Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 11 Number 2 1994 pp. 59-73

An Examination of Information Technology's Impact on the Value of Information and Expertise: Implications for Organizational Change

Sampler, Jeffrey L and Short, James E

ABSTRACT: This paper is organized around two research questions and three issue areas in business reengineering. We address: (1) To what extent does environmental volatility affect the rate of accumulation or decay of critical firm assets? and (2) How can expertise and information related assets be operationalized in the context of process-based ("radical") organizational restructuring? With respect to business reengineering, we address: (1) How can differing needs for process reengineering projects be characterized? (2) To what extent does organizational resistance to reengineering projects differ by categories of need? and (3) To what extent are failure rates experienced by reengineering practitioners traceable to lack of alignment between project needs, planning agendas, and dominant modes of organizational resistance? We develop an explanatory framework based on two constructs, expertise half-life and information half-life, and apply these to help analyze current practices in business reengineering. We posit that under certain conditions high project failure rates are associated with weak coupling between reengineering project objectives and the firm's general business and information systems planning agendas. Under other conditions, this weak coupling is associated with successful projects. We conclude with recommendations for methodological approaches and suggested research extensions.

Key words and phrases: business reengineering, core competencies, strategic assets, time-based competition, value of expertise