FACTORS AFFECTING THE OUTCOMES OF PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

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FACTORS AFFECTING PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM OUTCOMES

Journal of Information Technology Management
ISSN #1042-1319
A Publication of the Association of Management
FACTORS AFFECTING THE OUTCOMES OF PERFORMANCE
MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
AL BENTO
UNIVERSITY OF BALTIMORE
[email protected]

REGINA BENTO
UNIVERSITY OF BALTIMORE
[email protected]

ABSTRACT
This paper proposes and tests a model to explain three critical outcomes of Performance Management Systems:
information quality, effectiveness, and usefulness of the PMS to managerial decision-making. Drawing from Organizational
Information Processing Theory (OIPT), we examined how those three outcomes may be influenced by factors that affect OIP
requirements (industry, size, and geographic scope of operations) and by organizational and technological factors that affect
OIP capabilities. Organizational factors included management's decision-making style and organizational structure.
Technological factors included the types of technology used in the PMS (ERP; specialized tools such as EIS and DSS; and
generic tools such as Excel, Access and Lotus Notes), and the degree of use of e-commerce and Internet technologies. We
used stepwise regression to analyze data from a sample of 1,990 respondents in small, medium and large organizations,
operating at regional, national, international and global levels across a broad range of the Dow Jones Global Industry Groups.
Keywords: Performance Management Systems, Organization Information Processing, Information Quality, Effectiveness,
Usefulness.
managerial decision-making. Drawing from the literature
INTRODUCTION
on Information Processing, we propose a model that
examines how those three PMS outcomes may be
Organizations are investing ever-increasing
influenced by a variety of factors that affect, on the one
amounts of resources into Performance Management
hand,
an
organization's
information
processing
Systems, but it is still not clear what they can expect in
requirements and, on the other hand, its information
return, or how they might influence the likelihood of
processing capabilities.
positive system outcomes. This study applies Information
The empirical test of the model explored three
Processing Theory to develop and test a model of
main environmental and organizational factors affecting
environmental, organizational and technological factors
information requirements: the nature of the industry, the
that are hypothesized to contribute to PMS outcomes. The
size of the organization, and the geographic scope of its
empirical test of the model was conducted using a
operations (ranging from regional to global). The
database with findings from a survey of 1,990
empirical study also examined two sets of factors,
organizations.
organizational and technological, that affect the capability
The goal of the study is to explain three critical
of the firm to process information. The organizational
PMS outcomes: information quality, effectiveness, and
factors considered in the study were management's
usefulness of the Performance Management System to
decision-making style (command and control vs.
Journal of Information Technology Management Volume XVII, Number2, 2006
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FACTORS AFFECTING PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM OUTCOMES

collaborative), as well as organizational structure.
RESEARCH QUESTION, MODEL
Technological factors included the types of technology
used in the PMS (ERP; specialized tools such as EIS and
AND HYPOTHESES
DSS; and generic tools such as Excel, Access and Lotus
Performance Measurement Systems (PMS)
Notes), and the degree of use of e-commerce and Internet
enable organizations to plan, measure and control their
technologies.
performance, so that decisions, resources and activities
The study used stepwise regression to analyze
can be better aligned with business strategies to achieve
data from a sample of 1,990 respondents in accounting,
desired results and create shareholder value.
finance, general management, information technology etc.
This study addresses the following research
The sample included small, medium and large
question: "What factors, internal or external to the
organizations,
operating
at
regional,
national,
organization, explain the outcomes of Performance
international and global levels across a broad range of the
Management Systems?"
Dow Jones Global Industry Groups.

In order to answer this question, we used the
The following sections summarize the relevance
model shown in Figure 1 to examine the factors
of the study, the model that was used to explore the
contributing to three types of PMS outcomes: usefulness,
factors influencing PMS outcomes, the research question
effectiveness and quality of information.
and hypotheses inspired by the model, the methodology
that was used to empirically test the model, the results
obtained and their implications for research and practice.



