Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 8 Number 2 1991 pp. 135-151

The Impact of Office Information Systems on Potential Power and Influence

Soonchul, Lee

ABSTRACT: This paper explores a model of the impact of office information systems (OIS) on potential personal power and influence in an organization. The focus is on how OIS can increase the potential power and influence of an individual. I have drawn from power base theory to identify five bases of power that would, hypothetically, provide the potential for an individual's influence in an organization: (1) resource provision; (2) irreplaceability; (3) authority; (4) network centrality; and (5) expertise. To explore this conceptual model, data were collected from 136 users of well-established office information systems. This pilot study provides general support for our model that the impact of OIS on potential personal influence can be explained through its effects on the five power bases. In particular, the data indicate that network centrality is the most significant contributor to potential personal influence for administrative personnel, while resource provision is the most significant factor for technical personnel.

Key words and phrases: office information systems, organizational power