Conference Paper

Why People and Processes Enable Sustainability and Not the Latest Technology: On Achieving Green IT/IS Capability Maturity

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Abstract

Green IT and Green IS are innovation types that organizations adopt so as to digitally and sustainably transform themselves. Since it is not the innovation adoption itself that leads to the desired outcomes, organizations need to build the necessary Green IT/IS capabilities. To do so, they may adhere to the IT-Capability Maturity Framework, which incorporates an explicit Green IT capability. We improve this framework and provide a better understanding of the Green IT/IS concept as well as of how to achieve Green IT/IS maturity. We map and integrate the Green IT capability to well-known understandings of Green IT/IS and find that, despite the technology-related label, most Green IT capability building blocks relate to sociotechnological and management processes. Thus, organizations need not first invest in new Green IT before building Green IT/IS capabilities; altering processes and sensitizing employees may be equally effective.

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While many corporations and Information Systems units recognize that environmental sustainability is an urgent problem to address, the IS academic community has been slow to acknowledge the problem and take action. We propose ways for the IS community to engage in the development of environmentally sustainable business practices. Specifially, as IS researchers, educators, journal editors, and association leaders, we need to demonstrate how the transformative power of IS can be leveraged to create an ecologically sustainable society. In this Issues and Opinions piece, we advocate a research agenda to establish a new subfield of energy informatics, which applies information systems thinking and skills to increase energy efficiency. We also articulate how IS scholars can incorporate environmental sustainability as an underlying foundation in their teaching, and how IS leaders can embrace environmentalsustainability in their core principles and foster changes that reduce the environmental impact of our community.
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Seeks to present a better understanding of dynamic capabilities and the resource-based view of the firm. Dynamic capabilities are considered to be the "organizational and strategic routines by which firms achieve new resource configurations." Dynamic capabilities are identifiable and specific routines that can serve different purposes, including integrating resources, reconfiguring resources within firms, and guiding the gain and release of resources. Various examples such as the product development process and alliancing, are discussed. Commonalities related to effective dynamic capabilities can be seen across firms though this does not mean that these capabilities are exactly alike. The dynamism of the market can impact the sustainability of the dynamic capabilities and the causal ambiguity of these capabilities. Moderately dynamic markets see robust, grooved routine, while high velocity markets experience simple rules and real-knowledge creation. The evolution of these dynamic capabilities within a firm are unique but the firm's individual path is shaped by well-known learning mechanisms. Competitive advantage does not lie in the dynamic capabilities themselves but rather in the resource configurations that managers build using these dynamic capabilities. (SRD)
Article
It is increasingly recognized that what makes a theory interesting and influential is that it challenges our assumptions in some significant way. However, established ways for arriving at research questions mean spotting or constructing gaps in existing theories rather than challenging their assumptions. This paper proposes problematization as a methodology for identifying and challenging assumptions underlying existing literature and, based on that, formulating research questions that are likely to lead to more influential theories.
Managing IT for Business Value
  • A Agerbak
  • S Deutscher
Agerbak, A., and Deutscher, S. 2010. "Managing IT for Business Value," Boston Consulting Group, October 22. (https://www.bcg.com/de-de/publications/2010/transformation-tech-functionmanaging-it-business-value.aspx).
How Language Shapes Your Organization
  • K Allen
Allen, K. 2012. "How Language Shapes Your Organization," Harvard Business Review. (https://hbr.org/2012/07/how-language-shapes-your-organization).
Developing Green It Capability: An Absorptive Capacity Perspective
  • V A Cooper
  • A Molla
Cooper, V. A., and Molla, A. 2012. "Developing Green It Capability: An Absorptive Capacity Perspective," in PACIS 2012 Proceedings, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, July 15, p. 16.
G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines -Reporting Principles and Standard Disclosures
Global Reporting Initiative. 2013. "G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines -Reporting Principles and Standard Disclosures," Amsterdam. (https://www.globalreporting.org/resourcelibrary/GRIG4-Part1-Reporting-Principles-and-Standard-Disclosures.pdf).
Early Adopters Report Big Savings from IT-CMF
  • I Grant
Grant, I. 2010. "Early Adopters Report Big Savings from IT-CMF," ComputerWeekly.Com. (https://www.computerweekly.com/news/1280097086/Early-adopters-report-big-savingsfrom-IT-CMF).