Towards a New Understanding of the e-Business Strategic Process: The Rise of a Dynamic Interaction-Based Approach

Part of the Progress in IS book series (PROIS)


In the early 1970s, strategic planning was introduced onto the corporate management scene and since then it has been a dominating conceptual frame for understanding and designing various strategies in the corporate world. Nearly a decade later, strategic planning has been used by various scholars to explain how companies could strategize in the field of ICT and e-business. Strategic information systems planning (SISP) is an example of this application of strategic planning in the field of e-business. The prominence of SISP within the corporate IS strategy literature has been dramatic, but today there exist other different understandings of how strategies are emerging. However, e-business strategic literature is still dominated by the planning e-business approaches. The question therefore remains: Is it still optimal to build a static, programmed analytical information plan, or must the e-business strategic process adapt to changes in the planning environment and internal changes within the organization? E-business strategy, because of increased uncertainty and environmental complexity, must encourage interaction between key stakeholders that implement and use the e-business technology. The literature reveals the lack of a dynamic theory of e-business strategy. The current paper proposes an e-business strategy conceptualized as a dynamic interaction-based process, in which several organizational components co-create the e-business strategic framework of the company. The process is based on group-learning processes where the strategy emerges though the processes of action and reflection. These experience-based group-learning processes help organize the process of e-business strategizing so that improvisational and dynamic competences can emerge.


e-Business Strategizing Value creation Competitive advantage Group learning Experience-based learning 


  1. Amit, R., & Zott, C. (2001). Value creation in e-business. Strategic Management Journal, 22, 4930520.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ansoff, I. (1965). Corporate strategy. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  3. Argyris, C., & Schön, D. (1978). Organizational learning: A theory of action perspective. Reading: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  4. Auer, T., & Reponen, T. (1997). Information systems strategy formation embedded into a continuous organizational learning process. Information Resources Management Journal, 10(2), 32–43.Google Scholar
  5. Baker, A. C., Jensen, P. J., & Kolb, D. A. (2005). Conversation as experiential learning. Management Learning, 36(4), 0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Barney, J. B. (1991). Firm resources and sustained competitive advantage. Journal of Management, 17(1), 99–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Benamati, J. & Lederer, A.L. (2000). The emerging IT group and rapid IT change. In SIGCPR 2000, Evanston IL: ACM.Google Scholar
  8. Bergeron, F., Buteau, C., & Raymond, L. (1991). Identification of strategic information sytems opportunities: Applying and comparing two methodologies. MIS Quarterly, 15(1), 89–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bessant, J. (2002). Developing routines for innovation management within the firm. In Sundbo Jon & Fuglsang Lars (Eds.), Innovation as strategic reflexivity (pp. 127–139). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  10. Bhandari, G., Bliemel, M., Harold, A., & Hassanein, K. (2004). Flexibility in e-business strategies: A requirement for success. Global Journal of Flexible Systems Management, 5(2/3), 11–22.Google Scholar
  11. Birkhofer, B., Schögel, M., & Tomczak, T. (2000). Transaction- and trust-based strategies in ecommerce—A conceptual approach. Electronic Markets, 10(3), 0.Google Scholar
  12. Bondarouk, T. V. (2006). Action-oriented group learning in the implementation of information technologies: Results from three case studies. European Journal of Information Systems, 15, 42–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cagliano, R., Caniato, F., & Spina, G. (2003). E-business strategy: How companies are shaping their supply chain through the internet. International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 23(10), 1142–1162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Chaffey, D. (2012). E-business and e-commerce management (5th ed.). Harlow: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  15. Chandler, A. D. (1962). Strategy and structure. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  16. Chen, D., Mocker, M., Preston, D., & Teubner, A. (2010). Information systems strategy: Reconceptualization, measurement, and implications. MIS Quarterly, 34(2), 233–259.Google Scholar
