Using a sample of large industrial firms from two industries with differing external turbulence ‐ commercial banking and pharmaceutical ‐ hypothesizes that the need for a senior manager of information technology is essential in high‐turbulence industries (commercial banking). This hypothesis was tested by evaluating the performance (as measured by return on investment (ROI) of 50 commercial banking firms and 39 pharmaceutical firms, and the presence of a top level information manager. In the commercial banking industry, statistical analysis did not support the hypothesis of significant differences in performance between those companies with a top‐level information manager and those without. States that, in the pharmaceutical industry, the statistical test supported the hypothesis of significant differences in performance between companies with top‐level information managers and those without.
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