Ik It Essay

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Journal of Business Research 58 (2005) 1251 – 1260 Information technology at IKEA: an ‘‘open sesame’’ solution or just another type of facility? Enrico Baraldia,*, Alexandra Waluszewskib,1 a b Department of Business Studies, Uppsala University, Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden Department of Business Studies, Uppsala University, Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden Received 15 March 2002; received in revised form 4 January 2003; accepted 15 May 2003 Abstract Information technology and such business applications as IT systems create great expectations to solve most problems a company faces. However, these expectations are seldom fulfilled. This article treats IT and IT systems simply as a facility among many other resources (products, facilities, business units and relationships) in business networks. By making use of a case study centred around Product Information Assistance (PIA), one of IKEA’s key IT systems for product information administration, the analytical part extracts a series of interactions patterns between IT facilities and the surrounding resources. Being IT systems also embedded into other resources implies that their effects seldom turn out to be as expected or simply defined by their technical potentials. D 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Keywords: Information technology; Resources; Business network; IKEA 1. Introduction Few industrial applications have been enveloped with so many expectations as IT systems have been. The implementation of IT systems is claimed to be the most widely used class of process innovations in the past 40 years (Tidd et al., 2001, p. 267). First, IT is seen as a tool to redesign and sustain more efficient processes (Davenport and Short, 1990). Such IT applications as enterprise resource planning systems (ERPs) are expected to increase efficiency as they ‘‘promise the seamless integration of all

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