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Journal Article

Identifying Multiple Dimensions of a Business Case: A Systematic Literature Review  pp47-59

Kim Maes, Wim Van Grembergen, Steven De Haes

© Jul 2014 Volume 17 Issue 1, Special issue from ECIME 2013, Editor: Prof Przemyslaw Lech, pp1 - 121

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Abstract: A business case is in many organisations perceived as a valuable instrument for the justification and evaluation of information technology (IT) investments. This attention from practice has been ascertained by academic scholars, resulting in a growing number of publications in both top academic and practitioner journals since 1999. However, much knowledge on business case research is scattered throughout literature and a clear definition of what actually constitutes a business case is still missing. Therefore, the present paper aims to understand and integrate the current state of research on business cases in an attempt to realise two objectives with clear contributions. First, we tackle the problem of scattered knowledge by organising fragmented knowledge into a newly developed Business Case Research Framework that clearly structures the study field into six dimensions. Second, we identify what constitutes a business case and provide a clear definition to resolve the misunderstanding among scholars. A systematic literature review methodology is performed in a selection of top academic and practitioner journals. Based on the literature findings, we observe that the application of business cases is useful in a broad range of investment contexts. We also find sufficient argumentation that using a business case continuously throughout an entire investment life cycle can increase the investment success rate, that a richer set of information (rather than only financial numbers) should be included in a business case and that stakeholder inclusion is important when developing and using business cases.


Keywords: Keywords: Business Case, Business Case Process, IS/IT Investments, Framework Development, Systematic Literature Review, Concept Definition, Future Research


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