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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Journal of Enterprise Information Management, Volume 22, Issue 5
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the fifth issue of the 22nd volume of the Journal of Enterprise Information Management. This issue covers a variety of contributions that span the theoretical and practical.
Piotrowicz and Cuthbertson from Oxford Saïd Business School offer a conceptual insight to the sustainability as a new dimension of information systems evaluation. Customers, policymakers and business partners increasingly require the monitoring and reporting of the organisational impact on sustainability. However, traditional IS evaluation approaches are not able to capture the impact of IT/IS on sustainability, especially in relation to social and environmental dimensions, so the authors stimulate discussion and research related to this area. The framework was originally developed for supply chain evaluation; however, it has generic features that can be adjusted or modified to be applied to a whole range of IT/IS initiatives in both the public and private sectors. Sustainability and its new dimensions create new challenges for information systems evaluation. Companies and government require frameworks and tools that can help them to measure and evaluate the impact of IS on sustainability. The researchers position themselves to answer such needs and focus on this emerging research theme.
“An analysis of the major issues for successful information technology transfer in Arab countries” is then presented by Al-Mabrouk and Soar. The transfer of enabling technology has become a vital component of successful countries looking for technological innovation and techno-economic development. However, in the history of technology transfer in Arab countries, it is probably true that there has been more failure or to avoid exploring a nebulous, disappointment than satisfaction in achieving the expected results from the technology transfer agreements. The purpose of their study is to identify, analyse, and discuss the major issues for successful IT transfer in Arab countries. Thus, a three-round, non-anonymous, Delphi-type survey was designed to understand and explicate major issues from the perceptions of stakeholder groups in Arab countries. The coding approach and synthesis procedures resulted in a master set of 10 major issue categories. This paper serves to focus discussion and promote constructive interaction for the purpose of developing an increasingly sophisticated understanding of the nuances of IT transfer process in Arab countries.
Ibrahim, Noor and Mehad explain that the proliferation of the internet as a means for knowledge and information exchange has given rise to new issues of sustaining trust. Much research has already been done on understanding various aspects of website’s trustworthiness within the e-tailing domain, such as e-commerce. However, researchers have not studied trust on websites that evoke emotionally charged topics that are culturally and ethically oriented. Given the varying results of previous studies on consumers’ trust assessment, the authors hypothesise whether consumers’ trust evaluations on topics that are sensitive to their cultural norms would give different connotation of trust and its guidelines. Drawing attention to the web-based information for Islamic content environment, this paper presents and discusses the results of a descriptive study conducted via an online survey which was distributed to online Muslim users through a mailing list from the Federation of Universities in the Islamic World (www.fuiw.org) database. The analysis highlights some issues surrounding trust among 605 respondents from different continents. The outcome of the findings indicates the importance of third-party seals and overall site presentation in mediating the interaction of trustworthy communication.
“A situated cultural approach for cross-cultural studies in IS” is then presented by Ali and Brooks. This paper provides a comprehensive framework of a situated culture approach to study culture within the information systems (IS) domain. This is achieved via an articulation of structuration theory and the provision of an approach to study cross-cultural phenomena within IS area. The paper proposes two main components of the structuration theory based analysis model that is proposed as a way to study culture within information systems. First, the paper presents ideas behind the practice lens for studying the use of technology, as proposed by the normative literature. Secondly, the paper presents a structurational analysis approach as detailed in the normative literature. The paper argues that using a practice lens contributes to identifying the mediated shared structures between actors through understanding the actions of the actors within the phenomena. Then, using a structurational analysis approach contributes to identifying the cultural dimensions that are embedded in the identified mediated shared structures. This paper contributes to the cultural studies within information systems and provides a framework for researchers aiming to investigate cultural influences for different phenomena within information systems.
Loukis, Pazalos and Georgiou present “An empirical investigation of the moderating effects of BPR and TQM on ICT business value”. Using data collected through a survey from 271 Greek firms moderated regression models founded on the Cobb-Douglas production function are estimated. These have as dependent variable the firm value added (objective measure of business performance), and as independent variables the yearly labour expenses, the value of the non-computer capital, the value of the computer capital and business process reengineering (BPR) and total quality management (TQM) measures. From these models it is concluded that both BPR and TQM have considerable positive moderating effects of similar magnitude on the relationship between ICT investment and firm value added. Also, different BPR and TQM activities have different moderating effects on ICT business value; process simplification, process improvement and creation of horizontal interdepartmental process are the BPR activities with the largest moderating effects. Measurement of employee satisfaction and simplification of work methods for quality improvement are the TQM activities with the largest moderating effects. Both BPR and TQM are important ICT “complementary factors”, which, if combined with ICT, can increase the business value it generates. Therefore ICT should not be used simply as a tool for automating existing business processes, but for creating and supporting new business processes and practices, such BPR and TQM.
“Identification and assessment of risks associated with ERP post-implementation in China” is presented by Peng and Nunes. The need for the research emerged from the growing awareness in the field that there is a scarcity of studies focusing on enterprise resource planning (ERP) post-implementation, in contrast with an over-abundance of studies focusing on implementation and project management aspects. The purpose of the study reported in this paper was to identify, assess and explore potential risks that Chinese companies may encounter when using, maintaining and enhancing their ERP systems in the post-implementation phase. The study adopted a deductive research design based on a cross-sectional questionnaire survey. This survey was preceded by a political, economic, social and technological analysis and a set of strength, weakness, opportunity and threat analyses, from which the researchers refined the research context and selected state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in the electronic and telecommunications industry in Guangdong province as target companies with which to carry out the research. The questionnaire design was based on a theoretical risk ontology drawn from a critical literature review process. The questionnaire was sent to 118 selected Chinese SOEs, from which 42 (84 questionnaires) valid and usable responses were received and analysed. The findings identify a set of 40 ERP exploitation risks, which concentrate around operational, analytical, organisation-wide and technical issues. The top 10 identified ERP risks and associated causes and consequences are discussed extensively in this paper. The study also explores and identifies ten statistical correlations between the risks identified.
Then, De Haes and Van Grembergen are “Exploring the relationship between IT governance practices and business/IT alignment through extreme case analysis in Belgian mid- to large-size financial enterprises”. Many thought leaders are promoting information technology governance and its supporting practices as an approach to improve business/IT alignment. The main conclusion of this explorative research is that all extreme case organisations were leveraging a broad set of IT governance practices, and that IT governance practices need to obtain at least a maturity level 2 (on a scale of five levels) to positively influence business/IT alignment.
I would like to thank Dr Maged Ali of the Brunel Business School for his help in compiling this issue, which included the best paper of the European and Mediterranean Conference on Information Systems, EMCIS (2008). Further details of the EMCIS conference series can be found at www.emcis.org
We hope you enjoy reading this issue, and hope to receive your valuable contributions for the following issue.
Zahir IraniEditor (Zahir.firstname.lastname@example.org)Maged AliEditorial Assistant