IT Capabilities, Interfirm Performance, and the State of Economic Development

Purpose – Prior studies have found that productivity gains associated with information technology (IT) adoption, measured at either the firm- or aggregate-economy levels, differ between developed and developing countries. The purpose of this paper is to extend prior cross-country research to the interfirm IT capabilities and relationship-level.

Design/methodology/approach – A two-country comparative study is conducted: the USA, a developed country; and Thailand, a developing country. The measurement constructs for the interfirm IT capabilities and performance are derived from the existing literature. Data are collected from IT managers who oversee interfirm relationships as follows: 68 from the US firms; 107 from Thai firms. Several statistical tools are used to test the developed hypotheses, including correlation, regression, and t-test analysis.

Findings – The important results of the paper indicate the following: IT technical capabilities are positively associated with interfirm performance across two countries. However, IT personnel IT capabilities had a positive relationship with interfirm performance only in Thai firms. Also, Thai firms realize higher innovation performance as a result of IT adoption than the US firms.

Research limitations/implications – This is an exploratory study as it is based on data from only two countries. Thus, a new causal theory about interfirm relationship-level performance is not sought. The future research needs include data collection from more countries and longitudinal analyses of trends based on advances in IT capabilities in different countries.

Originality/value – In today's networked global economy, many organizations have value chains that involve interfirm relationships. This paper is the first attempt to explore productivity gains associated with IT adoption, measured at interfirm relationship-level, based on cross-country comparative analysis.

Publication Information
Article Title: IT Capabilities, Interfirm Performance, and the State of Economic Development
Journal: Industrial Management and Data Systems (2009)
Vol 109, No. 9
Author(s): Lee, Sang M;  Buraj , Patrakosol
Researcher Information
Lee, Sang M
Lee, Sang M
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Information Systems
  • International - Europe
  • International - South and Central America
  • International - Asia
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