Dissertation Proposal

Abstract

This document is a dissertation proposal for the topic: Economic an Organizational Analysis of the Productivity and Business Value Impacts of Information Technology (I.T). The study will basically analyze the role that I.T has played in changing modern businesses values as well as the business productivity. In carrying out this study, questionnaires will be formulated and presented to ten companies that have recently adopted I.T in their program. The questionnaires will address both the economic and organizational changes that have been realized as a result of adoption of I.T. In addition, documented studies will be used to check correlation with and supplement present data as obtained by questionnaires with information contained in academic sources.

1.0 Introduction

This section will be split into sub-sections of background of study, definition of key concepts, problem statement, aims of study and research questions, overview of the design of research as well as chapters outline.

1.1 Background of the Study

This area will focus on the recent history of I.T, its applications in various businesses and its popularity as a present day alternative to traditional systems. It will outline growing trends in the business platform as far as I.T adoption is concerned. As the concept is developed, the section will seek to point to the important concern regarding the usefulness of I.T in the modern day business practice. It will lead to the importance of evaluating the role I.T is playing in business in terms of finding out whether the overall effect is positive or negative. This section will also justify the validity of the study, whose main importance is to find out if I.T is beneficial or not in its current usage for most businesses. As in the dissertation statement, two areas of business concern will be evaluated, and divided in two aspects.

1.2 Definitions of Key Concepts

Under the definition of key terms and concepts part, it shall define Information Technology (I.T), business values in the modern business concept, business productivity, and economic analysis of a business. In addition, other key concepts and terms that will be used in the dissertation will be defined.

1.3 Problem Statement

This part will briefly state the key focus of the study in the form of a statement of the problem. The statement will be as follows: Evaluating the economic as well as the organizational importance of the adoption of Information Technology in the business value and productivity aspects of a business.

1.4 Aims of Study and Research Questions

This part will break down the problem statement into various independent sub-parts, which will form the basis of the study, including questionnaire formulation and integration of the different aspects. The principal objectives of the study will be listed here including:

  • Economic analysis of participant companies with relation to I.T usage
  • Organizational analysis of the companies as influenced by I.T application
  • Comparison of economic and organization performance before and after I.T implementation

The research questions will also be written, and will include the following:

  • Has adoption of I.T led to economic gain in the productivity and business value aspects of the participant companies?
  • Has implementation of I.T policies led to any organizational changes in the participant companies? The answers to these questions will only be found after the data is collected and analyzed, this will mark the importance of the next chapters particularly the methodology.

1.5 Research Overview and Design

This part will lay out the tools to be employed in the study. The primary data will mainly be collected through questionnaires strategically formulated and presented to ten or more businesses or companies that have previously used other systems and have recently switched to I.T. The secondary data will mainly be collected from peer-reviewed journals and other scientific publications accessible via the internet and other academic libraries. This type of data will include past studies conducted in line with this topic, such as the dependence on I.T of present day businesses, business cost implications of the implementation of information technology in modern businesses among other similar studies.

1.6 Chapter Overview

This section will briefly introduce other chapters in the document, including the literature review chapter, methodology chapter, analysis chapter and the conclusion chapter respectively.

2.0 Literature Review

This chapter will briefly look into the history of information technology since its inception, to widespread applications in business practice. It will look into the various ways in which I.T is being used in businesses, and related statistical figures already researched regarding I.T usage in business. The section will also research the projected future of I.T in the various sectors such as science, advertising, innovations, and analysis among others. Far from the documented studies of the I.T sector, this section will also look into the history of the participating businesses or companies. It will offer a brief insight into the nature of these businesses, their age, their key products and/or services and the way in which they apply I.T in their day to day activities.

3.0 Research Methodology

In this chapter, the actual tools used for this research will be laid down. The principal primary data sources will be the questionnaire, telephone interviews and e-mails. There will be two categories of questionnaires, one online, and one in hard copy. These will be issued to respondents according to their preference. The necessary standards applicable in the formulation of questionnaires such as the observance of privacy and non-revelatory type questions will be observed (Churchill, 1995). The data to be collected will be organized according to the various parameters required for further treatment including; the number of questionnaires issued, the number of positive respondents, business categories of the respondents, the broad capital margins of respondents, age of businesses, duration of I.T implementation, percentage of running processes dependent on I.T,  cost of I.T implementation ( the percentage of processes controlled through I.T and its effect- both positive and negative), change in profitability or revenue after I.T implementation as a percentage of the overall gross incomes of the firms before adoption of information technology, effects of I.T usage on organizational structure of the firms, such as payroll administration and human resource department procedures , expected future of I.T usage in their firms among other parameters. Samples of questionnaires used will be attached in the appendix. As concerns secondary data sources, the various websites visited will be cited and any sources for tables, charts and other intellectual properties cited from any sites properly referenced. At the end of the chapter, findings in form of returned questionnaires and any referenced materials from secondary sourcing will be stated.

4.0 Data Analysis

This chapter will display the actual results of the study, both the primary sources and secondary sources in preparation for analysis. The data obtained will be analyzed, in order to come up with trends common to all respondents, as well as to facilitate categorization of the results depending on key sub-divisions in the business sector depending on such parameters as capital range, business age, and business type among others. Also the various broad subdivisions of the dissertation as seen in the title will be analyzed separately. 

For instance, the economic analysis results of I.T usage in the productivity aspect of the firm will stand out as a distinct parameter, different from the economic aspect in the business value aspect of the firm. Similarly, the organizational impact of I.T application will be separated into two outputs: the organizational view and the business value view. Methods used for data treatment and analysis will be explained, and the results of the analysis clearly shown and explained. Results will be presented using such tools as bar graphs, pie charts, and histograms to clearly bring out the results and juxtapose the various parameters for ease of comparison.

5.0 Conclusions

In this chapter, a brief and accurate assessment of the findings of the previous chapter will be made. An exhaustive description of the nature of the findings will be written, which will be in total agreement with the corrected data and relevant to the objective of the research. The expected statements in the conclusion chapter will show I.T implementation as either positively affecting the economic positions of businesses (on average), or negatively affecting them. If there are differences in I.T effects on the economic aspects of different firms depending on age of firms for instance, the conclusion statements will reflect this reality (Goodstein & Burke 1991). Similarly, the organizational effects of the application of I.T programs will be commented on.

6.0 Recommendations

In line with the objective of the research, the findings will be used to either encourage or discourage the implementation of information technology in business practice basing on the research outcomes. The recommendations given at this stage will be expected to mention any anomalies expected in the research methodology used and possible adjustments in the results to cater for such anomalies. For instance, if the data available from respondents with very young businesses/firms is found to be inconsistent in itself, the recommendation will outline possible reasons for this anomaly and suggest remedies for the same.