The role of information systems in the sustainable development of enterprises: A systematic literature network analysis

Fan Zeng, Stacy Hyun Nam Lee, Chris Kwan Yu Lo

    Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

    24 Citations (Scopus)


    Information Systems (IS) play an important role in improving the efficiency of firms' operations and supply chains, which links to sustainability. Therefore, this study conducted a systematic literature network analysis to review 132 articles that discuss current trends in the IS discipline. Based on a citation network analysis, this study discovered three main research domains (sustainable competitive advantage, environmental sustainability, and sustainable online social communities), and two emerging research domains (the role of IS in developing countries and sustainable information infrastructures). Furthermore, a main path analysis was conducted to understand the knowledge structure of each research domain. This addresses how different trends are reflected in the IS literature related to improving firms' competitive advantages and environmental sustainability. The results found that the sustainable competitiveness of enterprises is improved by the synergy between IS and other recourses within in the enterprises. Green IS initiatives not only solve the issues of environmental sustainability, but also enhance sustainable competitive advantage (i.e., stock price). As social media becomes the optimal enterprise communication channel, this study discusses the factors affecting sustainable online social community, such as structural dynamics (i.e., membership size, communication activity), social dynamics (the basic nature of interactions among members), participation costs, and topic consistency. Overall, the Information System literature is highly focused on three areas-economy, environment, and society, which supports Triple Bottom Line theory.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number3337
    JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


    • Citation network analysis
    • Environmental sustainability
    • Information systems
    • Online community
    • Social media
    • Sustainability
    • Sustainable competitive advantage

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Geography, Planning and Development
    • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
    • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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