  17. Ciborra, C. (1994). The grassroots of IT and strategy. In C. Ciborra & T. Jelassi (Eds.), Strategic information systems (pp. 3–24). Chichester: Wiley.Google Scholar
  18. Conway, S., & Steward, F. (2009). Managing and shaping innovation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Cooper, R. G. (1994). Third-generation new product processes. Journal of Innovation Management, 11, 3–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Coughlan, J., Lycett, M., & Macredie, R. D. (2005). Understanding the business-IT relationship. International Journal of Information Management, 25(4), 303–319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. De Wit, B., & Meyer, R. (1998). Strategy, process, content, context: An international perspective (2nd ed.). London: International Thomson Business Press.Google Scholar
  22. Dodgson, M. (1993). Organizational learning: A review of some literatures. Dodgson Organization Studies, 14, 375–394.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Dooley, L., & O’Sullivan, D. (2000). System innovation manager. Production Planning and Control, 11(4), 369–379.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Earl, M. J. (1988). Formulation of information systems strategies: Emerging lessons and frameworks. In M. J. Earl (Ed.), Information management: The strategic dimension (pp. 157–174). Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  25. Earl, M. J. (1993). Experiences in strategic information systems planning. MIS Quarterly, 17(1), 1–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ein-Dor, P., & Segev, E. (1978). Organisational context and the success of management information systems. Management Science, 24(10), 1064–1077.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Eisenhardt, K. M., & Sull, D. N. (2001). Strategy as simple rules. Harvard Business Review, 79(1), 107–116.Google Scholar
  28. Evans, C. (2001). An e-strategy for online business. Information Systems Management, 18, 8–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Freeman, C. (1986). The role of technical change in national economic development. In A. Amin & J. B. Goddard (Eds.), Technological change, industrial restructuring and regional development (pp. 100–115). London: Allen and Unwin.Google Scholar
  30. Freeman, C., & Louçã, F. (2001). As time goes by: From the industrial revolutions to the information revolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Fuglsang, L., & Sundbo, J. (2005). The organizational innovation system: Three models. Journal of Change Management, 5(3), 329–344.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Galliers, R. D. (1987). Information systems planning in the United Kingdom and Australia—A comparison of current practice. Oxford Surveys in Information Technology, 4, 223–255.Google Scholar
  33. Galliers, R. D. (2007). Strategizing for agility: Confronting information systems inflexibility in dynamic environments. In K. C. Desouza (Ed.), Agile information systems, conceptualisation, construction and management. Burlington: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  34. Good, D. J., & Schultz, R. J. (2002). E-commerce strategies for business-to-business service firms in the global environment. American Business Review, 20(2), 111–118.Google Scholar
  35. Grant, R. M. (1991). The resource-based theory of competitive advantage: Implications for strategy. California Management Review, 33(3), 114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Gray, J. L., & Starke, F. A. (1984). Organizational behavior: Concepts and applications. Columbus: Merrill.Google Scholar
  37. Hamel, G., & Breen, B. (2007). The future of management. Cambridge: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  38. Holmqvist, M., & Pessi, K. (2006). Agility through scenario development and continuous implementation: A global aftermarket logistics case. European Journal of Information Systems, 15(2), 0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Huizingh, E. (2002). Towards successful e-business strategies: A hierarchy of three management models. Journal of Marketing Management, 18, 721–747.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Ivang, R., Rask, M., & Hinson, B. (2009). B2B inter-organisational digitalisation strategies: Towards an interaction-based approach. Direct Marketing: An International Journal, 3(4), 244–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Ivang, R. (2007). Towards a new understanding of the digital strategic process. Dissertation: Aalborg University.Google Scholar
