Identifier

etd-0618103-160439

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Information Systems and Decision Sciences (Business Administration)

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

This research investigates the very essence of integration by focusing on the integration of applications for enterprise systems. Integration is a large and complex topic recognized as a key concept in a wide variety of IT domains that dates back to the dawn of the computer era. The evolution of IT integration has included integration of sub-routines of computer programs, integration of separate islands of data to create common databases, and integration of disparate applications to form enterprise systems. Perhaps the most touted characteristic and principal goal of enterprise systems is integration although virtually no research is available regarding this phenomenon. The value of integration is rarely defined either in abstract or practical terms. We generally assume that the value of integration is obvious although there is no evidence that supports this implicit view. To address the lack of evidence, this investigation began by examining the perceptions of three practitioner stakeholder groups about the characteristics and benefits of integration. These groups were senior managers, IT professionals, and end-users. In part I of the two-part study, interviews of 51 practitioners revealed 15 major themes related to practitioner perspectives of the characteristics, benefits, and downsides of applications integration. For part II, a new measure was created based on the literature and the analysis of the phase I interviews. 926 people in three organizations were surveyed. Contributions of the research included a new partially validated instrument to assess attributes and benefits of applications integration, taxonomies were created for integration attributes and perceived benefits, and a model was proposed to frame and study IT integration infrastructures. A foundation was established to evaluate the degree of applications integration for enterprise systems. Several downsides to applications integration were documented. Two new high order constructs (attributes and benefits) were established, along with four attribute dimensions and six benefit dimensions.

Date

2003

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Edward Watson

Included in

Business Commons

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