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RESEARCH REPORT

The role of information systems in enabling the organisations to satisfy their customers in more effective manner: A case of Dell Inc. information systems

SUBMITTED BY: IMRAN KHAN BANNER ID: B00213124 SUBMITTED TO: DR. EWAN MACARTHUR DATE OF SUBMISSION: 11/01/2013

Table of Contents
1 2 3 4 5 6 Title ......................................................................................................................................... 3 Abstract ................................................................................................................................... 3 Aims......................................................................................................................................... 4 Objectives................................................................................................................................ 4 Rationale of the chosen research work .................................................................................. 4 Literature review..................................................................................................................... 5 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 evolution of the information systems use ....................................................................... 5 Information systems and their effectiveness................................................................... 6 Advantages associated with the integration of Information systems ............................. 7 customer satisfaction ....................................................................................................... 7 Information systems and customer satisfaction .............................................................. 8 Updating systems from time to time ........................................................................ 8 Providing the power for selection ............................................................................ 9 Marketing of products and services ......................................................................... 9 Improvement in the customer services .................................................................. 10 Knowing the activities of the competitors .............................................................. 10

6.5.1 6.5.2 6.5.3 6.5.4 6.5.5 7

Research methodology ......................................................................................................... 11 7.1 Research philosophy ...................................................................................................... 12

7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6

Research hypothesis....................................................................................................... 12 Research approach ......................................................................................................... 12 Research strategy ........................................................................................................... 12 Research choice.............................................................................................................. 13 Research instruments..................................................................................................... 13 Data collection ........................................................................................................ 13

7.6.1 7.7 8

Research ethics............................................................................................................... 15

Research time plan ............................................................................................................... 15

References .................................................................................................................................... 16

1 TITLE
The role of information systems in enabling the organisations to satisfy their customers in more effective manner: A case of Dell Inc. management systems. The variables that will be studied in this research work are the integration of the information systems and the satisfaction of the customers. Information systems are playing an important role in making the organisations gather the information about their customers and enable to satisfy them with prompt actions and replies solving their issues and replying to their queries (Buckley et al, 2008). The research question for the study will be: What effective role does information systems of Dell INC. play in satisfying their customers?

2 ABSTRACT
Business world is nowadays concentrated with variety of information systems and they have been playing an effective role in the organisations which are making the decision making processes more effective in satisfying the customers. organisations are developing more developed and sophisticated information systems according to their specific business needs in order to get the desired benefits of the new intelligent systems. Some of the organisations face many problems as well in implementing the information systems correctly and getting the desired results and there have been many reasons identified for those problems. However information systems implementation has been increasing at a very higher rate irrespective of its size and resources. Furthermore the main focus of this research is on the satisfaction of the customers that is achieved by the organisations by using information systems. The increasing need for the integration and use of the information systems have made the researcher investigate this area of concern for every business entity. The information systems have been playing an effective role in helping the organisations in retrieving the most relevant information about the needs and preferences of the customers. Furthermore, these systems filter the most relevant information regarding the markets trends and changing market behaviour. The researcher from the existing literature also identified that there can be a relationship between 3

the information systems and customer satisfaction. For this purpose the researcher will conduct a research at Dell Centres in Pakistan to know whether the information systems have been helping the Dell Inc. to satisfy their customers. The researcher will ask 20 employees and 80 customers at Dell Centres in Pakistan and from the analysis of the collected data will come to know about the role of information systems in organisations to satisfy their customers and the hypothesis will be either accepted or rejected on the basis of collected data.

3 AIMS
This research work has been conducted with the aim to assess the role of information systems in satisfying the customers by considering the information systems and case of Dell INC.

4 OBJECTIVES
The objectives that would be achieved by the researcher in this study are: To assess the existing literature on the effective role and increasing use of information systems in the organisations. To evaluate the benefits that the organisations have derived by using the information systems and to know how these systems have enabled the organisations to satisfy the customers. To construct a research hypothesis on the basis of the existing literature and formulate a methodology by which the hypothesis and relationship between the variables could be tested. To present practical implications of this research work for the organisations implementing and using the information systems for different purposes more specifically satisfying their customers.

