FREE ELECTRONIC LIBRARY - Dissertations, online materials

Pages:     | 1 |   ...   | 5 | 6 || 8 | 9 |   ...   | 23 |

«Researchers have endeavored to increase understanding of the relationships between investments in information systems (IS), competitive advantage, ...»

-- [ Page 7 ] --

A lot of what it takes to make decisions can‘t come directly out of [the ERP system] or off of a report. A big part of what goes in to making a decision on whether we are going to offer a new product comes from the experience we have here. It may come from knowing something about the specific skills of a person or knowing how you can set up a specific machine or knowing right away we will have to invest in a new machine or some piece of technology. If you don‘t take this into consideration, you‘re going to end up making the wrong decision about what we can do. (FCI manager, new product development) Within the context of this firm, explicit and tacit firm knowledge exists within individuals of the firm. Therefore, organizational learning take place through the members of the firm (Simon, 1991), who become firm-specific knowledge-based resources. From the viewpoint of the managers, knowing is a vital resource in FCI and is a consistent theme throughout their discourse. It is largely the aspect of knowing that sets this organization apart from the competition in their industry (Kogut & Zander, 1992). Information systems are used not only as repositories of historic information related to tacit and

–  –  –

possesses those tacit knowledge and skills.

Managers at FCI use the modern information system as a repository of both current and historical information that can be easily accessed and made available to key organizational participants. The interpretation in this dissertation of organizational information resources is distinguished from the prevalent knowledge based view by its incorporation not only of the knowledge held by individuals, but the organizational knowledge held in historic files and the documentation of processes that have been continued over time. FCI, as predicted by Levitt and March (1988) has organizational memory. Organizational members learn through encoding history into routines, which include forms, strategies and technologies around which the organization is constructed.

Historic files have been kept over the years that explain processes, unique setups on

manufacturing equipment, and even results of historic product testing:

Some of what is necessary to formulate a new product may come from the files we have kept on testing over the years. (FCI Manager) Knowledge of proprietary manufacturing processes is kept unavailable to other organizations within the industry by legal contracts. Knowledge of organization-specific manufacturing practices and techniques is being passed from one generation of engineers

and production managers to the next through observation and on-the-job training:

A lot of what I do is just out and out education. I have absorbed so many things over the years that I have worked here. Part of my job is to impart that to the younger ones who are coming along now. (FCI Manager)

–  –  –

The information resources held within FCI contribute largely to its competitive position as a dominant firm in its industry. The managers at FCI largely attribute their success to the knowledge, experience, and proprietary practices and processes inherent in their own organization. One manager states: ―When we combine what we have here in our own organization with what we know about that‘s going on in the industry, none of our competitors can touch us.‖ This quote illustrates the significant role of information systems in facilitating a connection between what is known and captured as part of the organizational memory and what is currently transpiring in the industry. In the absence of an effective information system, organizational memory and organizational routines and processes even though a potent source of competitive advantage (Barney, 1991) cannot be fully utilized in crafting competitive actions. As so succinctly stated by Mintzberg (1976), ―To my mind, organizational effectiveness does not lie in that narrow minded concept called ―rationality;‖ it lies in a blend of clearheaded logic and powerful intuition‖ (p. 58). There must be a proper mix of knowing with the current information on the state of the industry, which is external to the organization. In short, information systems in this firm play a vital role in providing the connection between organizational memory and dynamic developments in the competitive environment of the firm thus helping the key decision makers in formulating the correct set of competitive actions.

–  –  –

confluence of four factors: Internal/External Information Sources, Tacit and Explicit Knowledge Resources on Competitive Actions, the Information on Drivers of Competitive Action, and Information Flexibility Related to Competitive Actions.

Managerial interpretations characterize Information Flow as a distinct concept (Knight & McDaniel, 1979), which constitutes the sharing and diffusion of a culmination of information sources and organizational information resources in the context of this study.

Managers believe that the progression of a competitive action decision is unlikely in the

event of ineffective information flow:

Like going after this [particular customer], we can‘t make effective decisions if we can‘t get the right information and get it to the right people at the right time.

(FCI Manager, new customer acquisition).

As integral to the context of this study, managers define information flow as

embedded in the effective use of the organization‘s information systems:

One way we try to get new customers is to provide samples of what they want.

