Not only is the computer and its associated software a powerful research tool but it has been argued also that the utilisation of Information Technology makes an important contribution to competitive advantage (e.g., Keen 1986; Remenyi 1988; Earl 1989). In particular it is important to note the impact, in this respect, of end‐user computing — the capability of users to have direct, hands on control over their computing needs — the rapid growth of which has been fuelled by the advent of personal computers and fourth generation languages (Gerrity and Rockart 1986; Alavi, Nelson and Weiss 1988). End user computing presents three kinds of competitive benefit to the individual, group or organisation: efficiency benefits, effectiveness benefits; and transformation benefits (Arkush and Stanton 1988; Porter and Gogan 1988).
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