Sustainability of Strategic Information Systems in Emergent vs. Prescriptive Strategic Management

Sustainability of Strategic Information Systems in Emergent vs. Prescriptive Strategic Management

Amin Hosseinian-Far (Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, UK) and Victor Chang (School of Computing, Creative Technologies and Engineering, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/IJOCI.2015100101
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Since the introduction of the ‘Strategic Information Systems' (SIS) concept by Wiseman in 1985, there have been numerous efforts in incorporation of such systems by businesses for the very main reason of gaining competitive advantage. Considering the broad categorization of Strategic Management into emergent and prescriptive types, integration of SIS into business processes seems to be dissimilar in these two categories. This paper initially outlines the phases in the two types of strategic management approaches. It then intends to produce a framework for integration of SIS in each of the two methods. Lastly, the sustainability of SIS in emergent and prescriptive strategic management is compared. Our points of views on the Modern SIS have been presented.
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2. Strategic Information Systems

Strategic Information Systems are the information systems that assist the policy makers and strategic to align the business initiatives and bring opportunities to the business (McNurlin et al., 2005). The term was initially introduced by Wiseman (1985), however, further discussions and thoughts have been established ever since. Turban et al. introduce number of priorities for use of an IS for strategic alignment of a business:

  • 1.

    Innovative applications

  • 2.

    Competitive weapons

  • 3.

    Changes in processes

  • 4.

    Links with business partners

  • 5.

    Cost reductions

  • 6.

    Relationships with suppliers and customers

  • 7.

    New products

  • 8.

    Competitive intelligence (Turban, 2006)

Looking into Turban’s factors, we would notice that each of the above mentioned priorities can be mapped in at least one of phases of both emergent and prescriptive strategic management framework. The priorities can also be mapped against other models and frameworks for SIS sustainability.


3. Emergent Strategic Management

In the emergent strategy, the objectives and some of the elements of the strategy are developed as the strategy goes ahead (Mintzberg, 1994) (Figure1). Usually such strategies are set for shorter periods of time compared to prescriptive strategic management approach. Such strategies are considered for volatile environments where full examination and establishment of the vision, mission and purpose cannot be accomplished (Mintzberg, 1994; Robinson, 2012). A good example of this can be Virgin Group which has adopted embryonic activities by entering different industries. In the UK alone the company now provides services and products through Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Cola, Virgin Mobile, Virgin Train, Virgin Money, etc. This approach intends to benefit the corporation by making money through a variety of operations and services. Although the company has suffered in certain industries due to challenges in the environment (Thompson, 1999), however has thrived in other sectors in the same period.

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