But we have to get all of the spec information entered into the [ERP system] by salespeople. Sometimes they just call us or email us with it or even just say something in passing in the hall! That just doesn‘t work. It all boils down getting all of the information entered, not just bits and pieces. (FCI Manager, new customer acquisition).

The embeddedness of information systems in the context of information flow in the formulation and enactment of competitive actions is emphasized when disconnects occur in the chain of events. As emphasized in the manager‘s quote, new customers are dependent upon timely samples. Timely samples are dependent upon complete product

–  –  –

this breakdown in the formulation of information flow creates a situation where the

competitive action decision process cannot begin:

This information has to flow throughout the organization, to the customer service reps, the engineers, maybe R&D. The quicker we can get all of the information the quicker we can begin to make the decision about creating the product. (FCI Manager, new customer acquisition) The quote above emphasizes the importance of comprehensive and effective Information Flow in the context of managerial decision making toward competitive actions. Studies utilizing organizational information processing theory (Galbraith, 1974) have tended to incorporate information flow into the concept of information processing capabilities (Smith et al., 1991; Bento & Bento, 2006). However, the importance of information flow is emphasized as one manager at FCI stated, ―We are a manufacturing company, but everything we do stems from information.‖ Similar to the concept of organizational information processing that explains management decision-making by the information flows throughout the organization (Knight & McDaniel, 1979), effective information flow enabled by information systems is the first step in facilitating and enacting competitive actions. Information flow allows organizational participants to connect, share and develop a common conceptualization of specific organizational actions.

Conceptually, organizational information processing includes the transfer and analysis of sensory data from the boundary of the organization to the key decision makers and enables these decision makers to select and emphasize the information in their decisions (Huber & Daft, 1987; Knight & McDaniel, 1979). One key role of the modern IS is that

–  –  –

distribution of the sensory data from the boundary to specific key decision makers in a more efficient and organized manner. As stated by the Network Administrator, ―Without this [a particular information system] no one can do their jobs,‖ implying the dependence on information flow with regard to activities that enable competitive actions.

4.3.4. Information on Drivers of Competitive Actions. Ferrier (2001) suggests that within their competitive environments firms compete for market share, use aggressive pricing techniques, and implement advertising campaigns. Other techniques include competition through innovation (Banbury & Mitchell, 1995), and differentiation (Caves & Ghemawat, 1992). Similarly, in competitive actions are driven by customer product inquires, innovation, pricing, new end-uses for products, and advertising.

However, managers discover unique avenues for competitive action within their own organization. The quality of FCI‘s products goes unrivaled throughout its markets.

Managers use the quality inherent within the organization‘s processes as a competitive weapon to pursue new customers and markets. Furthermore, managers find the knowledge and history held within FCI‘s own information systems a driver toward

competitive actions:

We have history kept here in files on some rudimentary testing that was done years ago on [substitute product]. We are finding that having access to that history is providing new product ideas. They didn‘t have the technology to do these things effectively then. We do now. (FCI Manager, new product development).

–  –  –

The concept Information on Drivers of Competitive Action can be examined in the context of the Need construct inherent in prevailing organizational information processing theory (Galbraith, 1974; Thompson, 1967), where uncertainty creates the need for increased information processing capability in firms. While conventional information processing theory would suggest that information processing capabilities increase in response to increasing levels of organizational uncertainty, we find that FCI‘s managers invest in systems to facilitate reduction in uncertainty related to competitive activity rather than to reduce uncertainty in general. They interpret their organization as a first mover and market leader (Ferrier, Smith, & Grimm, 1999; Makadok, 1998; Smith, Ferrier & Grimm, 2001) and managers are not concerned with generic uncertainty, rather

they focus on uncertainty related to visible (i.e., ―big‖) actions undertaken by rivals:

We are the major player in our industry. We don‘t really pay a lot of attention to what the competitors are doing unless it is something big. We are big enough that it doesn‘t really matter to us very much at this stage. (FCI Manager, new product development) Managers have strong assumptions about their own organization and about their rivals in the industry (Zajac & Bazerman, 1991) which may potentially influence their competitive strategies or create ―blind spots‖ or situations where managers do not have a realistic view of competitive situations (Grimm, Lee & Smith, 2006). However, we find

