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The potential use of information systems technology (IST) as a competitive weapon has been of enormous interest to many academic scholars and practitioners. However, the importance of identifying factors that organizations must deal with in the process of achieving IST competitive advantages has received inadequate research attention. This article attempts to identify these important factors for the strategic use of IST by examining the multifaceted role of IST in the healthcare context. Three propositions are developed from (1) re-examining a variety of successful IST applications both within and outside healthcare organizations, (2) re-applying the integration concept from the literature, and (3) examining field experiences in the healthcare industry. These propositions should serve as a basis for future empirical investigations into IST strategic applications.


Originally published in Management Information Systems Quarterly, 14:2 (June 1990), pp. 200-215.