The Electronic Journal of Information Systems Evaluation provides critical perspectives on topics relevant to Information Systems Evaluation, with an emphasis on the organisational and management implications
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Journal Article

Seven Ways to get Your Favoured IT Project Accepted — Politics in IT Evaluation  pp31-40

Egon Berghout, Menno Nijland, Kevin Grant

© Jan 2005 Volume 8 Issue 1, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp1 - 80

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IS managers are being put under increasing pressure to justify the value of corporate ITIS expenditure. Their constant quest for the 'holy grail' continues, as existing methods and approaches of justifying ITIS expenditure are still failing to deliver. The decision making process is not as objective and transparent as it is claimed or intended to be. This paper discusses seven commonly used tactics used by business managers to influence IT appraisals. The paper takes a 'devil's advocate' position and adopts some irony when looking at the area of power and politics in IT evaluation. Rather than promoting the use of these techniques, this article aims to raise awareness that IT evaluation is not as rational as most IT evaluation researcherspractitioners would want it to be or indeed claim it to be. It is argued that rationalisation or counter tactics may counteract influence techniques in an attempt to get behind the cloak and dagger side of organisational power and politics, but politics and power in decision‑making cannot and should not be filtered out. Due to dissimilarities of objectives, limitations of time and information, influence techniques will always be used. However, rather than being counterproductive, these techniques are essential in the process of decision making of IT projects. They help organisations reach better decisions, which receive more commitment than decisions that were forced to comply with strictly rational approaches. Awareness of the influence and manipulation techniques used in practice will help to deal with power and politics in IT evaluation and thereby come to better IT investment decisions.


Keywords: IT Evaluation, IT Decision Making, IT Assessment, Information Economics, Decision Making, Organisational Power & Politics Information Management


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Journal Issue

Volume 10 Issue 1, ECITE 2006 Special / Jan 2007  pp1‑122

Editor: Dan Remenyi

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Another edition of EJISE brings to the attention of the information systems community 10 more pieces of research into how information systems may be evaluated. The contributions in this issue are from 9 different countries and from a diverse range of universities and business schools.

When I first became actively interested in information systems’ evaluation in 1990 I had no idea of how wide and how deep an issue information systems evaluation was. I had thought that it was worth a few papers and maybe a book or two. Today my view is entirely different and I wonder if the community of information systems academics and practitioners will ever reach a point where by there will be a general agreement as to how to evaluate or assess information systems. My best guess would be that they probably will not.

However as it was put to me at the start of my university studies academics tend to have far more questions than answers and this may not necessarily be a ‘bad’ thing. If we continue to ask the right questions, even if we can’t find definitive answers we are effectively moving the frontier of knowledge forward. And that I suggest is, in the end, the most important objective of academe.

I hope that you will find a number of interesting topics among these 10 papers.


Keywords: IS integration, auditing, balanced score card, business process facilitation, case study, confidentiality, domain specific languages, e-Government project evaluation, enterprise information system, CEO framework, ex post evaluation, functional-operational match, ICT benefits, ICT evaluation, ICT project, information economics, Information System Architecture , IS outsourcing , IT evaluation, IT value assessment, knowledge management, meta-modelling tools, motivational factors, user satisfaction surveys, web content management, WLAN


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