During the past two decades, both business managers and academic researchers have shown considerable interest in understanding how information systems (IS) lead to competitive advantages in a firm. The present study builds on this interest to examine the nature of IS competence and delineate the process by which IS competence lead to sustainable competitive advantages. Conceptually, IS competence is considered a multidimensional construct, with the quality of the IT infrastructure, IT-business expertise, and the relationship infrastructure. We present a model that elaborates on the interrelationships between IS competence and competitive advantages along with one key contextual antecedent (the intensity of organizational learning), pose a series of hypotheses, and present the results of an empirical test that involved structural equation modeling, using data collected via a national mail survey from chief IT executives from 202 manufacturing firms. While the quality of the IT infrastructure did not have any significant effect on competitive advantages of the firm, the quality of IT-business expertise and the relationship infrastructure were found to be significantly related to competitive advantages. The results of the study indicated that the intensity of organizational learning was significantly related to all three factors: the quality of the IT infrastructure, IT-business expertise, and the relationship infrastructure. IS competence was also found to partially mediate the relationship with regard to the competitive advantages.
Bhatt, Ganesh, "Managing Information Systems Competence for the Competitive Advantage: An Empirical Analysis" (2003). ICIS 2003 Proceedings. 12.