Intranet Focus Ltd is working with several clients in the development of  digital workplace strategies.  One of challenges they face  is making a case for the investment decision. Trying to find a direct relationship between investment in information technology and corporate performance has always been a challenge. Professor Don Marchand developed his Information Orientation approach over ten years ago but unfortunately his book  does not provide detailed guidance on to conduct and analyse the survey that is an essential element of the approach.

In carrying out research for a forthcoming Research Note on digital workplace implementation I came across a paper in MIS Quarterly, March 2011 by Sunil Mithas, Naryan Ramasubbu and Vallaba Sambamurphy. Entitled ‘How information management capability influences firm performance’ this paper reports on the outcomes of a major research project involving a diversified multi-national company. The focus of this research was on information management rather than information technology. The authors are careful to point out the limitations of their research, but their conclusions are that information management capability has a positive association with customer management capability, process management capability and performance management capability. In turn these capabilities are positively associated with customer, financial, human resources and organisational effectiveness measures of firm performance.

The 35page paper provides an extensive bibliography of some 100 papers that have been published on this topic over the last decade. It is not an ‘easy’ read but if you are involved in making a business case for investment in any information management application it is well worth the $10.00 download fee.

Martin White