Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy




Deborah Compeau


In order for a company to operate effectively within today’s marketplace, an information system (IS) represents a necessary business asset in terms of efficiency and productivity. Still, despite the ongoing advances in technology, an IS stands out as an expensive asset due to the amount of change that it brings to organizational life. Its real value, however, must be examined in terms of its interaction with other resources of the firm. Hence, it is necessary to understand the factors that affect the business value of information technology (BVIT). This research addresses the human capital characteristics and organizational characteristics of a firm, resources that are potentially complementary with IT, and their impact on BVIT. The employees’ diversity and knowledge and the company’s organizational climate and structure represent variables that are expected to affect BVIT. This research uses the resource-based view of the firm as a framework for examining IS, while modeling human capital and organizational characteristics as resources of the firm. It also utilizes concepts from the literature on employee diversity and shared knowledge in order to develop theories and hypotheses about the phenomenon. The resulting hypotheses are built into a research model that is tested using Partial Least Squares, with the relevant data deriving from a large database of Canadian firms that was collected by Statistics Canada in 2005 using the Workplace and Employee Survey. The results show that both resources – human capital and organizational characteristics – impact the business value of IT. These findings have many implications for research and practice, and they contribute to the advancement of knowledge within the field of information systems.