Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 17 Number 4 2001 pp. 159-182

Information Technology Competence of Business Managers: A Definition and Research Model

Bassellier, Geneviève, Reich, Blaize Horner, and Benbasat, Izak

ABSTRACT: This research explores the concept of the information technology (IT) competence of business managers, defined as the set of IT-related explicit and tacit knowledge that a business manager possesses that enables him or her to exhibit IT leadership in his or her area of business. A manager's knowledge of technologies, applications, systems development, and management of IT form his or her explicit IT knowledge. This domain further extends to include knowing who knows what, which enables the manager to leverage the knowledge of others. Tacit IT knowledge is conceptualized as a combination of experience and cognition. Experience relates to personal computing, IT projects, and overall management of IT. Cognition refers to two mental models: the manager's process view and his or her vision for the role of IT. The outcomes expected from IT-competent business managers are chiefly two behaviors: an increased willingness to form partnerships with IT people and an increased propensity to lead and participate in IT projects.

Key words and phrases: explicit and tacit knowledge, information technology competence, information technology management