–  –  –

of the consequences of actions and awareness of rivals‘ actions within the competitive landscape. The speed at which the competitive action/response process can be addressed is immediately relevant to the speed and flexibility of information provided, shared and disseminated through information systems among managers. In fact, the firm migrated from a traditional module-based ERP system to a Software-as-a-Service ERP system as well as Blackberry communications system among others due to the capabilities these technologies afforded in overcoming temporal and spatial limitations and hastening the completion of the competitive action or response process followed by FCI. Managers interpret the firm‘s dominant position as a factor that reduces uncertainty, which may be addressed by the speed by which competitive action decisions can be made by the managers. Building upon research which has examined speed in the context of competitive actions (Chen & Hambrick, 1995; Eisenhardt, 1989; Ferrier, 2001; Smith & Grimm, 1991), information systems address the concept of speed in terms of reducing uncertainty. Additionally, managers interpret their organization as a first mover and market leader versus challengers (Ferrier, Smith, & Grimm, 1999; Makadok, 1998;

Smith, Ferrier & Grimm, 2001) and aggressive in their markets (Ferrier & Lee, 2002).

Finally, building upon Ferrier (2001), the data suggests that managers choose to engage in a simultaneous attack of multiple actions carried out over some time duration to intimidate rivals into non-response. FCI‘s managers interpret that information systems facilitate idea generation and collaborative decision-making; thus, their firm is able to undertake a greater number of competitive actions, a wider array of competitive actions,

–  –  –

dominant position.

One of the most interesting findings from the data is that managers of a dominant firm see information systems not only in the context of reducing uncertainty but as a provider of opportunities for competitive actions. This set of notions point to the idea that the relationship between information systems investments and competitive actions might be circular. Certain competitive actions may prompt a firm to invest in new information systems but at a later period the very availability of the information provided and distributed by the information system may allow key decision makers to conceive, enact and execute competitive actions that might not have been possible in the absence of

the information system:

We have the capability here now to analyze the data in our R&D department so we need to put it to good use and start investigating new ways to create and offer new products to our existing market and develop products that will open up new markets altogether. (FCI Manager, new product development).

Managers construe the availability of their information systems as a weapon toward new competitive actions. Information systems are available; therefore, information systems drive competitive action through enabling innovation.

Pages:     | 1 |   ...   | 5 | 6 || 8 | 9 |   ...   | 23 |

Similar works:

«JOHANNES MEUER Configurations of Inter-Firm Relations in Management Innovation A Study in China’s Biopharmaceutical Industry Configurations of Inter-firm Relations in Management Innovation A Study in China’s Biopharmaceutical Industry Configurations of Inter-firm Relations in Management Innovation A Study in China’s Biopharmaceutical Industry Configuraties van Interorganisatorische Relaties in Management Innovaties Een Studie van de Chinese biopharmaceutische Industrie Thesis to obtain...»

«Internet Journal of Criminology © 2008 The phenomena of Black youth crime and how Black youths are portrayed in the media in the United Kingdom: Whether the portrayal can be considered exaggerated, or if the moral panic is in someway justified? By Ndubuisi Nkem Okoronkwo1 Abstract Black youth crime and the portrayal of black youths in the media have generated considerable publicity in recent years. The recent fatal knife and gun crimes in London involving black youths were highlighted by the...»

«RELIGIONS AND CULTS IN PANNÓNIA lŒLIGIONS AND CULTS IN PANNÓNIA A SZENT ISTVÁN KIRÁLY MÚZEUM KÖZLEMÉNYEI BULLETIN DU MUSÉE ROI SAINT-ÉTIENNE A. sorozat 33. szám / Série A. No. 33. Series editor: Fülöp Gyula Editor: Fitz Jenő HU ISSN 1216 7967 HU ISBN 963 7390 83 9 Published by the FEJÉR MEGYEI MÚZEUMOK IGAZGATÓSÁGA H-8002 Székesfehérvár, Fő u. 6. RELIGIONS AND CULTS IN PANNÓNIA Exhibition at Székesfehérvár, Csók István Gallery 15 May 30 September 1996...»

«Bangladesh Union Parishad Elections 2011 Election Observation Report EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Rupantar and Election Observation: Rupantar is one of a member of Elections Working Group-EWG. The Election Working Group-EWG is a non-partisan, national coalition of civil society organizations that share a common commitment to free and fair elections and good governance in Bangladesh. As an active member of Elections Working GroupEWG, Rupantar observed Khulna city corporation election-2007, National...»

