The strategic use of information technology (IT) has received considerable attention in academic circles from the 1980s on and researchers have put forward several prescriptive models which businesses could adopt in order to identify the strategic potential of IT in business. Most of them tried to rationalize their theories using a limited number of success stories originating largely from American multinational corporations. Unfortunately, so far, very little empirical research has been conducted to examine the general validity of the ivory tower theories. Our project which was conducted in Montreal using a large number of Canadian companies has been an attempt to discover if we can find any evidence of the impact of academic theories on the real world of business. This paper addresses three main themes: Do Canadian organizations have a corporate IT strategy? Are organizations in Canada using IT in a strategic fashion? Can we identify any difference between the service and manifacturing sectors concerning the use of IT? In order to achieve these objectives we used two methods. Since there is overwhelming evidence in the management literature that the Chief Executive Officer's annual report to shareholders can serve as a convenient keyhole through which one can observe the evolution of corporate strategy, our first approach involved an examination of a random sample of such reports of 39 companies to see if IT matters figured prominently in them. Secondly we used a questionnaire survey of a fairly large number of companies, which formed the major part of our investigation, to ascertain top management commitment to IT as well as the external orientation of IT systems in order to address the competitive forces faced by companies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Information Systems
- Computer Networks and Communications
- Library and Information Sciences