A Customer-Centric Perspective on it and Firm Performance: Testing the Resource-Based View

Posted: 14 Jul 2006

See all articles by Barrie R. Nault

Barrie R. Nault

University of Calgary - Haskayne School of Business

Patrick I. Jeffers

Iowa State University - College of Business

Waleed A. Muhanna

The Ohio State University - Fisher College of Business

Date Written: October 2005

Abstract

The true nexus of any firm or industry is its customers. A sustained competitive advantage comes from the firm's ability to nurture a closer enduring relationship with it customers. Despite these longstanding truisms, the customer, as a stakeholder group, has been widely overlooked in the ongoing debate regarding the role and contribution of information technology (IT) in determining firm performance. Recognizing that IT is most likely to affect firm performance through its impact at the process level, we developed and tested hypotheses based on an integrated structural framework representing a complementary relationship between IT resources and managerial capability, and non-IT (human, and business process) resources, in keeping with the tenets of the resource-based view (RBV). These hypotheses are tested in the context of the third-party logistics (3PL) industry, which is founded on the premise of customer service through outsourcing, and in which it is widely perceived that information technology is of key strategic importance. We find evidence that IT does, in fact, contribute to firm customer service performance by way of its complementary interaction with other firm-specific resources, namely human resources. Our findings also suggest that the customer service perspective is a valid proposition to be included in the ongoing debate regarding IT and its contribution to firm (financial) performance. Furthermore, there is the implication that past models which sought to evaluate IT contributions strictly on the basis of its possible direct effect may have undervalued its true impact.

Keywords: Customer-centric Business Process, Business Value of IT, Firm Performance, IT interaction effect, IT complementarity

Suggested Citation

Nault, Barrie R. and Jeffers, Patrick I. and Muhanna, Waleed A., A Customer-Centric Perspective on it and Firm Performance: Testing the Resource-Based View (October 2005). Fisher College of Business Working Paper No. 2006-01-003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=914207

Barrie R. Nault (Contact Author)

University of Calgary - Haskayne School of Business ( email )

2500 University Drive, NW
Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://ucalgary.ca/bnault

Patrick I. Jeffers

Iowa State University - College of Business ( email )

Ames, IA 50011-2063
United States

Waleed A. Muhanna

The Ohio State University - Fisher College of Business ( email )

Dept. Accounting & Management Information Systems
2100 Neil Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
United States
614-292-3808 (Phone)
614-292-2118 (Fax)

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