Communications of the Association for Information Systems


Despite the recognition that information is a strategic asset for any state government, we lack research on the deployment and use of information systems in the U.S. state government context. Information systems are central for state agencies’ efforts to develop optimal responses to demands from their internal and external constituents. We examine how a specific IS asset combines with prior knowledge to influence organizational capabilities. We also examine the connection between organizational capabilities and the IS-enabled absorptive capacity of U.S. state IT departments from the perspective of IS employees. This study may help researchers and practitioners understand the role of IS assets in forming IS-enabled absorptive capacity in government organizations. We collected survey data from 417 government IS employees that represented 21 different states. The findings indicate that the role of an IS asset depends on the type of asset. Inside-out IS assets (ERP) moderate the relationship between prior knowledge and organizational capabilities, while outside-in IS assets (CRM) directly affect organizational capabilities. In addition, organizational capabilities can directly affect IS-enabled absorptive capacity in IT departments. This research increases our understanding of the influence of different IS assets on IS-enabled absorptive capacity in state government IT departments. We discuss limitations and directions for future research.