«IEMed. European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed.) Consortium formed by: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Government of Catalonia Barcelona City Council President: Artur Mas President of the Government of Catalonia Vice-Presidents: José Manuel García-Margallo Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Joana Ortega Vice-President of the Government of Catalonia Xavier Trias Mayor of Barcelona President of the Executive Committee: Senén Florensa Director General: Andreu Bassols...»

«Masaryk University Faculty of Arts Department of English and American Studies English Language and Literature Bc. Zdeněk Nývlt Jamaican Creole: Its Continuity in the United Kingdom M.A. Major Thesis Supervisor: PhDr. Kateřina Tomková, Ph. D. 2012 I declare that I have worked on this thesis independently, using only the sources listed in the bibliography. Brno, 28 April 2012. I would like to express many thanks to my supervisor, PhDr. Kateřina Tomková, Ph.D., for her kind and valuable...»

«Scrambles Amongst the Alps in the Years 1860-69 By Edward Whymper Time Period: 1865 (The first edition of Scrambles Amongst the Alps was published in 1871 by John Murray, London) Background Material Scrambles Amongst the Alps is one of the best representations of writing from the golden age of mountaineering in the mid and late 1800’s. Edward Whymper, the author, became interested in mountaineering when in 1860 he was asked by a London publisher to make sketches of the famous peaks of the...»

«DOI: 10.2478/auom-2014-0037 An. St. Univ. Ovidius Constanta ¸ ¸ Vol. 22(2),2014, 121–127 ON THE SOLVABILITY IN LOCAL EXTENSIONS Akram Lbekkouri Abstract The aim of this paper is the study of the solvability of finite extensions of local fields in the general case that is when the residue field is not necessarily perfect. 1 Perfectness of residue fields in ramification theory In case of a perfect residue field or at least when the residue extension is assumed to be separable (ie....»

«[JGRChJ 5 (2008) 9-41] PAUL’S BIBLE, HIS EDUCATION AND HIS ACCESS TO THE SCRIPTURES OF ISRAEL* Stanley E. Porter and Andrew W. Pitts McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, ON Canada 1. Introduction There have been many introductions to Paul’s use of Scripture over the last twenty years or so. 1 Most would agree that we have increased in our knowledge of how Paul uses scriptural texts in a variety of ways. Some of these studies have concentrated on the various forms of the text that Paul used,...»

«Handshaking Promotes Cooperative Dealmaking Juliana Schroeder Jane Risen Francesca Gino Michael I. Norton Working Paper 14-117 May 30, 2014 Copyright © 2014 by Juliana Schroeder, Jane Risen, Francesca Gino, and Michael I. Norton Working papers are in draft form. This working paper is distributed for purposes of comment and discussion only. It may not be reproduced without permission of the copyright holder. Copies of working papers are available from the author.     RUNNING HEAD: Handshaking...»

«SomeWhere: a scalable peer-to-peer infrastructure for querying distributed ontologies M.-C. Rousset2 joint work with P. Adjiman1, P.Chatalic, F. Goasdou´, and L.Simon1 e 1 LRI, bˆtiment 490, Universit´ Paris-Sud 11, 91405 Orsay Cedex, France a e 2 LSR-IMAG, BP 72, 38402 St Martin d’Heres Cedex, France Abstract. In this invited talk, we present the SomeWhere approach and infrastructure for building semantic peer-to-peer data management systems based on simple personalized ontologies...»

«To Live and Die in L.A.: UNDERSTANDING NOIR’S STATUS AS A FILM GENRE AND THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN FILM NOIR AND NEO-NOIR. Film Noir MOST PEOPLE WHO WATCH FILMS ON A REGULAR BASIS HAVE SEEN FILM NOIR IN ONE FORM OR ANOTHER. WHAT EXACTLY IS FILM NOIR? Is film noir a genre? What is a film genre?  What is a film style?  What is film noir?  What is neo-noir  Is noir a genre, a style, a cycle, or something else?  How To Live and Die in L.A. exemplifies neo-noir as a  genre. What is...»

<<  HOME   |    CONTACTS
2016 www.dissertation.xlibx.info - Dissertations, online materials

Materials of this site are available for review, all rights belong to their respective owners.
If you do not agree with the fact that your material is placed on this site, please, email us, we will within 1-2 business days delete him.