Problems and issues in the management of international data communications networks: The experiences of American companies

Paul John Steinbart, Ravinder Nath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations


The trend toward global competition is increasing the importance of international data communications networks. Indeed, many executives believe such networks are critical to their company's future success. The challenge for these companies is to successfully establish and manage a global network to facilitate the transfer of data across international borders. Prior to this study, however, little was known about the problems involved with developing a global network or about the factors contributing to their success. A survey of American companies indicates that the major problems encountered with global networks are technical in nature, related primarily to the quality of foreign telephone network services. These technical problems, however, are exacerbated by politically imposed constraints that restrict firms' options for managing their global network. Respondents also express concern about the lack of adequate top management support to deal with the problems involved in running a global network. The study also finds that both management policies and firm characteristics affect the successful operation of a global network. Firms that established a help center to deal with the issues involved in international data transfer are more satisfied with their networks than are firms that do not have such a help center. In addition, firms that use their networks to exchange data with outside parties (e.g., customers or suppliers) are also more satisfied with their networks than are firms that only exchange data internally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-73
Number of pages19
JournalMIS Quarterly: Management Information Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 1992


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Information Systems and Management

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