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Chapter III. Executive Judgment and the ... > Empirical Investigation of Strategic...

Empirical Investigation of Strategic Judgment

The “integrative framework” developed by Lee (1989, 1991) in a series of papers regarding the management of information systems provides a suitable approach to the study of judgment. Lee’s integrative framework formally presented in his 1994 paper combines three levels of “understandings”: the subjective, the interpretive and the positivist. According to Lee, the three understandings are “far from being mutually exclusive and irreconcilable”; in fact, “they may be utilised as mutually supportive and reinforcing steps in organisational research”. Priem and Cycyota (2000) also support this view by claiming that both qualitative and quantitative studies are necessary to increase our understanding of strategic judgement.

In the case of e-business, qualitative work can be useful in exploratory investigation that may highlight issues more formal approaches may miss. For example, case studies of the most spectacular strategic information systems initiatives Baxter Healthcare and American Airline’s SABRE indicate that these IT/e-business systems were largely accidental success stories (Clemons, 1986). However, these subjective and interpretive studies cannot test hypotheses adequately because of the close contact needed with research subjects and the resulting small sample size. Quantitative studies provide the crucial positivist link that complements exploratory work in a way that can generate more widely generalizable insights. Notable examples include the study of IT’s contribution to performance in the retail industry (Powell & Dent-Micallef, 1997), and the investigation of organizational antecedents to e-business adoption (Srinivasan et al., 2002).


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