Information Systems Design Decisions in a Global Versus Domestic Context

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Abstract

This study was motivated by the existence of two opposing schools of thought on managing information technology (IT) in a global context. One study proposes that managing IT in a global context is largely the same as managing IT in a domestic context. The other proposes that there is a difference. The results from interviews with 65 project managers, of whom 27 had international management experience, reflect a reality that lies somewhere between the two extremes. Using Q-methodology techniques, the project managers rated the relative importance of 33 items for decisions about the distribution of IT applications' hardware, software, and data. Although the most important factors influencing an application's IT distribution decision appear to hold across both domestic and global contexts, the global context contributes variability, unfamiliarity, and complexity that cannot be ignored. Compared with their domestic counterparts, project managers with global experience tended to be more cosmopolitan in their viewpoints, emphasized more local units' responsiveness, were more sensitive to power issues at headquarters as well as in local units, stressed the need for continuous, uninterrupted 24-hour services, and took into greater account the legal issues related to governmental regulations.

Additional Details

Author Noam Tractinsky and Sirrka L. Jarvenpaa
Year 1995
Volume 19
Issue 4
Keywords IS management, global IS, distribution policy, IS planning, Q-methodology, IS project managers, international business
Page Numbers 507-534