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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Information & Management, Volume 43, Issue 3, April 2006, Pages 364–377
For over a decade, empirical studies on the organizational performance of IT investment have been far from conclusive, and one major issue that has led to an ongoing debate is whether inadequate methods are applied in measuring IT values. Traditional measures have primarily been financial: return on investment and return on sales. Researchers have suggested a need to use other measures, although there has been little agreement on which precisely to use. Moreover, empirical studies showed limitations in using only a single organization-level measure, whereas a more complete assessment could involve measures from several levels. In addition, benefits from IT investments are normally realized over time. This study used an integrative assessment framework with a three-level structure of organizational hierarchy: corporate strategies, manufacturing decisions, and operational activities, along with a time-lag effect. Different levels of performance measures were examined over different time periods. The framework was verified by survey data. Our results indicated that time tag had positive impact on the performance measures of corporate strategies and that they were significantly correlated with operational activities.
Today, it is still necessary to consider traditional manufacturing processes and relationships with suppliers and customers, enhancing them by using information technology (IT) to aid collaboration with trading partners in real time. The first wave of Internet procurement focused primarily on automation of internal workflow. The next phase must offer applications that provide decision support as well as reporting and analysis tools. The online marketplace will aid both buyers and suppliers by serving as a single point for their interaction, eliminating the constraints inherent in connecting trading partners . However, the transformation from the traditional to e-business in manufacturing requires large investments in IT. For over a decade, empirical studies have also attempted to quantify the benefits realized from IT investments. Although, much of this has shown positive relationships between IT investment and economic performance (e.g., profits and productivity), the results, especially those related to the contribution of IT to productivity, have been mixed, finding little or no improvement in productivity despite massive investment ,  and . One possible reason for this is inadequate methodology in researching IT value. The measures used to evaluate an organization's performance have historically been financial ones, such as the monetary value of sales and profits or percentage return on investment. These financial measures are regularly classified as internal rather than external (e.g., market share and growth). In fact, they are mostly defined in terms of more concrete business activities within organizations and can be considered as operational measures. For manufacturing activities, the objectives traditionally have been to minimize cost, increase labor efficiency, and improve machine utilization . Perhaps the most serious issue in measuring organizational performance resulting from IT has been that its payoff has been considered in isolation, separate from other organizational activities. Similarly, there have been suggestions that different performance measures should be used at different levels of the organizational hierarchy . Although many authors have agreed on the need to use more non-financial measures, there has been little agreement on which ones. We decided to study the strategic potential of IT in implementing a firm's business strategy to achieve competitive advantage, particularly in the current major e-business streams of supply chain management, enterprise resource planning, and customer relationship management . This has not been discussed in earlier research on organizational performance measures. Also, defining performance measures in manufacturing should be linked to organizational strategy, as reflected by the manufacturing decisions ,  and . Although different authors have selected different sets of manufacturing decisions, the more common ones include efficiency, dependability, quality, and flexibility  and . Because an organization is a complex system, when one factor is changed, meaningful evaluation may need to go beyond immediate, isolated outcomes, to consider long-term change. More specifically, the values of e-business investments may be realized over an extended period of time, in particular in dealing with non-financial measures . Therefore, we investigated a hybrid performance measure system based on three levels of the organizational hierarchy, with corporate strategies, functional decisions, and operational activities, and a time-lag effect for e-business investment in manufacturing industries. Furthermore, because high-tech industries are more likely to have this kind of experience, firms from high-tech industries were good subjects for empirical examination in the framework.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
For over a decade, empirical studies have examined the impact of IT investments on various performance measures. However, the results from firm-level studies have been mixed in showing any relationship between IT investments and productivity. We proposed a hybrid performance measure system in terms of an organizational hierarchical structure associated with time-lag effects. This framework was successfully validated, using empirical data. The implication for practitioners is that the value of IT is realized basically through a chain of relationship within the organizational hierarchy. As a result, an integration of the performance measures in terms of the structure of organizational hierarchy is capable of avoiding sub-optimization in certain organizational levels and effectively reflects the contributions of operational activities and manufacturing decisions to the final goal of corporate strategies. Also, adequate time lags are needed for measuring the performances of different organizational levels in order to examine and prove the contribution of IT to productivity. Future research could be founded on this work. This framework can be applied in discussing the performance measures of the specific e-business investments, such as customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management (SCM), knowledge management (KM), and so on. This would provide insight to the specific decisions of IT investments by senior management. Next, this research is attributed to survey-based study with considering time-lag effect and alternatively, case studies with longitudinal experience will be the other way to more clearly examine the performances. Finally, although this study has produced some interesting results, it may still have some limitations. The first is the generalizability of the findings to other industries, such as service industries and traditional manufacturing. Second, this study required respondents to recollect their performance of e-business investments over past years. A potential problem may therefore occur for respondents clearly and correctly answer the questionnaires (possibly by their mis-statement of or knowledge about the real results over a certain period of time); thus, the data might have biases. However, the responding sample was well representative of the sample frame.