THE INFLUENCE OF A LEARNING CULTURE ON IT INVESTMENTS
value of 0. In the study, 92 respondents indicated that the “buy-in” from functional manager is required and 104 respondents indicated otherwise.
Technical flexibility was measured by three items, including “investigating the ability to expand or modify our option to meet changing requirements,” “evaluating the performance and capacity characteristics” and “evaluating how easily the options can be integrated with our existing systems.” A seven-point Likert scale was used. The reliability score is 0.80.
able. The hypothesis was also supported (t=2.932, p<0.01).
Hypothesis 4 states that there is a positive rela- tionship between continuous-learning culture and adoption of KM technologies. Logistics regression was used to test the hypothesis with adoption of KM technologies as de- pendent variable. The hypothesis was supported (Wald Chi-sq =9.904, p<0.01).
KM technologies adoption is measured by one item asking respondents if their organizations have adopted any of several types of technologies. Data ware- housing, intranet and groupware are considered KM tech- nologies. We used a polar extreme approach: organiza- tions that have adopted none of the technologies were considered non-adopters of KM technologies, which were given a value of 0. Organizations that have adopted all three technologies were considered adopters, which are given a value of 1. In the study, 58 organizations did not adopt any of the technologies while 35 organizations adopted all three technologies. Therefore, these 93 or- ganizations are used to test hypothesis four.
Construct validity for continuous-learning cul- ture, change management and technical flexibility was assessed through principle axis factor analysis with a varimax rotation. Table 2 shows the factor loadings of the three factors. None of the survey items loaded on more than one factor with a loading greater than 0.3.
We used regression analysis to test hypotheses 1- 4. Continuous-learning culture was the independent vari- able. Hypothesis 1 proposed a positive relationship be- tween continuous-learning culture and change manage- ment consideration. Using OLS regression analysis, the results supported the hypothesis (t=4.587, p<0.001).
Our first research question asked if there are IT investment decision issues that are considered more by organizations with a learning culture. The results show that organizational continuous-learning culture signifi- cantly influences the IT investment decision process and its outcomes. Our data highlight two critical issues that learning organizations consider more thoroughly in the decision process: change management and technical flexi- bility. Organizations with a strong continuous-learning culture are more likely to consider change management issues. Since these organizations place value on employee knowledge acquisition and application, they will respond more thoroughly to changes that will occur because of new IT investment. They are aware of the social impact of a technological intervention and will spend time and effort communicating information about changes to their em- ployees and helping them adjust.
Organizations with a continuous-learning culture are more likely to take technical flexibility into considera- tion. Because of the competitive pressure, organizations need to respond quickly to environmental changes. Con- tinuous-learning organizations are proactive in under- standing how they can be aligned with their environment – both in the present and in the future. The flexible and ag- ile nature of these organizations requires flexible IT func- tions 0. Therefore, when making an IT investment, such organizations will take technical flexibility into considera- tion.
Hypothesis 2 asserted that there is a positive rela- tionship between continuous-learning culture and in- volvement of functional manager. This was tested using logistic regression with involvement of functional man- ager as dependent variable. The hypothesis was supported (Wald Chi-sq = 5.481, p<0.05).
Hypothesis 3 posited that organizations with a strong continuous-learning culture would consider techni- cal flexibility more than those with a weak continuous- learning culture. Hypothesis 3 was tested using OLS re- gression with technical flexibility as the dependent vari-
Our second research question asked if organiza- tions with a learning culture involve different types of managers in their decision process. Results demonstrate that when making a major IT investment, organizations with a strong continuous-learning culture are also more likely to involve functional managers in the decision- making process than those without. Major IT initiatives require coordination and interaction among several de- partments in an organization. Since functional managers are familiar with the needs and requirements of their own units, their inputs are critical in ensuring a successful im- plementation of IT projects. If functional managers are invited to participate from the start of an IT investment
Journal of Information Technology Management Volume XVI, Number 3, 2005