We use meta-analysis techniques to examine research choices that affect findings with respect to the return on IT investment. Recent research has established that IT investment is substantially related to firm financial performance. We find, however, that the relationship between IT investment and performance varies, depending on how both financial performance and IT investment are measured. Despite criticism of accounting measures as indicators of IT payoff, we find that the relationship is often stronger in studies that employ accounting measures rather than market measures of firm performance. This difference is driven by research that focuses on the process-level impacts of IT investment. Furthermore, the relationship is also stronger when IT investment is measured as IT strategy or spending, rather than IT capability. We discuss the practical implications of the results of our meta-analysis and suggest new directions for future theory development and research.

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