5 RATIONALE OF THE CHOSEN RESEARCH WORK


Organisations are integrating the information systems so that the general requirements for improved performance and decision making can be fulfilled. Information technology has brought revolutionary changes in the ways organisations performed their different operational 4

activities and processes were carried out. Organisations have been adopting the latest information systems in order to get the economic advantages. The business atmosphere is going through remarkable changes and improvements due to the use of information systems. The need of information systems and the changing trend for implementing the information systems rapidly has developed the interest of the researcher in investigating this area for the research purpose (Boudreau et al, 1998). Following stakeholders will derive benefit from this research study: As a main stakeholder of this study, the researcher will come to know about the role and use of information systems in the organisations and how their use in the organisations have increased the effectiveness in operations to achieve maximum customer satisfaction. The researcher will also gain knowledge about the working of the information systems of Dell INC. further the researcher will gain knowledge about conducting a research (Chun and Mooney, 2009). Organisations that have currently integrated the information systems and those that have intentions to integrate information systems would also know about the role and effectiveness of the information systems. Further the information will be used by the organisations to satisfy their customers and improve their processes in satisfying the customers (Fan, 2009).

6 LITERATURE REVIEW
This is an important part of the research work that enables the researcher to gain considerable amount of knowledge about the research and the main variables under consideration. The variables of consideration for this research work are the information systems and customer satisfaction. The researcher will identify the role of information systems in the organisation and will relate their use on the satisfaction of the customers (Chaffey and Wood, 2005).

6.1

EVOLUTION OF THE INFORMATION SYSTEMS USE

According to Caldeira and Ward, (2002) tremendous changes have been observed in the ways the business performed their daily activities. The increasing competition in the past few days 5

has made the organisations to adopt new ways that could equip them with necessary tools for taking more accurate and effective decisions enabling them to face the competitive environment. The organisational focus was no more on increasing productivity, achieving efficiency and delivering quality only but they also started focusing on the creativity in the products and introductive of innovative products (Buelen, 2009). As the main consideration of the businesses and the global economic changed, new ways for doing businesses were introduced. Business reengineering and transformation emerged as an effective tool that very rapidly became the need of every business situation. The use of reengineered systems in the organisations became a corporate asset that enabled the organisations to ensure competitiveness in the market by retrieving information about the customers earlier than the competitive rivalry. It also improved the delivery of services to a newer level and also affected the operational efficiency positively to a greater extent. Thus it has been identified that information systems can become a key differentiators in delivering services and also improved way of getting to the customer needs (Lacity, 2010).

6.2 INFORMATION SYSTEMS AND THEIR EFFECTIVENESS


In the view point of the researchers Carr and Kaynak, (2007) this has been stated that the information systems help the organisations in managing its processes effectively and efficiently. Information systems are not only the computers inter connected with each other but they involve people, information/processing of data and the technology. These three things constitute a system that makes the decision making processes easy and customers are provided with effective services. The information systems are designed according to the needs of the organisations and then they facilitate the restructuring of the business processes which could improve organisational performance. The most important element that has made the organisations to use and integrate the information systems is their use for decision making. Previously computers were used to track the various activities carried out in the organisation. However technology has transformed those computers into such complex and sophisticated machines that have changes the ways the organisations performed their different operations (Fisher and Kenny, 2000). 6

Researchers Gunasekaran and Ngai (2004) who studied the usefulness of marketing information systems have stated that systems have become the requirements of the marketing managers and the practitioners as this helps them in predicting the changes in the market trends and thus they are able to retrieve the information about the needs and preferences of the customers. The marketing strategies are focused to satisfy the customers and information systems can enable the organisations to plan effectively their marketing strategies, thus the relationship between the use of information systems and the customer satisfaction would be identified that how they have played an effective role in satisfying the need of the customers by conducting a research (Milne, et al, 2004).

