The Role of Information Technology in the "Fit" Between Culture, Business Strategy and Organizational Structure of Global Firms

The Role of Information Technology in the "Fit" Between Culture, Business Strategy and Organizational Structure of Global Firms

Jeffery Katz (Kansas State University, USA) and James B. Townsend (Kansas State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2000 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/jgim.2000040102
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Abstract

This paper examines the impact of culture on the organizational and information technology infrastructures of global competitors while considering the role business strategy plays on both infrastructures. Prior research has suggested that when managers consider how culture impacts the information flow and structure of the organization, a more effective "fit" between business strategies and performance results. In this article, we propose a conceptual framework comparing national cultures and two important organizational factors-components of organizational structures and components of information systems. Specifically, we propose a framework for understanding how organizational structures and information technology will vary based on national culture within the confines of the firm’s chosen competitive strategy. We examine the differences in organizational structures and information technology in three cultures to demonstrate how our framework may be used by international management practitioners and researchers to better understand the impact of cultural differences on the operations of firms choosing to operate in international markets. Finally, we suggest propositions for future empirical testing by information management researchers as well as make suggestions for testing.

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