Strategic fit of information technology in global competition : an analysis of multinational ocean carriers in Hong Kong

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Strategic fit of information technology in global competition : an analysis of multinational ocean carriers in Hong Kong

 

Author: Leung, Ka Yan
Title: Strategic fit of information technology in global competition : an analysis of multinational ocean carriers in Hong Kong
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 1996
Subject: Information technology
Freight and freightage -- China -- Hong Kong
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of Management
Pages: 82, [14] p. : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1222908
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/3407
Abstract: The emergence of a new level of economic and political stability has facilitated the globalization forces. Firms operating across country units are now on the threshold of a new surge of competition. Creation of new industries and the pervasive restructuring of many existing industries have been made possible by the integration of computer technology and telecommunication. Taken together, globalization and technological innovations have resulted in a variety of creative strategies and organizational designs that engender both business and information management challenges. More multinational firms are emphasizing the use of globally common information systems to capture economies of scale and scope by going global. Driven by the forces of intense competition, information technology is said to be driven by and the formidable driver of globalization. Against this backdrop are two monumental works by Harvard and MIT scholars in late 80's, which laid a good foundation for the development of research on globalization of information systems. Christopher Bartlett and Sumantra Ghoshal's research on multinational corporations' strategies and structures (1989) have delineated a contingency organizational model describing the alternative control and decision making structures for a multinational firm. Among the organizational structures they identified, transnational corporations seem to be the most able to simultaneously meet the strategic orientations through maximizing global economies of scale and scope while being locally responsive to customers in the countries they operate. On the other hand, while there is widespread agreement that organizational and information system (IS) strategies should be linked or integrated, little evidence exists to show the nature of the ways by which linkages can be achieved in practice. Henderson & Venkatraman (1992) proposed a strategic alignment framework which helps to define the nature of a balancing act between internal and external factors as well as between the business domain and the information technology domain. This external domain is then taken as the global dynamic environment in which multinational corporations are operating. Proper alignment of the global information management strategy with the evolving global business strategy is critical to the positioning of the global firm in this highly dynamic, global marketplace. This paper seeks to explore the choice of organizational structure by MNCs and how they can create the necessary strategic fit between their global IT strategy and global business strategy. A survey of the strategic alignment of multinational ocean carriers in Hong Kong reveals that MNCs which structure themselves as transnationals will generally have the tightest strategic alignment. Management implications on how to realize the benefits from global IT investments are offered.

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