6.3 ADVANTAGES ASSOCIATED WITH THE INTEGRATION OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS


According to Chun, and Mooney, (2009) The use of information systems enables the organisations to monitor the organisational activities to the preferences of the customers and the reactions of the competitors according to the information retrieved by the information systems. Information systems also play the most effective role in making the organisation take appropriate decisions just in time. Companies are also able to know about their positions in the market which further help them to strengthen their business operations and increase the customer base or more focus on attracting or retaining the customers. The missions assigned for the information systems by the organisations is changing and the organisations are moving towards the attainment of more sustainable positions (Caldeira, and Ward, 2002). The competitiveness in the consumer markets is due to the changing needs of the customers and thus information systems has been playing a much dominant role in making the organisations realise what they should offer and achieve competitiveness in rapidly changing consumer demands market. Marketing managers and practitioners have identified that the use of information systems has become a backbone in effective management of customer relationship as the customer needs are known and then fulfilled (Laudon, and Laudon, 2010).

6.4

CUSTOMER SATISFACTION

The researchers Fisher, and Kenny, (2000) demonstrated in their study that customer satisfaction is a difficult concept that cannot be easily predicted by the organisation as this 7

keeps on changing from time to time and nowadays the situation for the organisations has become such an adverse that the level of customer satisfaction from the products and services is increasing at a considerable rate due to large number of organisations and the worst competition between them to satisfy and retain the customers. When the organisations fulfil the expectations of the customers by their product or service, they feel much satisfied as they have paid according to the quality of the product and if there expectations are not fulfilled, this leads to customer dissatisfaction. It is important for the organisations to influence the behaviour of the customers in a positive manner, then it would be easier for the organisations to satisfy the customers. Customers pay for the products and they expect that the value of the products must be according to the amount paid. Customer satisfaction is the main focus of every business entity. Customer satisfaction has been related with many aspects but the increasing use of information systems made the researcher investigate this area of concern (OBrien, 1999).

6.5 INFORMATION SYSTEMS AND CUSTOMER SATISFACTION


According to the view point of Hammer and Champy, (1993) the success of the businesses depends upon the level of satisfaction of the customers. Nowadays only those organisations can stay in the businesses which are able to identify the needs of their customers and know the tactics to make their customers feel satisfied from the organisational products and services. Those organisations that make efforts in knowing their customers are able to make a difference as compared to the ones that are unable to get the information about the customers or unable to communicate with them. As all the organisational efforts of the organisations are meant for customers and their satisfaction, therefore it has become necessary for the organisations to satisfy their customers, otherwise organisations would lose those customers (Davenport, 1993). 6.5.1 UPDATING SYSTEMS FROM TIME TO TIME It is important for the organisations to update the systems from time to time so that the customers could be retained. The customers always expect convenience and higher quality service from the product supplier or service provider and when they update the systems in providing those things to the customers in a more effective way, they would be able to 8

influence the customers. This has been further identified that those organisations are able to achieve higher rate of customer retention which are moving with the time. Providing customers with the convenience of customisation, designing and ordering for the product or service have been identified as a positive influence on the customers. However the researcher will come to know by conducting the research that whether the customisation of options is available in the products they like or want to buy or not and also would come to know do they like the options of customising the products (Fisher and Kenny, 2000). 6.5.2 PROVIDING THE POWER FOR SELECTION Yap, Soh, and Raman, (1992) stated that Customers always feel happy when they are given a chance to choose from the range of available products. It is stated that customers search for the products that better suit their needs and preferences. Such a search is retrieved by the organisation which is then used to develop and extend the product range. This also identifies the appropriateness of information systems in extending the range of the products according to the specific needs of specific customers and to attract them and satisfy them with the specified products types and ranges (Gunasekaran, and Ngai, 2004). 6.5.3 MARKETING OF PRODUCTS AND SERVICES According to Winch, and Carr, (2001) the effectiveness of the products in the market is evaluated by how the products and services are marketed in the market. If the organisations use appropriate channels for marketing their products where the customers can get all the necessary information as compared with a little information provided by the mediums use by the advertisers, then the customers would obviously attracted and also their decisions

regarding the purchase would be positive. Further if there needs are known by the organisation, then they would obviously offered a product that would make them feel happier after its use. This research is going to know about the feelings of the customers when organisations use information systems as the medium for getting information and communication with the customers (McNurlin, et al 2009).

