By Adriaan Willem Vincent Breukel
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Additional info for Strategic IT, But Not by ITself: On the Relevance of the Organizational Context for Strategic Success with IT
In this chapter, it has been made clear that the goal of the research is to get insight into the strategic usage of IT. g. the concept of the value chain), a theory enabling understanding of the strategic usage of IT is still lacking (Sabherwal & King 1991, p. 191). We need more theory in order to gain insight into strategic IT. Therefore, the fundamental approach is very suitable. Based on a newly developed theory, we shall give some guidelines for IT use. These guidelines will, however, not be implemented in organizations and accordingly not evaluated in this study (see: suggestions for further research in the last chapter under the heading Conclusions).
The research approach systematically describes the activities that have to be performed to reach the research goal. Basically, there are two approaches: the fundamental research approach, which follows De Groot's empirical cycle, and the applied research approach, which follows the regulating cycle as described by Van Strien (De Groot 1961; Van Strien 1986). We shall first compare these two approaches, and then the choice for the fundamental approach will be justified. Accordingly, the outline is developed.
Concluding, IT can: ! improve the execution and coordination of the business functions of the firm to produce a better competitive performance, based on lower costs or on differentiation; ! create new products and services to (new) customers; ! change the industry in which it competes. Many descriptive conceptual frameworks like that of Porter and Millar are present in the literature (Weill & Broadbent 1990, p. 205). So far, there is no systematic theory to explain and predict IT exploitation (Bakos & Treacy 1986, p.