Information Technology Use and Productivity at the Individual Level
Berglas School of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
Charles King III
Greylock McKinnon Associates; Pleiades Consulting Group, Inc.
Marshall W. Van Alstyne
Boston University - Department of Management Information Systems; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School
CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP6260
We employ a unique data set on white-collar workers that combines direct observations of individual use of information technology as well as objective information on individual performance. The main hypothesis we examine is whether heavier users of IT are more productive, and if heavier users of IT are indeed more productive, how does this increase in productivity manifest itself? Our results suggest that, controlling for other factors, the size of an individual's internal email network is more highly correlated with revenues generated by that individual than age, experience or education. Further, the number of unique electronic contacts is more significant than the number of messages, external network size, and all other measures of email communication including declared time spent on email. Additionally, even after accounting for the individual's number of unique contacts within the firm, the social network measure of "betweenness" is also highly correlated with revenues. We attribute the strength of these results to the fine grain detail of the data on this form of task-based white collar work.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 25
Keywords: information technology, productivity, social networks
JEL Classification: J24, L86, O14
Date posted: May 21, 2008