Distributing Global Information Systems Resources in Multinational Companies

Distributing Global Information Systems Resources in Multinational Companies

H.K. Cheung (Hong Kong Polytechnic, Hong Kong) and Janice Burn (Hong Kong Polytechnic, Hong Kong)
Copyright: © 1994 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/jgim.1994070102
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Abstract

The recent realignment of national boundaries and the restructuring of national economic policies around the world have highlighted the need for effective management of international Information Systems (IS). This article re-examines the issue of IS resource management within the international dimension. Previous debate on this issue has centred around conflicting views on the need for headquarters to assume control and subsidiaries to exercise freedom, supporting two forms of IS structure - centralized and decentralized. However, the authors argue that centralization and decentralization of IS should constitute the two extremes of a continuum and this continuum relates to the extent to which the multinational company (MNC) adopts a multidomestic structure or a global one. This contingency view of IS and organizational alignment is presented and related to concepts on organizational fit and information sharing. This paper examines the question of IS resources management from the following aspects : firstly, the drive for internationalization and the differences between a multidomestic, global and transnational approach is discussed. From this, a continuum model for the alignment of MNC structures and IS services is proposed. Finally, a number of research areas based on the continuum model are identified for further study within a global research framework.

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