Economic Journal of Hokkaido University;Vol. 33


On IT and IS : Could IS be a source of competitive advantage, and how?

Hiramoto, Kenta

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KEYWORDS : Management Information System, Alignment among Information System, Organization and Strategy, Competitive Advantage


The purpose of this study is to clarify the process by which companies realize competitive advantage through the application of information systems. We analyzed the questionnaire survey data collected from 174 Japanese manufacturing and non-manufacturing firms, and tested three hypotheses and for the most part supported; [Hypothesis 1] The better the information system, strategies and organizational structure conform, the more effective the system becomes, [Hypothesis 2]The more complete the information infrastructure is within an entire company, the higher the effectiveness of the information system becomes, and [Hypothesis 3] External environments, echnology, strategic orientation and organiza- tional characteristics affect the effectiveness of information systems. In addition, models were presented concerning patterns with which the application of IS can be connected with competitive advantage by conducting path analysis. Thus, the possibility of realizing competitive advantage is suggested when a certain clear pattern is seen in the correlation among variables in the order of the external environment → strategies → top management's recognition of IS → information infrastructure and organizational characteristics → effectiveness of IS. (JEL M10)