Year

2003

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

School of Economics and Information Systems

Abstract

Executive Information Systems (EIS) are designed to enhance executives and senior managers' work performance in their organizations. Despite the importance and the reported growth in popularity of EIS, there are reports of underutilization of these systems which, in part, contributes to the failures these systems. The majority of prior EIS research has focused on documenting the features, benefits, development methodologies, and implementations of these systems. Unfortunately, very few studies addressed the problem of underutilization of EIS in relation to the user's behavior.

The primary aim of this research study is to investigate the factors that explain users' behavior towards using EIS in organizational settings. The study also aims to identify the relative importance of those factors that determine the use of with the objective of using the results to suggest ways of improving the usage EIS in organizations. The research model is based on Triandis' Theoretical Framework, a model from social psychology and organizational behavior. The research model is used to hypothesize that EIS usage (Behavior) is determined by: EIS experience, ability to use EIS (Habits); subjective norms, subjective roles, subjective values, social situations (Social Factors); perceived usefulness of (Consequences); user satisfaction with EIS information, the EIS system, EIS support, EIS plan (Affect); and EIS development processes, management processes, organizational environment (Facilitating Conditions).

Field data obtained by a survey questionnaire from CEOs, CFO s and one other executive from 200 organizations using EIS in Australia were used to test the research model and to confirm the appropriateness of the Triandis' behavioral model for EIS usage through correlation and regression analyses.

The results of the study indicate overall that social, cultural, political and organizational factors are important variables that explain the behavior of executives in using EIS. The order of importance of these factors (from most to least important) in explaining executives' behavior in using EIS is: organizational, social, cultural and political.

The results have theoretical, methodological and practical/managerial implications. Theoretically, the study confirmed that Triandis' behavioral model is an appropriate reference theory for studying EIS usage. Methodologically, the approach for studying EIS as a behavior using Triandis' Framework has enhanced understandings from previous studies based on different approaches. Practically/managerially, the findings of the study have implications for EIS design, development, implementation and management in organizations.

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