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: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


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
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020


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


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