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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Knowledge and partnerships for information technology for business people Bassellier, Genevieve


This research describes how cross-functional competence in business and IT people provides the basis for effective partnership to develop. The specific objectives of this research are twofold. The first objective is to conceptually define and empirically measure the constructs of IT competence in business managers and of business competence in IT professionals, and test these measurements for validity and reliability. The second objective is to examine the influence of the business and IT competencies on the development and effectiveness of IT-business partnership. We performed three empirical studies testing the validity of the instruments and assessing their contribution to partnership and performance. In the first two studies, instruments for the cross-functional competencies are developed and validated. For the IT competence instrument, results show that both IT knowledge and IT experience are instrumental in defining IT competence of business people. IT competence as a whole explains 38% of the variance in the respondents' intentions to show IT leadership, including their intentions to develop partnerships with IT professionals. For the business competence, results show that organization-specific knowledge, interpersonal and management knowledge, and knowledge of IT/business integration are all instrumental in defining business competence of IT professionals. Business competence explains 46% of the variance in the IT professionals' intentions to develop partnerships and 23% of the variance in their credibility. The last study assesses the contribution of IT and business knowledge to the development and effectiveness of the partnerships between IT and business people. We surveyed sets of IT professionals and business clients working together on IT-related activities. A project sponsor assessed the performance of the work done by the pair. Results show that the quality of the partnerships between IT and business people, as well as the IT competence of the business client have a positive influence on the performance of their work. In addition, the own domain knowledge of the partners influences their partnerships. Lastly, IT knowledge contributes more to the explanation of partnership and performance than does business knowledge.

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