New insights into work environment factors affecting user competence with enterprise systems
Weiling KE | 10/29/2021

Enterprise systems (ES) are organization-wide information systems that embed organizational policies and rules guiding operations. Unfortunately, most organizations have not reaped the purported benefits from their investment in ES.

In the view that prior research has primarily investigated whether and how employees “use” the system, Professor Weiling Ke from the College of Business at the Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) and her co-authors appealed for shifting the focus to user competence which plays a critical role in determining employees’ effective use of the system.

Their research work, entitled “User competence with enterprise systems: The effects of work environment factors,” has been published in Information Systems Research. It is a top academic journal that publishes research in the information systems discipline. It is also one of the 24 leading business journals ranked by the University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) and one of the Financial Times 50 Journals in business management and economics.

In addition to developing the concept of user competence in the context of ES, Prof. Ke and her co-authors theorized and empirically examined how work environment factors affect employee competence with the system. With longitudinal cross-level data collected from employees in six organizations, they found that job resources, in terms of leader-member exchange (LMX), traditional support structures, and peer support structures, facilitate employee competence development with ES.

Their results revealed that the relationship between job demands (i.e., work overload) and user competence is moderated by LMX but not by neither type of support structure. Overall, this research contributes to information systems literature by moving deliberate attention from a use-focused model to a competence-development model. It opens new avenues for research exploring how to foster user competence with ES, leading to the materialization of ES benefits.

Professor Weiling Ke is the first author of this paper. This study was a collaborative effort, involving Associate Professor Lele Kang from Nanjing University, Associate Professor Chuan Hoo Tan from the National University of Singapore, and Associate Professor Chih-Hung Peng from the National Chengchi University.

Professor Weiling Ke’s research has primarily focused on the management of IT-enabled innovations, including enterprise systems, supply chain integration, and open innovations. She has published papers with many premier journals, such as MIS Quarterly, Journal of Operations Management, and Information Systems Research.

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2021, 10-29
By Weiling KE

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Proofread ByAdrian Cremin, Yingying XIA

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