Digital dashboards, management control systems, interactive management control, strategy, key performance measures, strategy surrogation
This dissertation consists of three related studies examining the diffusion of digital dashboard technology throughout today’s organizations. Dashboards, once reserved for the executive level, are now available to managers at the lower levels of the organization. For these managers, dashboards have become an integral part of their work life to support their decision environment, to provide consistency in measures, to monitor performance, and to communicate information throughout the organization. Prior research in the practice literature has shown that dashboards improve managerial performance and organizational performance as well as communicate organizational goals and objectives; however, empirical research has not been conducted in this area to confirm this anecdotal evidence. Using three theories, the phenomenon surrounding the diffusion of dashboards to the lower levels of the organization are examined based on 1) dashboards as a source of interactive management control and strategy alignment, 2) the impact of dashboard quality on strategy alignment, decision environment, and performance, and 3) the impacts on dashboard utilization from the antecedents of information content and task uncertainty and the consequences of user satisfaction and managerial performance. The first study investigates why dashboards have been diffused to the lowers levels of today’s organizations. The primary focus of this study is to develop an understanding about the extent of dashboard utilization by decision-makers and the antecedents and consequences of utilization that is responsible for the widespread acceptance of this technology. The data for this study is collected and analyzed through an explanatory cross-sectional field study utilizing a semi-structured questionnaire. Using data from interviews with 27 managers, a framework is developed that indicates strategy alignment and dashboards associated with interactive iv management control are the primary antecedents that drive dashboard diffusion. The dimensions of dashboard system quality and dashboard information quality mediate the relationship between an interactive dashboard and the extent of dashboard utilization, which leads to higher levels of managerial performance and organizational performance. This study contributes to the dashboard, strategy, and MCS literature by revealing that dashboards are not isolated technologies, rather they play an important role in the execution of strategy at the operational levels of an organization. In addition, dashboards can also function as an interactive management control, which leads to high levels of diffusion of dashboards throughout organizations. Prior strategy literature has examined strategy alignment at the higher levels and this study extends this research stream by investigating strategy alignment at the lower operational levels of the organization. The second study utilizes the IS Success Model to explore the impacts of the antecedents of dashboard system quality and dashboard information quality on the managerial decision environment in addition to the resulting consequences or ‘net benefit’ of managerial performance and organizational performance. A field survey is used to collect data from 391 dashboard using managers to enable the analysis of the relationships predicted in the theoretical model. The theoretical model is analyzed utilizing PLS. The results show that two dimensions of dashboard quality, system flexibility and information currency, have a positive effect the managerial decision environment. The model indicates support for the consequences of managerial performance and organizational performance resulting from higher levels of decision quality in the managerial decision environment. The model also reveals that when the dashboard measures are strategy aligned, lower levels of dashboard system flexibility are associated with improved v managerial decision environment. Therefore, when organizations design their dashboard systems to support strategy alignment, managers should not be afforded high levels of system flexibility to maintain their attention on the key performance indicators selected to align with strategy. This result is a primary contribution to the strategy literature that reveals that strategy aligned dashboards are more effective in environments where the dashboard flexibility is lower. Additionally, study two also extends the strategy literature by examining strategy alignment at the lower levels of the organization, since prior research has concentrated on the higher level strategic outcomes. As dashboards become highly diffused and more managers utilize the technology, the likelihood that dashboard designers cannot provide dashboard content that fits the tasks performed by managers is higher. The third study investigates this fit between dashboard information content and task uncertainty to understand if the fit between the technology and task impacts the extent of dashboard utilization by managers based on the theory of task-technology fit (TTF). TTF predicts higher levels of utilization will increase user satisfaction and managerial performance. Data is collected from 391 managers that utilize dashboards in their weekly work life to analyze the relationships predicted in the theoretical model. PLS is utilized to analyze the theoretical model and indicates weak support of TTF impacting the extent of dashboard utilization. The model supports the hypotheses for the links between the extent of dashboard utilization and user satisfaction and managerial performance. Based on the weak findings from this theoretical model, a second model is developed and analyzed. The second model measures TTF through the mediation of task uncertainty between dashboard information content and the extent of dashboard utilization, while the first model measured TTF through interacting task vi uncertainty and dashboard information content. The results of the second model show strong support that TTF, as measured through mediation, increases the extent of dashboard utilization. This study contributes to the literature by empirically showing that more extensive levels of dashboard utilization are achieved through the antecedent of TTF, resulting in increased managerial satisfaction and managerial performance.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Business Administration
Dean's Office, Business Administration
Business Administration; Accounting
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Business Administration -- Dissertations, Academic, Dissertations, Academic -- Business Administration
Reinking, Jeffrey, "The Diffusion Of Digital Dashboards: An Examination Of Dashboard Utilization And The Managerial Decision Environment" (2013). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2783.