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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Identifying IT/IS Strategy Profiles in Manufacturing SMEs

Identifying IT/IS Strategy Profiles in Manufacturing SMEs
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Author(s): Chris E. Hillam (University of Sunderland, UK)and Helen M. Edwards (University of Sunderland, UK)
Copyright: 2003
Pages: 4
Source title: Information Technology & Organizations: Trends, Issues, Challenges & Solutions
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-066-0.ch215
ISBN13: 9781616921248
EISBN13: 9781466665330


The problem of alignment of business strategy to IT/IS strategy has been widely reported as one of the key concerns currently facing organisations. This alignment or linkage has been defined by (Reich and Benbasat 1999) Reich and Benbasat as “the degree to which the IT mission, objectives and plans support and are supported by the business mission, objectives and plans.” A number of studies focusing on this subject have reported on a range of issues such as the measurement of this linkage (Reich and Benbasat 1999), and the critical success factors involved (Teo and Ang 1999) and (King, Cragg et al. 2000). King et al (2000) (King, Cragg et al. 2000) and Gupta et al (2000) (Gupta, Karimi et al. 1997) report that where business strategy and IT/IS strategy are well aligned, organisational performance is enhanced. Much of this work tends to concentrates on larger organisations, with relatively little work undertaken in the SME community. Notable exceptions include Levy et al’s work (1999, 2001) (Levy, Powell et al. 1999) (Levy and Powell 2000) (Levy, Powell et al. 2001) assessing IT/IS strategy development frameworks within SMEs, and Bergeron’s application of a strategic matrix aiming to identify opportunities for implementing IT/IS for competitive advantage in SMEs (Bergeron and Raymond 1992). This paper presents some case study research undertaken within five manufacturing SMEs in the north east of England, and describes part of a longer term study examining how SMEs plan IT/IS strategy, and what SME expectations are in terms of business benefits from their IT/IS investments. The empirical results from these case studies when compared with existing literature and strategies reveal the existence of a range of IT/IS strategy approaches in manufacturing SMEs. This is explored and presented via a proposed IT/IS strategy profile framework which is discussed and described using some of the case study examples.

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