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Generativity of enterprise IT infrastructure for digital innovation

Shan Wang (Edwards School of Business, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada)
Ji-Ye Mao (School of Entrepreneurship and Management, ShanghaiTech University, Shanghai, China) (Department of Management Science and Engineering, Renmin University of China, Beijing, China)
Fang Wang (Lazaridis School of Business and Economics, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Canada)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 31 January 2024




Digital innovation requires organizations to reconfigure their information technology infrastructure (ITI) to cultivate creativity and implement fast experimentation. This research inquiries into ITI generativity, an emerging concept demoting a critical ITI capability for organizational digital innovation. More specifically, it conceptualizes ITI generativity across two dimensions—namely, systems and applications infrastructure (SAI) generativity and data analytics infrastructure (DAI) generativity—and examines their respective social and technical antecedents and their impact on digital innovation.


This research formulates a theoretical model to investigate the social and technical antecedents along with innovation outcomes of ITI generativity. To test this model and its associated hypotheses, a survey was administered to IT professionals possessing knowledge of their organization's IT architecture and digital innovation performance. The dataset, comprising responses from 140 organizations, was analyzed using the partial least squares technique.


Results reveal that both dimensions of ITI generativity contribute to digital innovation performance, with the effect of DAI generativity being more pronounced. In addition, SAI and DAI generativities are driven by social and technical factors within an organization. More specifically, SAI generativity is positively associated with the usage of a digital application services platform and IT human resources, whereas DAI generativity is positively linked to the usage of a data analytics services platform, data analytics services usability and data analytics human resources.


This research contributes to the literature on digital innovation by introducing ITI generativity as a crucial ITI capability and deciphering its role in digital innovation. It also offers useful insights and guidance for practitioners on how to build ITIs to achieve better digital innovation performance.



This work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (72072181) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (892-2021-0031; 435-2020-0761).


Wang, S., Mao, J.-Y. and Wang, F. (2024), "Generativity of enterprise IT infrastructure for digital innovation", Internet Research, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024, Emerald Publishing Limited

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