 1997
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Information Systems (IS) strategy for competitive advantage has been one of the dominant concerns in the literature of strategic management of Information Technology. Despite this, the processes and methodologies suggested in the literature for understanding and describing how, why and under what circumstances IS strategy may bring about sustainable competitive advantage are incomplete and unsatisfactory. The main objective of this thesis is to provide a critical analysis of the received theory of IS strategy and to suggest an integrative framework (Resource-Based Perspective) for the analysis of IS strategy for competitive advantage. The thesis uses a detailed case study to serve as an empirical reference for testing the efficacy of the received IS theory and for developing an improved theoretical perspective. Such a Resource-Based Perspective integrates some aspects of the received theory with other insights taken from the literature of strategy and organisation outside the IS field. In the literature review chapters, the thesis attempts to challenge the often hidden assumptions behind the mainstream approaches to IS strategy (with regard to three inter-related concepts: technology, strategy and organisation) and offers alternative (complementary) mind-sets for these three concepts. In terms of empirical analysis, the results of an in-depth, qualitative, longitudinal and contextual case study over a period of 30 months within one of the large utility companies in the UK, demonstrate that there was a partial fit between the received approaches. to IS strategy and parts of the case study. But there were some areas of mis-match. These were: a lack of adequate alignment between the content and process of IS strategy; adoption of unitary perspective of the organisation and lack of appreciation of firm-specific context, and insufficient attention paid to the focus of IS strategy, in particular to core competencies. The Resource-Based analysis of the case study evidence, however, provides a better fit between theory and practice. The integrative perspective better explains the dynamic alignment of the content, process and context of IS strategy, and the evolution of the strategic resources and core competencies which confer competitive advantage
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available