Figure 1. Factors contributing to PMS outcomes
Usefulness is defined in the literature as the
Effectiveness of a PMS is the degree to which
degree to which a person believes that using a particular
the system delivers its intended results [9], i.e, helping
system would enhance performance [11]. Usefulness is
organizations to plan, measure and control their
related to the concept of voluntary IS "use" [2,3]. The
performance, as described above.
actual usage of information systems is widely considered
Information Quality (IQ) is a multifaceted
an important measure of IT success in organizations, and
concept, with an entire stream of research just trying to
has been found to have a strong correlation with the
define what it means. For the purposes of this study, we
perceived usefulness of a system by the user [8].
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FACTORS AFFECTING PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM OUTCOMES

used the widely accepted definition of IQ as "fitness for
generate and process information: Enterprise
use." [1].
Resource Planning (ERP), specialized tools
Various factors may contribute to PMS
(EIS - Executive Information Systems, DSS-
usefulness effectiveness and information quality. The
Decision Support Systems) or generic tools
factors identified in the model in Figure 1 were inspired
(Excel, Access, Lotus Notes);
by Organizational Information Processing Theory, or
OIPT [4,5,6,7,10].

The level of use of e-commerce and Internet
technologies to facilitate the flow of
According to OIPT, organizations face different
information.
levels of uncertainty, i.e., "the difference between the
amount of information available and the amount of
Based on the OIPT-inspired model in Figure 1, this
information required to perform the task at the desired
study therefore investigated the following hypotheses:
level of performance" [4]. This difference characterizes
the information processing requirements of the task. The
H1: The higher the level of uncertainty in an
rightmost column in Figure 1 shows three factors that,
industry, the higher the likelihood that
according to OIPT, can be expected to influence the
organizations will try to cope with these
information processing requirements that a PMS must
increased information processing requirements
meet: industry, scope of operations, and size of the
by improving their information processing
organization. Different industries vary in their velocity
capabilities through organizational adaptation
and predictability of change, and the resulting levels of
(structure, management style) and technology
uncertainty raise different levels of information
(types of PMS technology, Internet, e-
requirements. Uncertainty, and therefore information
commerce).
requirements, can also be expected to increase as
H2: The broader their geographical scope of
organizations expand in terms of their geographic scope
operations, the higher the likelihood that
of operations (regional, national, international, or global)
organizations will try to cope with these
and size (small, medium, large organizations).
increased information processing requirements
OIPT proposes that organizations deal with these
by improving their information processing
increased information processing requirements by trying
capabilities through organizational adaptation
to reduce the effects of uncertainty through buffering
(structure, management style) and technology
(e.g., extra inventory) or by increasing their information
(types of PMS technology, Internet, e-
processing capabilities through structural mechanisms
commerce).
(e.g., lateral relations) and efforts to improve information
flow (e.g., investments in IT and IS). The two middle
H3: The larger their size, the higher the
columns in the model in Figure 1 represent those two
likelihood that organizations will try to cope
ways of increasing information processing capabilities.
with these increased information processing
The column labeled "Organizational Capabilities"
requirements by improving their information
includes factors such as:
processing capabilities through organizational
adaptation (structure, management style) and

structural arrangements to help enhance the
technology (types of PMS technology, Internet,
organization's
capabilities
to
process
e-commerce).
information;
H4: Organizational and technological efforts to

the degree to which management's decision
increase information processing capabilities are
making style affects information flow by
complementary, rather than mutually exclusive,
making full use of two-way lateral and
so there is a positive relationship between
vertical
communications
(Collaborative
organizational factors (structure, management
styles) or by relying mostly on one-way
style) and technology (types of PMS technology,
vertical communications (Command and
Internet, e-commerce).
Control styles).
H5: There is a positive relationship between
The column labeled "Technological Capabilities"
organizational factors that enhance information-
includes factors such as:
processing capabilities (such as structures and
management styles that facilitate information

The types of technology used in the
flow)
and
PMS
outcomes
(usefulness,
performance
management
system
to
effectiveness, and information quality).
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FACTORS AFFECTING PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM OUTCOMES

