The Path of Development of
Strategic Information Systems Theory

Roger Clarke
Australian National University

Working Paper, Version of 14 July 1994
The extended abstract of an earlier version of this paper is also available

© Australian National University, 1992, 1993, 1994

During the last 15 years, an area has developed within the Information Systems discipline which is generally referred to as 'strategic information systems'. It concerns itself with systems whose importance to the organisation extend beyond merely assisting it to perform its existing functions efficiently, or even just effectively. A strategic information system is instrumental in the organisation's achievement of its competitive or other strategic objectives.

This paper presents a critical summary of the literature, and is accompanied by an extensive reference list. It begins by tracing the development of contemporary theory about strategic uses of corporations' internal information systems, primarily from Porter's theories relating to competitive strategy. This leads to discussion of systems which transcend the boundaries of particular organisations and are associated with cooperation between them. The process whereby strategic information systems are created or identified is then examined.

A number of weaknesses in the existing body of theory are identified, and suggestions made as to directions in which knowledge is or may be progressing.


Go to Roger's Home Page.

Go to the contents-page for this segment.

Send an email to Roger

Last Amended: 15 October 1995

These community service pages are a joint offering of the Australian National University (which provides the infrastructure), and Roger Clarke (who provides the content).
The Australian National University
Visiting Fellow, Faculty of
Engineering and Information Technology,
Information Sciences Building Room 211
Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, ACN: 002 360 456
78 Sidaway St
Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
Tel: +61 6 288 6916 Fax: +61 6 288 1472