2006 – Susan Keyes-Pearce

Susan Keyes-Pearce was awarded the 2006 ACPHIS PhD medal.

Her research showed that models of IT value management approaches are not emulated in the field and also revealed several significant gaps between theory and practice. Her empirical field findings showed that the concepts highlighted by these gaps are key to improving IT value management. These key concepts form the basis for extensions to current theory and proposes an Integrated IT Value Management Framework to assist firms to improve IT value management from strategic IT-enabled business initiatives.

IT Value Management In Leading Firms: The Fit Between Theory And Practice

This research addresses the perpetual problem raised by many firms of how to improve management of value from information technology (IT), particularly from strategic IT-enabled initiatives. Evidence in academic and professional literature shows firms often perceive poor returns on IT investments overall. The research specifically addresses the question of how firms leading in BtoB (business-to-business) e-business in their industries can improve the management of value from IT. It focuses on value identification, creation, and capture from strategic IT-enabled business initiatives such as e-business. The scope of the research is restricted to management of value from IT over the business lifetime of strategic IT-enabled initiatives, as expressed by current theory and as demonstrated in practice. The theoretical focus pursues models or frameworks for IT value management that attend to all the phases in the business lifetime of an IT-enabled initiative and that also tightly connect IT value management with business strategy and activities. The objectives are to assist firms to improve management of value from their IT and, specifically, to contribute to the development of theoretical considerations and frameworks in academic research targeting IT value exploitation.

The thesis discerns theoretical frameworks currently available in the academic literature to advise firms on IT value management throughout the business lifetime of an IT investment. Analysis of the literature reveals that only two theoretical frameworks currently conform to criteria for integrated IT value management. These are models proposed by Soh and Markus (1995) and Peppard and Ward (2004). Five case studies of firms leading in BtoB e-business in their industries were conducted using an interpretive approach to the study of the phenomenon of IT value management in the field. Current theory is compared with perceptions and practice in the field regarding both evaluation and exploitation of IT value.

The research shows that the models’ IT value management approaches are not emulated in the field and also reveals several significant gaps between the theory and practice. The empirical field findings show that the concepts highlighted by these gaps are key to improving IT value management. These key concepts form the basis of extension to current theory and an Integrated IT Value Management Framework is proposed to assist firms to improve IT value management from strategic IT-enabled business initiatives. Although the Framework requires further research to test and confirm its robustness in theory and practice, it is a distinct development in knowledge and theory about IT value management with evident implications for practice. The thesis’ various research outcomes provide a significant contribution to theoretical understanding of how IT value management can be improved.

Susan Keyes-Pearce’s Award Winning Thesis