Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Journal of Enterprise Information Management, Volume 24, Issue 6
It gives us great pleasure to welcome our readers to the 6th issue of the 24th volume of Enterprise Information Management (JEIM), and express gratitude to them for their continued support during the preceding several years. Similar to years 2009 and 2010, this year 2011 has begun to represent yet another period of growth for the JEIM. The continuous update of the journal’s scope to promote theory and practice has led to an increase in regular research paper submissions and more importantly, for this issue we have a particularly outstanding quality of submissions and viewpoints focusing on a multiplicity of angles, and providing a mixture of conjectural and practical contributions. The research presented herein is investigative in nature and deals with contemporary and potential issues and themes primarily related to customer satisfaction in outsourced IT services, auditing in enterprise system environment, business transformation and employee career commitment factors, all providing a mixture of conjectural and prudent contributions.
This issue commences with a research paper by Jayachandra Bairi and Murali Manohar. The purpose of their research is to explore critical success factors in gaining user customer satisfaction in outsourced IT services and find how it helps in the competitive advantage and customer retention for the service provider. Improving the service quality and customer satisfaction of outsourced IT service is the main rationale behind pursuing this research. For validating their conceptual findings, three firms were selected primarily because a large part of their IT support work is outsourced to multiple vendors and support work is carried out both onsite and offshore. A structured, open-ended interview was conducted for the exploratory nature of this case study. The primary data were collected through face-to-face interviews, with 12 senior managers. Collected extensive secondary data were provided by the interviewees. The paper provides evidence that by following critical success factors there are few expected outcomes to client and service provider organizations like user satisfaction for the client and competitive advantage and customer retention in IT service providing organization. As evident from the interview with the three companies, from their experience over the years of outsourcing the IT services, the service providers are able to sustain better employee retention. Customers have seen improved employee attitude and morale, increased productivity of the service provider, which resulted in reduced cost to customers over the years. The findings were based solely on oil and gas organizations from North America and UK. Implication of this research on theory is, by following these critical success factors, user customer satisfaction is likely to improve in outsourced IT services. This research may help in reducing service provider burn out and improve employee retention. The lesson learned is, to be a successful IT service provider in a long run, one needs to understand the end user and executives of the client and also one’s own knowledge workers. From a novel perspective, the authors state that IT outsourcing is ultimately a people-centric business. Many client and service provider companies make the error of assuming that it’s a process-centric event or a simple business transaction. The best outsource service providers focus on morale, resistance, retention, and cultural evolution. Implementing effective service management will pay back in terms of better service and improved business performance and result in stronger long-term relationships between suppliers and recipients.
Then we have Alexandra Kanellou and Charalambos Spathis providing a synthesis on auditing in enterprise systems environments. This comprehensive synthesis is achieved in order to identify research gaps, propose directions for future research and guide researchers and practitioners on how to better synthesize these two areas. Interaction between enterprise systems and auditing is in need of more academic research and practical investigation, which may lead to the development of better solutions, guidelines and frameworks. The authors included 31 academic studies from 2000 to 2010 in this study. After reading these studies, different areas had been selected and were addressed in five categories: the future of audit in ES environment, modern audit tools and techniques, changes of auditors’ role, differences in perceptions between financial auditors and IT auditors, ERP and compliance with regulations. The authors report that ES implementation results in audit process reengineering and increases the need of continuous monitoring of transactions. The presence of IT auditors becomes critical, while financial auditors are asked to enhance their skills in order to be able to conduct effective audit tests. Modern audit tools and techniques must be used so that internal control processes will be appropriate for an ES. It is not an exhaustive list and some relevant publications might have been overlooked. Much literature has been scanned by reading the title only. In order to conduct a comprehensive review the topical focus was kept relatively narrow on auditing and ES. Researchers and practitioners must take into consideration the interaction between ES and auditing in order to advance research in this area. Companies must understand the changes that occur in the audit procedure due to ES implementation, so that they will design efficient audit tests and auditors must enhance their knowledge in order to be able to conduct these tests effectively. This study uncovers and classifies current research within auditing and ES (focusing mostly on ERP systems).
Following the previous research, authors Klas Gäre and Ulf Melin consider ICT’s considerable importance for increasing productivity and growth: Using ICT requires resources to create value. As resources are more limited in smaller enterprises, and the contexts and conditions for using ICT in SMEs are not well known, the purpose is to investigate conditions in the context of sense making for ICT adoption and use among SMEs. This study uses a qualitative and explorative methodological point of departure and approach. More than 60 interviews are performed within a geographical region. Empirical data was analyzed for similarities and patterns into themes and topics. The research presented herein was able to highlight the conditions for using ICT in SMEs by applying a qualitative research approach. The important findings from this research as a formative ICT infrastructure can be viewed as constituted by needs identified among SMEs, in sense making; sense giving, and service infrastructures. In SMEs there are less infrastructure and fewer overhead and support services than in larger enterprises. The adoption processes in SMEs differ from the ones in larger enterprises in that they rely more on external relations in a public infrastructure for sense making in ICT adoption and use. Formative ICT infrastructure in SMEs is not a well-known concept. The need for formative infrastructure in ICT adoption and use in SMEs relies on external partners and other actors in the sense making and sense giving processes. Further research is needed for understanding actors and roles better, as well as arenas for sense making ICT in SMEs. Designing the infrastructure for ICT use and development, particularly in SMEs, but also in other enterprises and organizations, requires better understanding of the conditions. The emphasis on infrastructure for ICT adoption processes will help SMEs to receive more relevant investments. The study integrates micro- and macro-perspectives and combines theories from different fields to extend the knowledge of formative infrastructure for SME’s adoption and use of ICT in terms of firm size and dependency on public infrastructure.
Finally, we have Naimatullah Shah investigating employee career commitment factors in the public sector organisation of a developing country. Understanding employee attitudes and behaviours have made possible the successful of organisation policies and strategies. Managers are often worried about to know the employee related factors. The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationships and predictive power of job satisfaction, organisational commitment and job promotion towards the employee career commitment in a developing country. The paper is based on theoretical approach to identify the proposed relationships of job satisfaction, organisational commitment and job promotion variables with employee career commitment. This is a cross sectional study where the researcher has used a self-administered survey questionnaire for data collection. The proposed approach is applied in a public-sector organisation of a developing country. The findings of the paper hold that independent variables such that job satisfaction, organisational commitment and job promotion have positive and significant relationships to dependent variables i.e. employee career commitment. This study has methodological limitations as it employed just quantitative data from a large public-sector organisation of a developing country. In addition, only a direct relationship approach with limited number of variables is used so this also limits the work in theoretical approach. However, this study contributes in the literature on organisational behaviours and employee commitment domain particularly from developing countries’ perspectives.
This research may support the management and practitioners of human resources management and organisational behaviour in assessing and evaluating employee attitudes and behaviours in the organisation. The paper uses a quantitative approach in order to examine the employee attitudinal and behavioural variables towards employee career commitment.
We hope you will find this issue interesting and thought provoking, and hope to receive your valuable contributions for forthcoming issues of Journal of Enterprise Information Management.