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New IT implementations: Learning from past experiences

TitleNew IT implementations: Learning from past experiences
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsSaraf, N., Dasgupta S., and Sambamurthy V.
JournalSocial Science Research Network Working Paper
Keywordsit implementations, learning-by-doing, organizational innovations, organizational learning, performance feedback

This research focuses on the experience-related antecedents of enterprise IT innovation, in particular, the implementation of new IT systems. We draw from the firm learning literature to propose four dimensions of IT implementation (ITI) experience - frequency, breadth, valence and recency - and propose hypotheses linking these four dimensions to the likelihood of future ITIs. Drawing from human capital theory, we also examine whether the effect of frequency and breadth of ITI experience on future implementations is more pronounced or subdued because of turnover of knowledge workers. We investigate our hypotheses using a rich panel dataset of 1,466 workplaces collected through a longitudinal establishment level survey by Statistics Canada. First, the most intuitive measure of IT implementation experience, frequency, is found to have a detrimental effect on future IT implementation propensity. Functional breadth, which captures the 'footprint' of previous implementations in terms of the heterogeneity of employee categories, on the other hand, has a positive impact. Next, managers' perception of the performance impact of a most recent IT implementation (valence) is significant and positive and, the more recent is the previous implementation, the greater is the effect of valence. Interestingly, employee turnover of knowledge workers, per se, increases ITI likelihood, but weakens the impact of ITI frequency and breadth.

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