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Do Computers Pay Off?

July 28, 1997|P.J. HUFFSTUTTER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Wanting to see if computer investments pay off in the corporate world, IBM Corp. and the National Science Foundation are funding a $2.1-million, three-year study at UC Irvine.

"The idea came from IBM," said Kenneth Kraemer, director of UCI's Center for Research on Information Technology and Organizations. "We had been working for four years to create a global database to study this area, so they came to us and asked if we were interested in doing the study."

IBM will provide $1.48 million in funds, with another $1 million in company staff time. In addition, the company will create an advisory board that will meet twice a year to discuss the study's findings, Kraemer said.

The National Science Foundation will cover $640,000 of the grant, Kraemer said.

"We don't want people thinking IBM just paid for these studies and dismiss our findings," Kraemer said. "That's why we went to the NSF."

The study will focus primarily on three industries--automotive, financial and computer electronics--and companies in these fields both in the U.S. and abroad. Though research staff continue to develop ways to chart the success of corporate technology investments, they hope to have some initial findings finished by the end of September.

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P.J. Huffstutter covers high technology for The Times. She can be reached at (714) 966-7830 and at p.j.huffstutter@latimes.com.

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