H6: There is a positive relationship between
by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants,
technologies
that
enhance
information-
Inc.
processing
capabilities
(types
of
PMS
technology, Internet, e-commerce) and PMS
RESULTS
outcomes
(usefulness,
effectiveness,
and
information quality).
H7: There are positive relationships among the
Descriptive Statistics
various types of PMS outcomes (usefulness,
Table 1 shows the descriptive statistics for the
effectiveness, and information quality).
three main PMS outcomes and the other variables in the
model.
Usefulness of IT Tools was measured using a scale
METHODOLOGY
(Reliability: Cronbach’s Alpha = 0.874) that included
how useful IT in various performance measurement areas
The empirical test of the hypotheses inspired by
(analyzing and forecasting business results, plans and
the model in Figure 1 was conducted using stepwise
budgets, decision support), ranging from 1 to 5 (poor/ less
regression to analyze data obtained in a large survey (N=
than adequate/ adequate / more than adequate / excellent).
1,990). The sample included small, medium and large
The Usefulness scale ranged from 1 (poor) to 20
organizations,
operating
at
regional,
national,
(Excellent), and the average value was 12.78.
international and global levels across a broad range of the
Effectiveness was measured in a 1-5 scale, and
Dow Jones Global Industry Groups. Respondents came
the average value was 3.11 (5% not effective; 30% poor;
from different functional areas, such as accounting,
43% adequate; 18 % effective; 5% very effective).
finance, general management, information technology etc.
Information Quality was measured in a 1-5 scale,
The database used in this study came from a
and the average value was 2.97 (3% not effective; 18%
survey of performance measurement practices conducted
poor; 56% adequate; 20 % effective; 3% very effective).
Table 1. Descriptive Statistics

Variable
N
X
s
Usefulness of IT tools
1732
12.78
2.94
Effectiveness
1876
3.11
.92
Information Quality
1808
2.97
.79
Special tools (EIS, DSS)
1767
1.26
.44
ERP Systems
1767
1.28
.45
Generic Tools (Excel, Access, Notes)
1768
1.94
.23
e-Commerce
1847
1.54
.49
Internet
1840
2.65
1.14
Structure
1921
2.78
1.27
Collaborative
1923
1.54
.49
Command and Control
1923
1.31
.46
Scope
1925
2.37
1.16
Size
1898
1.67
.79
Industry
1923
4.60
3.27
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FACTORS AFFECTING PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM OUTCOMES

organizations in the sample: industry, organizational size
Stepwise Regression Results and Hypothesis
and scope of geographical operations. Both Industry and
Testing
Size affected Scope. As predicted, all three OIP
requirement variables (Industry, Scope and Size) directly
Table 2 shows the results of the stepwise
affected one particular aspect of OIP organizational
regression used to test the hypotheses in the study (all
capability (Structure). Size was the most important
Beta values significant at .0001). Figure 2 presents the
variable in explaining Structure, followed by Scope and
relationships of the variables in the model, with the Beta
then Industry. However, none of the three OIP
values obtained for the relationships that were found to be
Requirement variables (Industry, Size, Scope) were found
significant at the .0001 level.
to affect the other organizational OIP capability variable
The overall results support the applicability of
in the model, managerial decision-making style
the OIPT-inspired model in Figure 1 to identify factors
(Collaborative, Command and Control).
that help explain the outcomes of Performance
Two of the OIP Requirement variables, Scope
Management Systems. Factors that affect organizational
and Size, were also found to have a direct impact on the
information
processing
(OIP)
requirements
were
other set of OIP capabilities, technological capabilities.
generally found to affect the organization’s OIP
Those technological capabilities included:
capabilities, both in terms of organizational capabilities

the types of technology used in the performance
and technological capabilities (Hypotheses 1, 2 and 3).
management system to generate and process
Organizational capabilities were found to be positively
information: Enterprise Resource Planning
associated with technological capabilities, supporting the
(ERP), specialized tools (EIS - Executive
proposition that they are complementary, rather than
Information Systems, DSS- Decision Support
mutually exclusive (Hypothesis 4). Organizational and
Systems) or generic tools (Excel, Access, Lotus
technological capabilities were found to contribute to
Notes); and
PMS outcomes (Hypotheses 5 and 6). Finally, as the

the level of use of e-commerce and Internet
model predicted, we found that PMS outcomes were
technologies to facilitate the flow of information.
related to each other (Hypothesis 7).
Scope was the most important variable to explain
both ERP and Internet, explaining over 22% of
OIP Requirements and OIP Capabilities
the variation in ERP and 11% of the variation in
(Hypotheses 1, 2 and 3)
Internet. Size and Scope also affected the use of
Our first three hypotheses concerned the three
specialized tools (EIS, DSS) and e-commerce.
environmental and organizational factors used to capture
the information processing requirements faced by the

