UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Essays in the corporate governance of information technology Matta, Moksh


In the last few decades, there has been a phenomenal rise in organizational investments in information technology (IT) assets. IT assets can improve firm performance and deliver business value. The generation and appropriation of business value from IT assets requires effective IT governance (ITG). ITG is primarily the responsibility of two groups within the organization- the top management team and the board of directors. Majority of the studies have focused on the investigating the ITG responsibilities of the top management team. Fewer studies, however, have investigated the nature and impact ITG responsibilities of the board. Studying the nature and impact of board-level ITG is important as the board is the ultimate corporate authority responsible for driving investments in IT assets, and for ensuring that the use of IT assets is consistent with broader corporate principles and goals. Using established corporate governance theories as a lens, Chapter 2 of this dissertation provides an overview of the existing literature on board-level ITG. The key roles, functions and mechanisms of board-level ITG are defined and corroborated using a hand collected sample of 308 statements (drawn from prior studies) representing the board’s ITG responsibilities. Focusing on the role played by IT experts on the board, Chapter 3 of this thesis investigates the effects of board-level ITG on firm innovation using a panel dataset of 250 public firms (2006-2013). The empirical investigation conducted in relation to Chapter 3 reveals that board-level ITG and firm innovation are positively associated. Focusing on the disclosure of internal controls weaknesses (ICWs) by firms, Chapter 4 of this thesis examines the role of corporate governance in shaping firms’ IT investment behaviors in the period following the disclosure using a panel dataset of over 3000 public firms (2008-2017). The empirical investigations conducted in relation to Chapter 4 reveal that improved governance in the aftermath of a disclosure can reduce sub-optimal investments in IT.

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