What groups of factors do senior executives believe affect their use of executive information systems?
ColaboratorFernández Alarcón, Vicenç; Díaz Boladeras, Marta; Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. Departament d'Organització d'Empreses
Document typeDoctoral thesis
PublisherUniversitat Politècnica de Catalunya
Rights accessOpen Access
In a highly competitive and turbulent environment, executives need more efficient ways to analyze their companies, markets and competitors. The aim is to help their organizations become more competitive and, as a result, survive the changes taking place around them. Executive Information Systems (EIS) can help executives access the internal and external data they need to be able to make the right decisions and achieve their organizations' objectives. We need to know the factors what senior executives believe affect their use of executive information systems because EIS, like any other software, are designed to be used directly by users, in this case, senior executives. The objective of this thesis is to uncover which factors senior executives feel affect their use of EIS, compare the factors they propose to those mentioned in other studies to determine their importance, and group the factors which affect or may affect senior executives. The methodology proposed to group these factors together is Concept Mapping. The structure of this thesis is divided into five main sections after the introduction and the discussion on motivations: the conceptual framework, research methodology, analysis and findings, reflection and discussion, references, and annexes. In the conceptual framework section I define senior executives, EIS and Technology Acceptance Model. The first research question was: Is additional qualitative research needed to find more valuable information about the factors? I can confirm that more qualitative research is necessary to uncover more valuable information about the factors (as presented in section 5.i. above). I extracted 15 factors from the initial interviews and 79 factors from the literature review. However, senior executives rated the 15 initial factors taken from interviews higher than the rest of factors. The second research question was: What groups of factors do senior executives believe affect their use of executive information systems? Examining the results of the survey with MDS and cluster analysis, I have presented twelve groups of factors in section 5.ii. The third research question was: How important are these groups of factors for senior executives? I detail the list of clusters ordered by their average ranking in terms of importance and the average score received. The main scientific contribution of this thesis is having completed one small part of research on one of the most tested and studied theories in IT: TAM. This thesis demonstrates the importance that qualitative research has in terms of studying one type of IT and one type of user before carrying out quantitative research. The main methodological contribution is that it is not easy to do research with senior executives, but, as this thesis shows, the Concept Mapping methodology can help facilitate this process. There are other scientific and methodological contributions detailed in the thesis. This is, I believe, my modest contribution to offering senior executives EIS projects which understand them and their needs more and better while also providing researchers new opportunities for research and I would encourage other researchers to study the importance of previous qualitative studies applied to other kinds of users and systems. Another opportunity for research is to use concept maps to develop implementation projects and compare the success of those projects with other projects which didn't use the concept map as a tool to define the project itself
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