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MAAOE 2002

Chomienne, H. ; Corbel, P. et Saïd, K. « Managing the Implementation of ICTs: A Key Strategic Capability », Proceedings of the 3rd MAAOE (Multinational Alliance for the Advancement of Organizational Excellence) Conference, Ayr, September 2002, p.126-138


Part of the literature on management and information systems has presented the new generation of ICTs (especially those that are based on the Internet technologies) as the means to improve considerably communication and team work inside organisations, and therefore to gain competitive advantage. Once more, information technologies are considered as miracle tools able to solve organisational problems in firms as well as in other organisations. As we demonstrate, this discourse is not new, but has proved simplistic and has often resulted in disappointment at each stage of the development of computer technologies.
We argue that technological tools in that field are generally not a sustainable source of competitive advantage by themselves, one of the main reasons being product standardisation in the computer business. Therefore, the only means of differentiation between organisations is the way those technologies are used. We use both the recent literature on organisational-level research on technology implementation and a case study on the introduction of ICTs (intranet) in services of the French Ministry of Equipment, Building and Transport to show the potential influence of the process of implementation on technology usage.
The process of implementation therefore appears as the key factor to obtain competitive advantage. As this advantage lies in organisational routines which are at least partially tacit and therefore hard to replicate, this advantage is potentially sustainable. We finally use the Resource-Based View as a framework to check the coherence of our findings with existing theories in the field of strategic management.

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