  42. Jelassi, T., Enders, A., & Martínez-López, F. J. (2014). Strategies for e-business: Creating value through electronic and mobile commerce, concept and cases (3rd ed.). London: FT Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  43. Kayes, A., Kayes, D. C., & Kolb, D. A. (2005). Experiential learning in teams. Simulation and Gaming, 36(3), 330–354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Kayes, D. C. (2002). Experiential learning and its critics: Preserving the role of experience in management learning and education. Academy of Management, Learning and Education, 1(2), 137–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Kegan, R. (2005). The hidden curriculum of youth: Whaddaya want from me? In M. E. Wilson & L. E. Wolf-Wendel (Eds.), ASHE reader on college student development theory (pp. 67–80). Boston: Pearson Custom Publishing.Google Scholar
  46. Kim, D.H. (1993). The link between individual and organizational learning. Sloan Management Review, 35(1), 37–50.Google Scholar
  47. King, W. R. (1978). Strategic planning for management information systems. March: MIS Quarterly.Google Scholar
  48. Kolb, D. A. (1984). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  49. Lederer A.L. & Sethi, V. (1988). The implementation of strategic information systems planning methodologies. MIS Quarterly, 12(3), 445–461. doi 10.2307/249212
  50. Lord, C. (2000). The practicalities of developing a successful e-business strategy. Journal of Business Strategy, 21(2), 40–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Luftman, J. (1996). Competing in the information age: Practical applications of the strategic alignment model. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  52. Magretta, J. (2003). What management is. London: Profile Books.Google Scholar
  53. March, J. G. (1991). Exploration and exploitation in organizational learning. Organization Science, 2(1), 71–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. March, J. G. (1995). The future disposable organizations and the rigidities of imagination. Organization (Articles on organizational futures). Sage, 2(3/4), 427–440.Google Scholar
  55. McGee, J., Thomas, H., & Wilson, D. (2005). Strategy: Analysis and practice, text and cases. Boston: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  56. McKiernan, P. (1997). Strategy past: Strategy futures. Long Range Planning, 30(5), 790–798.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Mentzas, G. (1997). Implementing an IS strategy–A team approach. Long Range Planning, 30(1), 84–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Miller, D., & Friesen, P. H. (1980). Momentum and revolution in organizational adaptation. Academy of Management Journal, 23, 591–614.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Miller, D., & Friesen, P. H. (1982). Innovation in conservative and entrepreneurial firms: Two models of strategic momentum. Strategic Management Journal, 3, 1–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Miller, D., & Friesen, P. H. (1983). Strategy-making and environment: The third link. Strategic Management Journal, 4, 221–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Mintzberg, H., & McHugh, A. (1985). Strategy formation in an adhocracy. Administrative Science Quarterly, 30, 160–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Mintzberg, H., Ahlstrand, B., & Lampel, J. (1998). Strategy safari: A guided tour through the wilds of strategic management. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  63. Mintzberg, H., Lampel, J., & Ahlstrand, B. (2005). Strategy safari: A guided tour through the wilds of strategic management. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  64. Mintzberg, H. (1999). Bees, flies and CEOs: Do we have too many bees making strategy and not enough flies? Across the Board, pp. 37–42.Google Scholar
  65. Newkirk, H., & Lederer, A. (2006). Incremental and comprehensive strategic information systems planning in an uncertain environment. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 53(3), 380–394.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Newkirk, H. E., & Lederer, A. L. (2007). The effectiveness of strategic information systems planning for technical resources, personnel resources, and data security in environments of heterogeneity and hostility. The Journal of Computer Information Systems, 47(3), 34–44.Google Scholar
  67. Perez, C. (2002). Technological revolutions and financial capital: The dynamics of bubbles and golden ages. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Philip, G. (2007). IS strategic planning for operational efficiency. Information Systems Management, 24, 247–264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Porter, M. E. (1980). Competitive strategies: Techniques for analyzing industries and competitors. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  70. Porter, M. E. (1985). Competitive advantage. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  71. Prahalad, C. K., & Hamel, G. (1990). The core competence of the corporation. Harvard Business Review, 3, 79–91.Google Scholar
