University of Twente Student Theses


The business impact of information systems : a unified theory and empirical test

Clahsen, Bram. R. (2009) The business impact of information systems : a unified theory and empirical test.

Abstract:Past research in information technology (IT) has yielded many competing models and different antecedents of IT acceptance have been proposed and analysed (Venkatesh et al., 2003). Especially in these times, when considering “the unprecedented decline of the global economy is impacting the IT industry with worldwide IT spending forecast to total $3.2 trillion in 2009, a 3.8 per cent decline from 2008 revenue of nearly $3.4 trillion” (Gartner, 2009) it is of vital relevance to estimate as accurate as possible the returns and risks involved in IT investments. In their systematic and comprehensive analysis, in which they “use a combination of quantitative and qualitative techniques”, Moody et al. (2009) identify the top 5 most influential core theories of the Information Systems (IS) field. These theories currently dominate the IS field in explaining the acceptance and adoption of IT investments. However, as this thesis points out, the existing theories contradict at some critical points. Additionally, there is a significant overlap between the theories. Finally some of the theories seem to lack a consistent operationalization in order to make it applicable in an empirical context. This thesis presents a new, comprehensive theory that explains and predicts the acceptance of information systems, as well as the (financial) returns or business impact. The theory is called: Unified Theory of Information System Success (UTISS) The overall goal of this Masters Thesis is (1) to formulate the UTISS theory that unifies the current IS paradigms: the Technology Acceptance Model, the IS Success Model, the Task to Performance Chain, and the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology, (2) to extent its foundations by including other reference disciplines (i.e. marketing and software engineering), and (3) to empirical validate UTISS. After presenting the comprehensive model, a combination of qualitative and quantitative techniques are used to show that (1) the UTISS model is sufficiently operationalized and hence can be applied meaningful to empirical contexts, and (2) the theory appears to be useful in assessing current IS implementations. During their extensive longitudinal healthcare investigation, Devaraj & Kohli (2003) proposed and concluded that “the driver of IT impact is not the investment in technology, but the actual usage of the technology”. The findings in this thesis support their conclusion as well as their suggestion that careful investigation and estimation of IT usage is relevant, especially for those who are practically involved in IT projects.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Information Technology MSc (60025)
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