A Theory of Multi-Realization of IT Value: Toward Construct Clarity in the Co-Development of Large Platforms


Received: June 16, 2016

Revised: September 30, 2018; September 30, 2020; May 15, 2021; October 3, 2021

Accepted: November 6, 2021

Published Online as Accepted Author Version: Forthcoming

Published Online as Articles in Advance: Forthcoming

Published in Issue: Forthcoming



Without question, realizing or appropriating value from individual firm-level IT investments has been a recurring theme in the IS literature for decades. And failure rates related to IT investments are high and have been so for many years. However, realizing value from IT in settings where numerous organizations need to work together to co-develop sizable digital platforms has been under-theorized and/or hobbled with conflated theoretical constructs. To address this dearth of novel theory and accompanying empiricism, high quality processes such as benefits management have been suggested in the scientific literature and have gained substantial interest in practice as a means for organizations to structure their routines and processes in ways that actually capture value. The complexity of this challenge suggests that there should be a renewed theoretical effort in IS reconceptualizing several extant scholarly streams. We address this challenge first by deconstructing traditional scholarly frameworks into a moderated theoretical model of multi-creation and multi-realization of IT value termed “MUIT.” The first construct in the model is based on the resource-based view; then the model is further informed by appropriation theory, adaptive structuration theory, network governance theory, and, finally, the benefits management literature. Our variance model is a Type IV theory according to Gregor´s typology – a theory for explaining and predicting how largescale strategic consortia can collaborate to realize greater value from IT than they could in isolation. For praxis, we contribute to understanding how interorganizational resources and capabilities, relationships, and value realization can be spring-boarded into both successful largescale platforms and superior realization of benefits.

Additional Details
Author Leif Skiftenes Flak, Hans Solli-Sæther, and Detmar William Straub
Year 2022
Keywords digital platforms; co-creation; co-realization; resource-based view of the firm; adaptive structuration theory; appropriation theory; the DeLone-McLean model; benefits management; network governance theory; theory development
Page Numbers
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