Information Systems Success: the Quest for Dependent Variable

Dependent variables play a crucial role in the examination of Information Systems (IS) success. While previous research has focused more on independent variables, this article shifts the spotlight towards the measurement of dependent variables. Shannon and Weaver (1949) and Mason (1978) have identified six distinct categories or aspects of IS success, which include system quality, information quality, use, user satisfaction, individual impact, and organizational impact.

Analysis of 100 empirical studies from seven publications spanning from 1981 to 1988 reveals that user satisfaction is the most commonly used measure of IS success.

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The widespread use of satisfaction as a success measure can be attributed to the perceived weakness of other measures. Wixom and Todd (2005) argue in their article "A Theoretical Integration of User Satisfaction and Technology Acceptance" that user satisfaction is a weaker predictor of system usage compared to technology acceptance.

It is evident from these findings that user satisfaction has a weak influence on IS usage, which in turn weakly predicts IS success. However, user satisfaction directly impacts IS success.

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The study makes several contributions, including highlighting the lack of consensus on IS success measures, the equal effectiveness of different measures, the persistence of multiple variables in IS success measurements, and the interconnectedness of these variables.

Therefore, the study advocates for a multidimensional approach to measuring IS success. While the article provides a comprehensive overview of IS success measures and proposes an IS success model based on various studies, it falls short in explaining how to connect the six independent variables identified. In essence, DeLone and McLean's (1992) article "Information Systems Success: The Quest for Dependent Variable" sparks interest in understanding the determinants of IS success.

From this article, we gain insights into the factors that have been proven to predict the success of IS projects. DeLone and McLean (1992) also call for more focus on measuring the impact of IS on organizational performance by IS researchers. Subsequent researchers have responded to this call by attempting to develop organizational strategies that leverage IT to enhance business performance and maintain competitiveness against rivals.

Bharadwaj (2000) shifts the focus to IT capabilities that drive improved business performance based on the IS resource-based theory, which encompasses tangible, human, and intangible capabilities. These IT capabilities serve as a foundation for subsequent articles on IS success.

For example, Sambamurthy, Bharadwaj, and Grover (2003) argue in their article "Shaping Agility through Digital Options: Reconceptualizing the Role of Information Technology in Contemporary Firms" that factors such as agility, digital options, entrepreneurial alertness, capability-building, entrepreneurial action, and co-evolutionary adaptation are key drivers of enhanced business performance.

It is evident that these researchers place a greater emphasis on human and intangible capabilities over tangible capabilities in determining IS success. Melville, Kraemer, and Gurbaxani (2004) further support the notion that IS resources, particularly tangible and intangible IT capabilities, are valuable assets that can lead to organizational success.

Lastly, Piccoli and Ives (2005) summarize in their article "IT-Dependent Strategic Initiatives and Sustained Competitive Advantage: A Review and Synthesis of the Literature" that the strategic use of IT can create competitive advantages for businesses. They identify four barriers - IT resources (including tangible, human, and intangible aspects), complementary resources, IT projects, and preemption strategies - that can help sustain competitive advantages in IS utilization.

Updated: Feb 15, 2024
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Information Systems Success: the Quest for Dependent Variable. (2016, Nov 04). Retrieved from

Information Systems Success: the Quest for Dependent Variable essay
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