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FACTORS AFFECTING PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM OUTCOMES

Table 2. Regression Results

Dependent variable
Significance
Independent variables
Beta
R 2


.25
.0001
Usefulness of IT Tools
Information Quality
.448
Effectiveness
.074
Special tools (EIS, DSS)
.056


.33
.0001
Effectiveness
Information Quality
.519
Collaborative
.121
Internet
.110


.04
.0001
Information Quality
Special tools (EIS, DSS)
.130
Collaborative
.097
Internet
.090
Structure
-.058
Special tools (EIS, DSS)


.08
.0001
Size
.224
Internet
.117
Scope
-.069
Structure
.068


.07
.0001
ERP Systems
Scope
.221
Size
.094
Structure
.027


.11
.0001
e-Commerce
Internet
.256
Scope
.115
Size
.110


.03
.0001
Internet
Scope
.111
Collaborative
.091
Structure
.087


.16
.0001
Structure
Size
.361
Scope
.079
Industry
-.060


.09
.0001
Scope
Size
.283

Industry
.111

Turning now specifically to each of the first 3
adaptation (structure, management style)
hypotheses:
and technology (types of PMS technology,

Hypothesis 1 predicted that the higher the
Internet, e-commerce). As shown in Figure
level of uncertainty in an industry, the
2, we only found a significant (although
higher the likelihood that organizations
weak) relationship between Industry and
would try to cope with these increased
Structure. This may reflect the fact that the
information processing requirements by
industry measures (based in the Dow Jones
improving their information processing
Global Industry Groups) did not fully
capabilities
through
organizational
capture the difference in the levels of
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FACTORS AFFECTING PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM OUTCOMES

uncertainty in the industries represented in

As predicted in Hypothesis 3, organizational
this study.
Size (representing an increase in OIP

As predicted in Hypothesis 2, a broader
requirements), was found to be positively
geographical
scope
of
operations
associated with both types of factors that
(representing
an
increase
in
OIP
increase
OIP
capabilities:
technology
requirements) was found to be positively
(particularly ERP, but also EIS/DSS,
associated with both types of factors that
Internet
and
e-commerce);
and
increase OIP capabilities: technology (types
organizational adaptation (Size explained
of PMS technology, such as ERP, and
over 36% of the variation in Structure).
EIS/DSS;
Internet;
e-commerce);
and
Once again, however, the association with
organizational adaptation (structure). The
Collaborative Management Style was not
association between Scope and collaborative
significant.
management style, however, was not
significant.


Figure 2. Regression results
information processing capabilities are complementary,
OIP Capabilities: Organizational and
rather than mutually exclusive. As predicted in
Technological (Hypothesis 4)
Hypothesis 4, we found significant positive relationships
between organizational factors (structure, management
Our
OIPT-inspired
model
proposed
that
style) and technology (types of PMS technology, Internet,
organizational and technological efforts to increase
e-commerce). Structure directly affected the use of ERP,
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FACTORS AFFECTING PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM OUTCOMES

