BIS Discipline Seminar: Associate Professor Kunsoo Han
Increasing energy productivity has been emphasized as an important means to reconcile the dual objectives of maintaining economic growth and reducing energy consumption. Employing a production function framework, we examine the impact of information technology (IT) on energy productivity. Using data from 60 industries in the United States over the period 1998-2014, we find that IT significantly contributes to increasing energy productivity in the U.S. economy, and is mainly driven by software rather than hardware. Separate analyses of economic and environmental performances reveal that IT’s positive contribution to energy productivity results from both increased output and reduced energy consumption. Further, we find strong complementarities between the two types of IT capital in not only increasing productivity but also reducing energy consumption. In particular, the intensive utilization of software appears to mitigate the negative environmental impact of hardware. Taken together, this study highlights the critical role of IT—software, in particular—as a catalyst for enhancing energy productivity, a necessary condition for sustainable economic growth, beyond its role as a driver of productivity growth, which has been the focus of prior literature. This research has important implications for research and practice.
Dr. Kunsoo Han is Associate Professor and Bensadoun Faculty Scholar at Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University, Canada. He is currently serving the area coordinator of Information Systems Area at Desautels of Faculty of Management. Prof. Han joined McGill University in 2006. He received his PhD from University of Minnesota, and his BS and MS from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). Prior to joining the academia, he worked at a large IT consulting company in Korea. He teaches undergraduate courses on Systems Analysis and Modeling and Information Systems, and a PhD seminar on Economics of IT. His research interests include IT outsourcing, business value and impacts of IT, and IT-enabled channels. His work has been published in Information Systems Research, MIS Quarterly, and Journal of Management Information Systems, and MIT Sloan Management Review among others. He won the Best Doctoral Paper award at 2005 INFORMS Conference on Information Systems and Technology (CIST).