6.5.4 IMPROVEMENT IN THE CUSTOMER SERVICES A customer feel much satisfied when the organisations interacts with the customers in an effective manner. The way the organisation interacts with the customer influences the perceptions and attitudes of the customers. The online interactions have taken a place in the market where the customers can contact the product or service provider at any time and from any place, thus providing the customers with convenience. The customers can easily come back and ask for more when they are sent updates about the availability of the products they asked for or the products that have been newly introduced by the provider. Thus it creates a sense of belongingness and customers feel good to hear from the organisation about the availability of the products. The customer can easily get to the answer through the use of such systems for interaction with the organisational employee and is provided with the necessary guidance everything they ask for. This makes the organisation realise how the product and service is liked by the customers and also know by these inquiries of the customers whether they have been facing a problem and issue. Thus it enables the organisation to interact with the customers making them feel that their problems would be sort out and they would be provided with services according to their expectations in the future (Zeidner, 2008). 6.5.5 KNOWING THE ACTIVITIES OF THE COMPETITORS The use of the information systems also enables the organisations to keep track of the activities of the competitors that what they have been offering their customers and how the organisation could do to attract the customers. The newest product offering and promotions could be known in order to design the products in a much better way so that the customers could be offered something better than the existing ones in the market (Yap, et al 1992). The mere focus of the integration of information systems in the organisations is the flow of both ways communication and information which makes possible the satisfaction of the customers. The information systems serve too many important purposes of the organisations which are the following: To better understand what the customers really want and to follow up the changing needs and demands of the customers 10

To better negotiate with the customers and ensure that the commitments would be fulfilled To line up with the customers for better marketing of their products and support services To better monitor and control the organisational activities and show efficiency and effectiveness to satisfy the customers. The needs and demands of the customers are the raw material for the company information systems which is then utilised by the company for effective decisions according to the information retrieved and fulfil the business needs. The information retrieved by the information systems of an organisation is then refined and then the systems refine the information for the organisational management to solve the business related issues and take decisions provided by the IS solutions. The researcher in this study would evaluate the identified aspects and benefits of information systems in an organisation so that the organisation could satisfy their customers (Laudon, and Laudon, 2010).

7 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
Research methods are the tools and techniques that make the researcher achieve the research aims and objectives. The researcher identifies and selects the most appropriate and suitable methods for conducting research in order to get the desired results for the completion of the research project. This research work has been conducted to know the role of information systems to satisfy the customers by taken into consideration the information systems of Dell Inc. The researcher has identified from the existing literature sources that information systems play an important role in satisfying the needs of the customers and also enabling the management to take decisions improving their level of performance and competitiveness by identifying the customer needs and demands. The researcher for this study is going to use the Saunders research onion as according to the researcher, the use of Saunders research onion will enable the researcher to identify the appropriate research methods for this study in an effective manner.

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7.1 RESEARCH PHILOSOPHY


The research philosophy that the researchers use for the accomplishment of the research aims and objectives makes him adopt a behaviour by which the case under consideration can be better understood and the researcher can gain knowledge about the case and the research variables. There are ten distinct research philosophies from which the researchers choose according to the nature of the research project. For this research project, the researcher is going to adopt positivism as the research philosophy for gaining knowledge about the role of information systems and customer satisfaction. The researcher will adopt the behaviour of a natural scientist and would come to know about the relationship between research variables. This philosophy will enable the researcher to conduct the research work in a systematic manner.

7.2 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS


H1: Information systems play a significant positive role in satisfying the customers. H0: Information systems do not play a significant role in satisfying the customers.

7.3 RESEARCH APPROACH


There are two distinct research approaches. One approach is used to build the theory from the collected data which is called inductive approach while the other is used to test the existing theory or the built hypothesis from the existing literature sources or theories which is called the inductive approach. In this study, the research purpose is to know the influencing role of information systems on the satisfaction of customers. This study is not conducted to build a theory; therefore deductive approach will be used by the researcher (Collis and Hussey, 2003).