EIS/DSS and Internet. The other organizational factor,
outcomes: Information Quality (explaining 13% of the
Collaborative Management Style, was found to have a
variation) and Usefulness (explaining close to 6% of the
significant impact on only one of the technological factors
variation).
(Internet). No significant relationship was found between
E-commerce was not found to affect directly any
the two organizational capabilities, Structure and
of the PMS outcomes, but was related to other variables
Collaborative Management Style.
in the model (particularly Internet, and also Size and
Scope).
Organizational Capabilities and PMS
In contrast, the level of Internet use was found to
Outcomes (Hypothesis 5)
influence PMS outcomes directly (explaining 11% of the
variation in Effectiveness and 9% of the variation in
According to Hypothesis 5, organizational
Information Quality) and indirectly (through its
factors that enhance information-processing capabilities
relationship with the use of Specialized Tools such as
(such as structures and management styles that facilitate
EIS, DSS). The level of Internet use was also related to
information flow) were expected to have a direct impact
other variables in the model (Scope, Structure and
on PMS outcomes (usefulness, effectiveness, and
Collaborative Management Style).
information quality), in addition to their indirect impact
by affecting technological capabilities (Hypothesis 4).
PMS Outcomes (Hypothesis 7)
Structure was found to have a direct impact on
one of the PMS outcomes, Information Quality,
As predicted in Hypothesis 7, we found positive
suggesting that more complex structures may be
relationships among the various types of PMS outcomes
negatively associated with Information Quality in
(usefulness, effectiveness, and information quality).
Performance Management Systems.
Information Quality was the most important
Collaborative Management Style had significant
factor in explaining both of the other PMS outcomes,
direct impacts on two PMS outcomes, directly explaining
Usefulness and Effectiveness (Information Quality
12% of the variation in Effectiveness and close to 10% of
explained close to 45% of the variation in the Usefulness,
the variation in Information Quality.
and over 51% of the variation in Effectiveness). The
The impact of both Structure and Collaborative
most important factors in explaining Information Quality
Style on the third PMS outcome, Usefulness, was only
(in the context of Performance Management Systems)
indirect (through the impact of Effectiveness and
were Specialized Tools (EIS, DSS), followed by
Information Quality on Usefulness, as explained in the
Collaborative Management Style, Internet and Structure.
discussion of Hypothesis 7).
Effectiveness is positively related to the other
PMS outcomes, Usefulness and Information Quality. The
Technological Capabilities and PMS
most important factors contributing to Effectiveness were
Information Quality, Collaborative Management Style
Outcomes (Hypothesis 6)
and Internet.
Hypothesis 6 predicted a positive relationship
Usefulness was positively related to the other
between PMS outcomes (usefulness, effectiveness, and
PMS outcomes, Information Quality and Effectiveness.
information quality) and technologies that enhance
The most important factors contributing to Usefulness
information-processing capabilities, i.e. the types of
were Information Quality, followed by Effectiveness and
technology used in the PMS (ERP and specialized tools
the use of Specialized Tools (EIS, DSS).
such as EIS and DSS), and the level of use of Internet and
e-commerce.
CONCLUSION
ERP was not found in this study to be directly
related to PMS outcomes, but was related to other
The overall purpose of this study was to test in a
variables in the model such as Scope, Size and Structure.
large sample whether a model based on traditional
This lack of a direct impact on PMS outcomes may reflect
Organizational Information Processing Theory could be
the fact that ERPs are meant to support the coordination
successfully applied to the particular case of Performance
and integration of business activities, as well as
Management Systems. The results obtained lend support
information processing, and thus were not being used to
to the use of an OIPT-inspired model to explain PMS
directly and significantly support the performance
outcomes.
management systems investigated in this study.
As expected, factors that affect OIP requirements
On the other hand, specialized tools like EIS and
(Industry, Scope of Operations, Organizational Size) were
DSS were found to have a direct impact on two PMS
related to factors that increase OIP capabilities, including
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FACTORS AFFECTING PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM OUTCOMES

organizational factors (Industry, Scope and Size were
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understanding of the dynamic underlying PMS outcomes.

Further research on other factors that affect information

processing requirements and capabilities should yield

findings of high theoretical and practical significance to

the improvement of Performance Management Systems.
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FACTORS AFFECTING PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM OUTCOMES

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHIES
Al Bento is the BGE Chair and Professor of
Information Systems at the Merrick School of Business,
University of Baltimore. He is Editor-in-Chief of the
Journal of Information Technology Management. He is
past Chair of the Association for Information Systems
(AIS) Special Interest Group on Information Systems
Security (SIGSEC). A graduate from UCLA, his current
research includes projects on information security and
performance measurement systems.
Regina Bento is Professor of Management at the
Merrick School of Business, University of Baltimore and
Associate Director of the C. Roland Christensen Center
for Teaching and Learning of the Harvard Business
School. She is past Chair of the Management Education
and Development Division at the Academy of
Management, and "OB-1" at the Organizational Behavior
Teaching Society. A graduate from MIT, her current
research includes projects on the behavioral aspects of the
use of information technology.


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