A Bibliometric Analysis of the Evolution of the Information Systems Business Value Topic in the last 40-Years


  • MPGC

Área de conhecimento: 

  • Gestão da Informação


  • Demetrius Ribeiro de Araujo




The business value of investments in information systems (IS) has been a major concern for IS researchers and practitioners in the last forty years. However, the use of different synonyms to refer to the same term in a discipline makes it difficult to have an overview of a topic and to identify the emergent themes, crucial to address practical issues and to the planning and evaluating processes performed by practitioners to create value in the context of organizations. Researchers must be aware of the power of the keywords to increase access to studies. Through an in-depth literature review, nine synonyms for value in the context of organizations have been identified being used in the IS discipline in the last forty years. A dataset of published documents using these nine terms was retrieved from the Web of Science core collection. After refining, cleansing and classifying, a final dataset of 2.208 documents (articles, proceedings and reviews) was analysed with bibliometric techniques to map the topic based on numbers of documents (productivity) and citations impact (influence). Results show that IS business value publications increased twentyfold between 1980 and 2019. “Performance” is the most used synonym (in 35% of the analysed documents) followed by “value” (20%), “success” (15%) and “impact” (11%). The findings indicate stabilization in the use of terms in the last decade evidencing the maturity of the topic. The United States is the most productive (27% of the publications) and influential (59% of the citations) country, whereas Georgia State University is the most productive and influential publishing institution, confirming the hegemony of the United States. The African continent appears last in our rankings, which countries grouped sum 2% of the documents and 0,21% of the citations, confirming the high grade of concentration in academic production and warning for the opportunities. These findings provide an overview of the evolution of the IS business value topic over the last forty years and remark opportunities for strengthening research networks to promote diversification. All in all, this research provides practitioners with useful tools for mapping a topic and identifying emergent themes.

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