An empirical examination of the effects of system support and maintenance on business process innovation
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Over the last decade, Information Systems research has been preoccupied with examining the pre-adoption, use and impact of Information Technology. A great majority of the research effort has been directed towards studying the cognitive processes associated with an individual’s pre-adoption activities, adoption decisions, and initial user behaviors. In recent years, post-adoptive behavioral studies have started to emerge but generally using the lens of the same set of factors that lead to initial use and acceptance. Little research is found in the Information Systems literature that explores issues related to the post-adoption stage. This study addressed an important issue related to the post-adoption stage of Enterprise Systems in the Information Systems literature. Its aim was to provide a mechanism for understanding the use of Information Systems competencies at the post-adoption stage as change levers to achieve Business Process Innovation (BPI). More specifically, the purpose of this study was to develop and validate a model to understand the role of Systems Support and Maintenance at the post-adoption stage in influencing Business Process Innovation, in conjunction with the mediating effects of Information Systems competencies. A Competency Based Perspective, an extension of the Resource Based View, was used as a theoretical foundation underlying the research model. The model hypothesized that Systems Support and Maintenance (SSM), Organizational Learning (OL), Technology Planning (TP), Inter-functional Coordination (IN) and Collaboration (CO) would influence BPI. A two phased approach was used to collect the data for this research. In the first phase, the content and construct validity of the measure was established through card sorting, expert panel review rounds, a survey pre-test as well as a pilot study. The result obtained in this stage helped to refine the measurements. In the second phase, data were collected from Information Technology professionals to quantitatively test the research model. The research model was then evaluated using partial least square (PLS). SmartPLS software was used to evaluate the measurement model as well as the structural model. Altogether 189 useable responses were received. The results showed that the SSM, TP, CO variables were strong predictors of BPI. Overall, the SSM construct and other identified variables accounted for at least 71% of variance in the dependent variable, BPI. Furthermore, the results also demonstrated that SSM positively influences TP, OL, IN and CO at the post-adoption stage. This thesis has significant theoretical as well as practical implications. From a theoretical viewpoint, this study contributes and extends post-adoption literature by applying the Competency Based Perspective in explaining the role of SSM and other IS competencies that can influence BPI. Another theoretical contribution lies in the specification, rationalization and empirical justification of a set of interrelationships between SSM and IS Competencies that have a propensity to be associated with BPI at the post adoption stage. From a practical viewpoint, the findings of this study emphasize an important role of SSM and IS competencies that can further enhance a common understanding of the IS competencies required to develop the innovation capabilities in an organization.