Systèmes d'Information et Management


This article addresses the use of information and communications technologies (ICT) in the context of Reunion Island, an ultraperipheral region of the European Union. Our research is based on a sample of 118 of Reunion's most prominent companies. Upon observing that the amount of equipment and the uses of ICT are superior in Reunion than in metropolitan entreprises of the same size, we tried to understand the reasons why ICTs were used more intensively in Reunion and whether this more intensive level of use was linked to differentiated productive or competitive performances. On one hand, much of the literature on these questions posits a paradox in productivity in relation to ICTs. However, today such a paradox has been largely refuted or is highly moderated On the other hand, we noted that Management literature emphasizes the conditional nature of the link between competitiveness and ICTs. Is the more intensive use of ICTs by Reunion businesses linked to the characteristics of the local economic structure and the remote location of businesses in relation to France and Europ? Indeed, all Reunion businesses do not fit the same mould and differentiations between them should be found. This brings us to the three core questions of this article: Do businesses distinguish themselves in their profiles based on their degree of computerization? To what extent do external relations, particularly remote location in relation to suppliers, affect this differentiation and the uses of ICT? Are the productive and competitive performance results in business profiles differentiated according to their degree of computerization? Our research supported a relatively robust confirmation of the first two points, but a more tenuous confirmation of the third. The use of ICTs appears to be a response to the constraints of distance for some businesses whereas for others it is more akin to an offensive strategy. Indeed, ICTs appear to be a modus operandi that is no doubt more necessary in Reunion than elsewhere, but not sufficient in itself to yield universally beneficial results.