Information Technology and Sustained Competitive Advantage A Resource Based Analysis

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Authors: F.J. Mata, W.L. Fuerst, J.B. Barney

Publication Year: 1995


Journal: MIS Quarterly Executive

Volume: 19

Issue: 4

Categories: Organizational Change


The concept of IT as a powerful competitive weapon has been strongly emphasized in the literature, yet the sustainability of the competitive advantage provided by IT applications is not well-explained. This work discusses the resource-based theory as a means of analyzing sustainability and develops a model founded on this resource-based view of the firm. This model is then applied to four attributes of IT— capital requirements, proprietary technology, technical IT skills. and managerial IT skills— which might be sources of sustained competitive advantage. From this resource-based analysis, we conclude that managerial IT skills is the only one of these attributes that can provide sustainability.