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MIS Professors, Richardson and Kettinger, Publish in Top-Tier Journal

For release:  February 11, 2014

Dr. Sandra Richardson and Dr. Bill Kettinger, both FCBE professors of Management Information Systems, were recently published in a prestigious academic journal, the Journal of the Association for Information Systems (JAIS) for their paper titled, ‘IT and Agility in the Social Enterprise: A Case Study of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital's "Cure4Kids” IT-Platform for International Outreach.’

Their paper suggests a positive relationship between IT-investments, agility, and performance for firms operating in turbulent contexts. However, agility studies have primarily focused on conceptual concerns, leaving these relationships empirically unexplored. In addition, the literature has focused on for-profit firms operating in commercial markets, thereby leaving other important organizational types unexamined; one such type is the social enterprise (SE). SEs are entrepreneurial organizations with a mission to improve complex social challenges (i.e., healthcare, hunger, education, etc) rather than profit maximization. This void leaves SEs with little knowledge about how they can leverage IT to become more agile and improve performance. The study draws on the agility perspective to examine how one exemplary SE operating in the context of pediatric global health utilized IT to enhance its agility and improve performance. The study identified how the SE's IT-investment decisions resulted in an IT platform that facilitated increased agility in launching new products aimed at improving survival rates of children. Specifically, the study analyzed how the SE's IT platform positively impacted customer, partnering, and operational agility, and demonstrate how this led to dramatic improvements in performance. Finally, Drs. Richardson and Kettinger offer evidence to support positive relationships between IT, agility, and performance in social sector contexts.

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