IT competency and firm performance: is organizational learning a missing link?, Michael J. Tippins, Ravipreet S. Sohi,  Strategic Management Journal, 2003, Volume 24, Issue 8 , Pages 745 – 761


- This study proposes that organization learning plays a significant role in determining the outcomes of IT. Drawing from resource theory and IT literature, the authors develop the concept of IT competency.


[Resource-based view]


- The advantages of IT can be protected by embedding it in an organization through complementarities and co-specialization

   1) Complementarity is said to exist when the value of one resource is enhanced by the presence of another resource. The value of IT is enhanced when firms use it to develop knowledge stores about its customers, markets, and other factors that influence performance.

   2) Co-specialization is said to exist if one resource has little or no value without another

     - IT objects, IT knowledge, and IT operations.


[IT competency]


- From a resource-based perspective, competencies are inimitable because of idiosyncratic development of resources that have little value outside the context of a specific firm.

- This inimitability can form the basis of competitive advantage

   1) IT Knowledge

     - IT knowledge is distinguishable as a subset of the more general conception of knowledge

     - IT knowledge is conceptualized as the extent to which a firm possesses a body of technical knowledge about objects such as computer based systems.


   2) IT Operations

     - Technical operations, or techniques, comprise activities that are undertaken in order to achieve a particular end

     - the skills not only represent a deep understanding of a particular knowledge domain,’ but also reflect an ability to export the knowledge to other incongruent operations

     - IT operations are conceptualized as the extent to which a firm utilizes IT to manage market and customer information.


    3) IT Objects

     - IT objects act as ‘enablers’ and are largely responsible for the current increases in information production and dissemination

     - IT objects represent computer-based hardware, software, and support personnel.


[Organizational learning]


- Organizational learning consists of four components: information acquisition, information dissemination, shared interpretation, and development of organizational memory.



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