Strategic advantage through information technology is a popular theme, but the extent of research support is sporadic, minimal, and unsystematic. This paper reports some preliminary results of a quasiexperimental study on the role of dedicated electronic integration (between an insurance carrier and its independent agents in the Property and Casualty market) in providing strategic benefits to this carrier. The results indicate that the agents that are electronically interfaced with the carrier report improvements in a set of four performance factors in the expected direction (six months after system installation) but statistically different from a matched set of non-interfaced agents (based on size, state, and location category) only in terms of increases in efficiency (number of policies) but not in terms of effectiveness (increase in financial performance indices). Further, within the sample of electronicallyinterfaced agents, over a one-year period after integration, the differential performance positions continue for this factor, raising the possibility of learning effects. Some explanations, extensions and research implications are outlined.
Venkatraman, N. and Zaheer, Akbar, "ELECTRONIC INTEGRATION AND STRATEGIC ADVANTAGE: A QUASI-EXPERIMENTAL STUDY IN THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY" (1989). ICIS 1989 Proceedings. 39.