European Journal of Information Systems (1999) 8, 77–94
1999 Operational Research Society Ltd. All rights reserved 0960-085X/99 $12.00 http://www.stockton-press.co.uk/ejis
Information management in the global enterprise: an organising framework J Peppard
Information Systems Research Centre, Cranﬁeld School of Management, Cranﬁeld, Bedford MK43 0AL, UK Much has been written over the last decade on managing global enterprises. While the predominant concern of this literature has been strategic in orientation, the management of information is a neglected area. By drawing on a diverse range of literature in the international business, strategic management, organization design, and information system (IS) disciplines this paper develops a conceptual framework for analysing information management in the global enterprise, providing a basis for organising existing literature on the topic and for creating a map of the ﬁeld. This framework is structured around four domains: global business drivers, global business strategy, global business model and global information strategy. It highlights the role of information technology (IT) as supporting global business strategies while at the same time IT can also be a major catalyst in the globalisation process itself. In the context of the global information strategy, the paper develops a distinction between business infostructure, IT infrastructure and the IS/IT suprastructure. Signiﬁcant relationships between the four domains of the framework are surfaced and an agenda for action developed.
As we leave the 20th century many economists argue that we are entering a truly ‘global economy’. At the same time, however, others are questioning whether or not such an exhalted destination will ever be reached, pointing towards increasing regionalism, the difﬁculties with negotiating the last GATT agreement, and persistent rumblings of protectionism. Yet despite these concerns it would seem that forces are already at play ensuring that a truly global economy, rather than an economy that is a little more international, is about to dawn. Three interrelated phenomena capture the essence of the emerging economy in its inextricable march towards globalisation. First, dramatic increases in the scale and scope of technology—its cost, risk, and complexity—have rendered even the largest national markets too small to be meaningful economic units (Negroponte, 1995; Tapscott, 1996). Second, the explosive growth of translational strategic alliances signals a fundamental change in the mode of organization of international economic transactions (Lorange et al, 1992). Finally, the emerging global economy is integrated through information systems and information technology, facilitating co-ordination through markets rather than organization hierarchies (Jarillo, 1988; Malone et al, 1987; Gurbaxani & Whang, 1991; Bradley, 1994). Value is postulated as being created more in networks (Normann & Ramirez, 1993; Coyne & Dye, 1998; Stabell & Fjeldstad, 1998) rather than in hierarchical entities. The result is an elec-
tronically networked world economy where national markets are losing meaning as constituent units and geography is no longer the basis for the organization of economic activity. A most visible manifestation of this development was the recent comment made at the annual conference of the German wholesale and foreign trade association, where the association’s president stated that German ‘companies were losing lucrative niche markets because the Internet made it easier to compare prices and consequently was increasing competition’ (Norman, 1996). Consequently, globalisation and the global enterprise have become a signiﬁcant domain of research over the last 20 years. The predominant concern of this literature has been strategic in orientation, dealing with issues of location (Porter, 1986a, b; De Meyer et al, 1996; Meijboom & Vos, 1997), co-ordination (Roth et al, 1991; Jaikumar &...
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