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Information Technology Use and Productivity at the Individual Level

25 Pages Posted: 21 May 2008  

Neil Gandal

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 – Questrom School of Business; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School

Date Written: April 2007

Abstract

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.

Keywords: information technology, productivity, social networks

JEL Classification: J24, L86, O14

Suggested Citation

Gandal, Neil and King, Charles and Van Alstyne, Marshall W., Information Technology Use and Productivity at the Individual Level (April 2007). , Vol. , pp. -, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1135498

Neil Gandal (Contact Author)

Berglas School of Economics ( email )

Tel Aviv University
Tel Aviv 69978
Israel
+972 3 640 9907 (Phone)
+972 3 640 9908 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.tau.ac.il/~gandal/default.htm

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom

Charles (Kip) King III

Greylock McKinnon Associates ( email )

One Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-871-6900 (Phone)
617-871-6949 (Fax)

Pleiades Consulting Group, Inc. ( email )

P.O. Box 531
Lincoln, MA 01773
United States

Marshall W. Van Alstyne

Boston University – Questrom School of Business ( email )

595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States
617-358-3571 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://questromapps.bu.edu/mgmt_new/Profiles/VanAlstyneMarshall.html

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School ( email )

Center for Digital Business
5 Cambridge Center - NE25, 7th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-0768 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://web.mit.edu/marshall/www/home.html

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