Differential Diffusion of Information Systems Technology in Multinational Enterprises: A Research Model

Differential Diffusion of Information Systems Technology in Multinational Enterprises: A Research Model

Narayan S. Umanath (University of Tulsa, USA) and Terry L. Campbell (International Institute for Management Development, Switzerland)
Copyright: © 1994 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/irmj.1994010101
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Abstract

Recorded evidence suggests that information systems technology (IST) can be harnessed at least at a national level to create favorable market asymmetries leading to competitive advantage for the firm. Diffusion of IST over worldwide divisions of a multinational enterprise (MNE) and its ramifications, however, pose a more complex scenario. Economic analyses have been shown to be insufficient to explain why and how diffusion of technology occurs in MNEs. Cultural and political factors at both the organizational and societal (national/regional) levels also influence the diffusion process. Is IST a viable competitive weapon in a worldwide market setting? How diverse are the IST needs of the units of an MNE? Is uniform diffusion of IST across the board a necessary condition for the smooth operation and success of an MNE? How does IST diffuse within an MNE? What are the contingent factors that contribute to the differential rate of diffusion of IST across the units of an MNE? This paper proposes a research model to address these questions.

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