Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 21 Number 1 2004 pp. 17-54

Information Technology Payoff in E-Business Environments: An International Perspective on Value Creation of E-Business in the Financial Services Industry

Zhu, Kevin, Kraemer, Kenneth L, Xu, Sean, and Dedrick, Jason

ABSTRACT: Grounded in the technology–organization–environment (TOE) framework, we develop a research model for assessing the value of e-business at the firm level. Based on this framework, we formulate six hypotheses and identify six factors (technology readiness, firm size, global scope, financial resources, competition intensity, and regulatory environment) that may affect value creation of e-business. Survey data from 612 firms across 10 countries in the financial services industry were collected and used to test the theoretical model. To examine how e-business value is influenced by economic environments, we compare two subsamples from developed and developing countries. Based on structural equation modeling, our empirical analysis demonstrates several key findings: (1) Within the TOE framework, technology readiness emerges as the strongest factor for e-business value, while financial resources, global scope, and regulatory environment also significantly contribute to e-business value. (2) Firm size is negatively related to e-business value, suggesting that structural inertia associated with large firms tends to retard e-business value. (3) Competitive pressure often drives firms to adopt e-business, but e-business value is associated more with internal organizational resources (e.g., technological readiness) than with external pressure to adopt. (4) While financial resources are an important factor in developing countries, technological capabilities become far more important in developed countries. This suggests that as firms move into deeper stages of e-business transformation, the key determinant of e-business value shifts from monetary spending to higher dimensions of organizational capabilities. (5) Government regulation plays a much more important role in developing countries than in developed countries. These findings indicate the usefulness of the proposed research model and theoretical framework for studying e-business value. They also provide insight

Key words and phrases: business value, cross-country comparison, electronic business, electronic commerce, financial services industry, firm performance, information technology investment, technology diffusion, technology–organization–environment framework