Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 20 Number 2 2003 pp. 169-246

A Taxonomy of Antecedents of Information Systems Success: Variable Analysis Studies

Larsen, Kai R T

ABSTRACT: Research in the information systems (IS) field has often been characterized as fragmented. This paper builds on a belief that for the field to move forward and have an impact on practitioners and other academic fields, the existing work must be examined and systematized. It is particularly important to systematize research on the factors that underlie success of organizational IS. The goal here is to conceptualize the IS success antecedents (ISSA) area of research through surveying, synthesizing, and explicating the work in the domain. Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods, a taxonomy of 12 general categories is created, and existing research within each category is examined. Important lacunae in the direction of work have been determined. It is found that little work has been conducted on the macro-level independent variables, the most difficult variables to assess, although these variables may be the most important to understanding the ultimate value of IS to organizations. Similarly, ISSA research on success variables of consequence to organizations was found severely lacking. Variable analysis research on organizational- level success variables was found to be literally nonexistent in the IS field, whereas research in the organizational studies field was found to provide useful directions for IS researchers. The specifics of the 12 taxonomy areas are analyzed and directions for research in each of them provided. Thus, researchers and practitioners are directed toward available research and receive suggestions for future work to bring ISSA research toward an organized and cohesive future.

Key words and phrases: antecedents of success, information systems implementation, quantitative research, taxonomy