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Beyond the IT Productivity Paradox

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Beyond the IT Productivity Paradox

Leslie P. Willcocks (Editor), Stephanie Lester (Editor)

ISBN: 978-0-470-85967-4 November 2000 432 Pages

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The 'IT Productivity Paradox' is the concept that, despite massive investment and resourcing by companies and organizations worldwide in their IT systems, there still seems to be little pay-off. Information systems can no longer be viewed as a support service for a business - information technology now has a lead role to play in the strategic planning processes of any organization. As we move further and further into a technology-based working environment, a critical question is how the value of IT can be measured and evaluated. This book brings together a group of the most eminent academic and practitioner thinkers in the area, to consolidate what we know about best IT evaluation practice in a comprehensive and integrated manner, and also provide new ways forward. The key to understanding the productivity paradox is the methods of IT measurement used. Improved measurement can not only reveal that IT has often been more productive than is believed, but can also focus in on ways in which benefits can be improved across the IT systems life-cycle. Critical areas where improved assessment is essential include development, and better risk analysis; sourcing, including IT outsourcing; and infrastructure, including transforming an organization's IT architecture. The authors also take a look at stakeholder interests as a part of the overall evaluation process. Contributors to this volume have been selected not only for their status in the IS field generally, but also for their reputation in the IT evaluation area. As this topic gains increasing prominence as IT expenditure continues to increase, this book will be an invaluable reference for academics and practitioners alike in the areas of information systems, IT evaluation and assessment and IT management.

Paradox Lost?: Firm-Level Evidence On the Returns to Information Systems Spending (E. Brynjolfsson & L. Hitt).

In Search Of Information Technology Productivity: Assessment Issues (L. Willcocks & S. Lester).

Benchmarking Organizational and IT Performance (M. van Nievelt).


Information Systems/Technology Evaluation Practices: Evidence from UK Organizations (J. Ballantine, et al.).

Evaluation of Information Technology Investments: Business As Usual? (P. Powell).

Evaluating Investments in IT: Findings and a Framework (B. Farbey, et al.).

Managing Information Technology Resources as a Value Centre: The Leadership Challenge (N. Venkatraman).


Risk Assessment and Management Practices in Software Development (J. Ropponen).

IT Projects and Assessment: Applying Benefits Funding at the California Franchise Tax Board (V. Graeser & L. Willcocks).

To Outsource IT or Not?: Research on Economics and Evaluation Practice (L. Willcocks, et al.).

Four Views of IT Infrastructure: Implications for IT Investments (P. Weill & M. Broadbent).


Interpretive Evaluation Design for Information Systems (G. Walsham).

Evaluation of Information Systems: A Critical Assessment (R. Hirschheim & S. Smithson).