  72. Premkumar, G., & King, W. R. (1994). Organizational characteristics and information systems planning: An empirical study. Information Systems Research, 5(2), 75–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Pyburn, P. J. (1983). Linking the MIS plan with corporate strategy. MIS Quarterly, 13, 1–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Raghunathan, B., & Raghunathan, T. S. (1991). Information systems planning and effectiveness: An empirical analysis. Omega, 2(3), 125–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Raghunathan, T. S., & King, W. R. (1988). The impact of information systems planning on the organization. Omega, 16(2), 85–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Sabherwal, R., & King, W. R. (1995). An empirical taxonomy of the decision-making processes concerning strategic applications of information systems. Journal of Management Information Systems, 11(4), 177–214.Google Scholar
  77. Salmela, H., & Spil, T. A. (2002). Dynamic and emergent information systems strategy formulation and implementation. International Journal of Information Management, 22(6), 441–460.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Salmela, H., Lederer, A.L. & Reponen, T. (1996). Prescriptions for IS planning in a turbulent environment. In: Proceedings of the ICIS Conference (pp. 356–368), Cleveland.Google Scholar
  79. Sambamurthy, V., Venkatraman, S., & DeScantis, G. (1993). The design of information technology planning systems for varying organizational contexts. European Journal of Information Systems, 2(1), 23–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Sambamurthy, V., Zmud, R. W., & Byrd, T. A. (1994). The comprehensiveness of IT planning processes: A contingency approach. Journal of Information Technology Management, 5(1), 1–10.Google Scholar
  81. Segars, A. H., & Grover, V. (1998). Strategic information systems planning success: An investigation of the construct and its measurement. MIS Quarterly, 22(2), 139–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Spil, T.A.M. & Salmela, H. (1999). The fall of strategic information systems planning and the rise of a dynamic IS strategy. In T. Käkölä (Ed.), Proceedings of the 22nd Information Systems Research Seminar in Scandinavia (IRIS), University of Jyväskylä, Department of Computer Science and Information Systems, Jyväskylä.Google Scholar
  83. Stacey, R. (2003). Strategic management and organisational dynamics: The challenge of complexity. Harlow: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  84. Starbuck, W. H. (1985). Acting first and thinking later: Theory versus reality in strategic change. In J. M. Pennings, et al. (Eds.), Organizational strategy and change (pp. 336–372). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  85. Sutcliffe, K., Sitkin, S., & Browning, L. (2000). Tailoring process management to situational requirements. In R. Cole & W. Scott (Eds.), The quality movement & organization theory. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  86. Tanriverdi, H., Rai, A., & Venkatraman, N. (2010). Reframing the dominant quests of information systems strategy research for complex adaptive business systems. Information System Research, 21(4), 822–834.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Tassabehji, R. (2003). Applying e-commerce in business. London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  88. Taylor, J. R., & Van Every, E. J. (2000). The emergent organization: Communication as its site and surface. Mahwah: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  89. Van der Heijden, K., & Eden, C. (1998). The theory and praxis of reflective learning in strategy making. In C. Eden & J. C. Spender (Eds.), Managerial and organizational cognition: Theory, methods and research (pp. 58–75). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  90. Van Hoek, R. (2001). E-supply chains—Virtually non-existing. Supply Chain Management, 6(1), 21–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Venkatraman, N. (2000). Five steps to a dot-com strategy: How to find your footing on the web. Sloan Management Review, 41(3), 15.Google Scholar
  92. Vitale, M.R., Ives, B. & Beath, C.M. (1986). Linking information technology and corporate strategy: An organizational view. Paper presented at the 7th International Conference on Information Systems, San Diego, CA.Google Scholar
  93. Walsham, G. (2005). Learning about being critical. Information Systems Journal, 15(2), 111–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. Weick, K. E. (1987). Organizational culture as a source of high reliability. California Management Review, 29(2), 112–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Weick, K. E., Sutcliffe, K. M., & Obstfeld, D. (2005). Organizing and the process of sense-making. Organization Science, 16(4), 409–421.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  96. Weick, K. E. (1995). Sensemaking in organizations. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Aalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark

Personalised recommendations