How does IT capability affect knowledge acquisition in the presence of a dominant supplier?

Shuang Ma, Dahui Li, Yonggui Wang, Myat Su Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This study aims to examine how three types of information technology (IT) capability (supplier technological capability, customer technology-sensing capability and relatedness of IT infrastructure) facilitate knowledge acquisition by the customer when the supplier is dominant in the supplier-customer relationship. Design/methodology/approach: The unit of analysis was project. The authors designed two different questionnaires that were responded by the project manager of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software supplier and the contact person of the customer organization in the same project, respectively. The two questionnaires were matched by means of project name. The final sample included a total of 136 projects. The authors used ordinary least squares to test the research hypotheses. Findings: The authors found that supplier power advantage negatively influenced knowledge acquisition by the customer. The three types of IT capability did not have direct impacts on knowledge acquisition. The moderating effect of customer technology-sensing capability was not significant either. However, supplier technological capability and relatedness of IT infrastructure attenuated the negative effect of supplier power advantage on knowledge acquisition, indicating that both factors promoted knowledge acquisition. Originality/value: Knowledge acquisition is important for the success of software implementation in the supplier-customer relationship. There is limited evidence in the literature on how to apply externally oriented IT capability to enhance knowledge management, improve knowledge acquisition and manage the business relationship that is typically dominated by the software supplier. The authors provide evidence to examine related issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2090-2112
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Knowledge Management
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 19 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Project No. 72032004, 72072006, 71725003, 72250410377), and Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities in UIBE (20YQ11).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited.


  • ERP implementation
  • IT capability
  • Knowledge acquisition
  • Knowledge management
  • Supplier power advantage


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