Information technology managerial capabilities and customer service performance among insurance firms in Nigeria
University of Lagos, Nigeria
The potential of information technology (IT) as an enabler of customer service process continues to generate interest, which is reflected in the large number of IT-related studies. In spite of the significant progress made in this area, research findings have been mixed and inconsistent. Also, the underlying mechanisms by which IT can affect customer service process remain underexamined. The aim of this study was to find out whether IT investments and IT managerial capabilities can account for variations in customer service performance among insurance companies in Nigeria. Using survey research design, the three formulated hypotheses were tested with data gathered from 402 staff at the managerial level drawn from the selected insurance companies in Nigeria, which have been among the largest investors in IT, and where customer service is widely perceived as strategically important. Responses were analyzed using linear regression. A major finding of this study is that IT is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for sustainable competitive advantage in customer service. Results show that the interaction of IT investments and tacit, path-dependent, and firm-specific IT managerial capabilities significantly explains variations in customer service performance. Consequently, this study recommends that to realize IT-business value, investments in IT should be accompanied by building and developing IT managerial capabilities. © The Author(s) 2014.