Corresponding Author

Sha Huang

Document Type



IT firms have grown in economic importance in the last few decades. It is the interest of both practitioners and researchers across a range of business management and information system disciplines. Having conducted a systemic literature review, we proposed a new conceptual definition and conceptual frameworks which together provides a deeper understanding of the essence of “IT firms”. The definition we proposed of IT firm offers a way forward for identification of IT firms with increased understanding and a clear boundary. The conceptual framework synthesized the characteristic dimensions of IT firms. It not only improves current understanding of IT firms but also provides a solid foundation for further studies of IT firms. The types of IT firms developed in this paper offers a means of classifying different IT firms. The IT firm development framework in relation to innovation focus and improvisational capabilities not only advances understanding about IT firms, but also provides further research opportunities towards empirical testing and knowledge building. The insights discovered in the paper are also useful for business practitioners in strategy and consulting. The frameworks provide useful knowledge and advice for IT firms within the industry.