Alain Pinsonneault Awarded 2018 SSHRC Insight Grant

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Congratulations to Alain Pinsonneault, Professor in Information Systems, awarded the 2018 SSHRC Insight Grant “The impact of explorative and exploitive use of information technology on individual performance”.

Information technology (IT) is one of the key elements of a firm’s success. Organizations spend millions of dollars annually (2018 IT spending is expected to reach $3.5 trillion in North America, Gartner 2017) in the hope of achieving competitive advantage. Until recently, IT investments were made in an effort to increase operational effectiveness and efficiency. However, managers have now come to the realization that relying on IT to increase efficiency alone is not sufficient anymore and that IT can be an excellent catalyst for innovation.

Efforts to use IT to stimulate innovation and incite users to explore different ways to use IT penetrate all fabrics of organizations. However, one of the fundamental challenges hindering this effort is the fact that individuals rarely use newly IT to their fullest potential. Rather, users typically tend to explore a few features of new IT for a relatively short period and then rapidly routinize their use and concentrate their attention on a limited number functions that they use in a routine and automatic mode.

The objective of the present program of research is to study three fundamental dimensions related to explorative and exploitative use of IT, their technological antecedents and their consequences. Specifically, it addresses the following research questions: 1) How do explorative and exploitative use of IT interact together over time? 2) How and through what mechanisms do different patterns of explorative/exploitive IT use influence different dimensions of individual performance? And (3) What IT features lead to explorative use of IT?