Information Technology Competence of Business Managers: A Definition and Research Model

Faculty of Business Administration, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
Journal of Management Information Systems (Impact Factor: 2.06). 03/2001; 17(4):159-182.
Source: DBLP


This research explores the concept of the information technology (IT) competence of business managers, defined as the set of IT-related explicit and tacit knowledge that a business manager possesses that enables him or her to exhibit IT leadership in his or her area of business. A manager's knowledge of technologies, applications, systems development, and management of IT form his or her explicit IT knowledge. This domain further extends to include knowing who knows what, which enables the manager to leverage the knowledge of others. Tacit IT knowledge is conceptualized as a combination of experience and cognition. Experience relates to personal computing, IT projects, and overall management of IT. Cognition refers to two mental models: the manager's process view and his or her vision for the role of IT. The outcomes expected from IT-competent business managers are chiefly two behaviors: an increased willingness to form partnerships with IT people and an increased propensity to lead and participate in IT projects.

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    • "The second knowledge domain is technological knowledge which deals mostly with the technological competence of an organisation (Ko et al., 2005) and with the capability to recognise new technologies (Ashrafi et al., 2006). Prominent examples of this domain are IT knowledge (Bassellier et al., 2001; Reich and Kaarst-Brown, 2003) and state-of-the-art technical practices (Matusik and Heeley, 2005). Beside these two domains predominately discussed in the literature (e.g., Maurer et al., 2011), there are three more knowledge domains. "
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    • "More specifically, it identifies the influences on law firms' decision-making processes that will affect the rate of diffusion of software innovations throughout the legal market. While there has been a significant body of literature that has investigated the diffusion of technology, including that which occurs in professional service firms (Bassellier & Benbasat, 2004; Boone & Ganeshan, 2001; Gottschalk & Khandelwal, 2004; Swan & Newell, 1995), the applicability to the comparatively unique context of a law firm structure remains elusive. The distinction is important, since the likelihood of the adoption of information technology is highly dependent on the setting where an innovation is introduced (Zmud, 1982; Kearns & Sabherwal, 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: Law firms have characteristics that inherently inhibit the adoption of technology that increases efficiency. Ironically, efficiency reduces revenue in law firms. Billable hours spent on inefficient tasks, such as manual billing or legal research using books rather than computer software, is generally directly billed to clients. In order to facilitate diffusion of new software technology, the top management decision-makers must be convinced by reliable and trusted opinion leaders backed by an innovation champion that it would be profitable to do so. In law firms, these opinion leaders are predominantly embodied in the firms’ dedicated information technology (IT) staff.
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    • "For example, competencies related to the applications of networks, e-mail communication, ERP software applications may be required for creating information capital essential for the implementation of a specific strategy. Consistently, Bassellier et al. (2001) proposed that business managers need information technology competencies required for performing their tasks as well as promoting their organisational capabilities for competition. This approach may also be helpful for competency identification, considering the conceptualisation of competency in relation to performance. "

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