7.4 RESEARCH STRATEGY


The research strategy choice depends upon the needs of the study. A research strategy is applied to collect the most appropriate and relevant data for the research so that the research project could be completed in an effective manner. There are seven research strategies identified in the Saunders research onion and some of these show appropriateness with the 12

deductive approach while some show relevancy with the inductive approach. However the researcher can select any of the research strategies according to the needs of the research study. The researcher in this study is going to use survey as the research strategy. This strategy will the researcher to collect data from large number of respondents which also proves and justifies the requirement of positivism and deductive approach. The data will be easily generalised and will also be collected in an economical way (Easterby-Smith, et al, 2008).

7.5 RESEARCH CHOICE


There are three research choices available to the researchers and the researcher selects such a research choice which can fulfil the research purpose. The researcher either selects to collect a qualitative data or quantitative data or both the qualitative and quantitative data. This study has been conducted to know the role of information systems to satisfy the customers and how the information systems could be used to satisfy the customers. This purpose of the research project could be achieved by collecting both the quantitative and qualitative data. More useful and effective data could be generated by the selection of this research choice (Ghauri and Grnhaug 2005).

7.6 RESEARCH INSTRUMENTS


There are different research instruments that the researchers use for the achievement of research aims and objectives. Following are the research instruments that would be used for in this research project: 7.6.1 DATA COLLECTION 7.6.1.1 P RIMARY AND SECONDARY DATA Primary data is the data that will be collected by the researcher for the first time for achieving the purpose of this study. The researcher will collect primary data from the employees and customers of Dell Inc. as Dell Inc. has been selected as a case organisation for the study. This data will provide the researcher information that whether the systems integrated by the Dell Inc. are useful enough to influence to satisfy the customers and collecting primary data from 13

customers will make the researcher know whether the information systems of Dell Inc. is satisfying them or not. The researcher will collect secondary data from the existing literature sources and those sources are journals, articles, websites, newspapers and books. These will help the researcher to gain knowledge about the research variables under consideration (Hewson, et al, 2003). 7.6.1.2 D ATA COLLECTION INSTRUMENTS There are different research instruments that the researchers use for the purpose of collecting data and getting information from the identified respondents. The most commonly used research instruments are the questionnaire, observation and interviews. However the researcher in this study is going to collect information from the employees and customers by constructing a questionnaire. This will help the researcher in asking and gathering information required by the researcher for the study. The customers will be accessed using social networks and visiting the Dell centres in Pakistan while the employees of Dell Inc. will be contacted at Dell centres in Pakistan and the information regarding the information systems and customer satisfaction will be retrieved (Jankowicz, 2005). 7.6.1.3 S AMPLE SIZE AND SAMPLING INSTRUMENT The sample size for this study will be 100 respondents. The researcher will select 80 customers of Dell Inc. and 20 employees for collecting data. This is a sufficient sample size according to the information required for the study and will serve the research purpose. The sampling technique for the study will be convenience sampling as this will make the researcher easily gather the information required for the study (Fisher, 2004). 7.6.1.4 R ESEARCH DATA ANALYSIS As the researcher for this study will collect both the qualitative and quantitative data, therefore both the methods of qualitative and quantitative analysis will be used. Qualitative data will be analysed using grouping and categorisation of similar data while quantitative data will be analysed using tables, pie charts and regression analysis. The researcher will present the both

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the qualitative and quantitative data in tables and will analyse the research findings (Fisher, 2004).

7.7 RESEARCH ETHICS


In order to prove the research work more valid and authentic, it is most important that the researchers focus on following the ethical codes of doing research projects. The researcher will not copy any data from any source directly but will reference the data from wherever it has been taken. The researcher will not disturb any of the customers and the employees but will collect data according to their willingness.

8 RESEARCH TIME PLAN


Month Week Literature Review Methodology Analysis Conclusion Recommendations Introduction Reviewing the research Finalizing the research

April 1 2 3 4 1

May 2 3 4 1

June 2 3 4 1

July 2 3 4 1

August 2 3 4

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