Telecommunication Technologies: Use and Investment Patterns in U.S. Multinational Corporations

Telecommunication Technologies: Use and Investment Patterns in U.S. Multinational Corporations

Laku Chidambaram (University of Hawaii, USA) and William G. Chismar (University of Hawaii, USA)
Copyright: © 1994 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/jgim.1994100101
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Abstract

Telecommunication technology enables multinational corporations (MNCs) to efficiently transfer the information necessary for coordinating global operations and remaining internationally competitive. However, few published studies have empirically examined the relationship between the organizational characteristics of MNCs and their use of telecommunication technologies. This study investigated whether use of, and investment in, telecommunication technologies by MNCs is related to firm and industry characteristics. Results from 105 U.S. MNCs reveal that the use of certain telecommunication technologies like teleconferencing networks and messaging systems differ significantly across firms with different degrees of international involvement and size; and, to a limited extent on industry characteristics. However, other technologies like inter-organizational systems and transmission media do not differ based on these characteristics. Moreover, the relative investment in such technologies as a whole differs in terms of a firm’s degree of international involvement and its industry type, but not in terms of its size. Reasons for these differences are explored. The study also highlights the growing importance of building information platforms for integrating organizational systems using a wide variety of computing and communication technologies. Implications for IS/telecommunication executives and researchers are discussed.

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