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

Understanding the Impact of Enterprise Systems on Management Decision Making: An Agenda for Future Research  pp99-106

Fergal Carton, Frederic Adam

© Sep 2005 Volume 8 Issue 2, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp81 - 142

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Abstract

Enterprise systems have been widely sold on the basis that they reduce costs through process efficiency and enhance decision making by providing accurate and timely enterprise wide information. Although research shows that operational efficiencies can be achieved, ERP systems are notoriously poor at delivering management information in a form that would support effective decision‑making. Research suggests managers are not helped in their decision‑making abilities simply by increasing the flow of information. This paper calls for a new approach to researching the impact of ERP implementations on global organizations by examining decision making processes at 3 levels in the organisation (corporate, core implementation team and local site).

 

Keywords: ERP, decision-making, organisation, MIS

 

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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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Abstract

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 Article

The Adoption of new Application Development Tools by IT Pro‑fessionals from the Viewpoint of Organisational Learning  pp197-206

Torsti Rantapuska

© Jan 2006 Volume 8 Issue 3, ECITE 2005 Special, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp143 - 230

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Abstract

Productivity and innovativeness of information work is becoming an important issue among information work‑ers. This paper explores the working and learning of IS professionals when adopting new application development tools. I study how the IS professionals work, communicate, think through problems, and learn by way of getting work done. I also analyse the changes that the adoption causes to the individual style of working. The research questions are formu‑ lated as follows: 1) what contributes to the effective use of IT tools? 2) How does the adoption of new tools affect the individual working methods? The research is based on interviews of fourteen young professionals who have recently started using a new application development tool. The interviews have been conducted in their working places. The fo‑ cus is on learning at work. Special attention is paid to the initial motivation of the innovation, to knowledge acquisition, and to communication with their team members during the problem solving process. According to the findings, the IS professionals' working style is personal and context‑oriented. As learners they do not interact with their peers and do not use systematic working methods too much. The Internet and help systems are used as the basis of group interaction and source of knowledge more likely than colleagues and textbooks. The systematic orientation of working practice is limited to the context at hand. At the end of the study, the results are discussed and recommendations are proposed to improve the software process.

 

Keywords: software process innovations, organisational learning, adoption, individual learning styles

 

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Journal Article

A Holistic Framework on Information Systems Evaluation with a Case Analysis  pp57-64

Petri Hallikainen, Lena Chen

© Nov 2006 Volume 9 Issue 2, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp45 - 104

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Abstract

This paper presents a framework for understanding IS evaluation in its broader context. The role of IS evaluation is emphasised on integrating the IS development process into business development process. The framework is applied to analyze a single IS project in details. The results show that sometimes formal IS evaluation might not be important or necessary, but rather it may be more important, with an informal and flexible evaluation process, to quickly gain experience of a new kind of business and system to maintain a leading position in the competitive market.

 

Keywords: information systems projects, IS evaluation, organisational context, holistic framework on IS evaluation

 

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Journal Article

An Interactive and Iterative Evaluation Approach for Creating Collaborative Learning Environments  pp83-92

Anita Mirijamdotter, Mary M. Somerville, Marita Holst

© Nov 2006 Volume 9 Issue 2, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp45 - 104

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Abstract

Inspired by a three‑year Creative University 'arena' initiative at Luleå University of Technology in Sweden, an international team of faculty researchers conducted an exploratory study in 2005, which aimed to investigate the efficacy of an interactive design and evaluation process for technology‑enabled collaborative learning environments. This applied research approach was designed as a collaborative evaluation process for co‑creation of technology‑enabled, learning‑ focused physical and virtual 'learning commons.' Faculty researchers from Sweden and the United States used Soft Systems Methodology tools, including the Process for Organisational Meanings (POM) model, to guide sixty‑two students' participatory co‑design and evaluation activities. In this paper, the POM evaluation model is explained and related to the Japanese concept Ba. Application of the models is illustrated within the context of student learning through boundary crossing information exchange and knowledge creation. As evidenced in their iterative and interactive evaluative recommendations, students' learning outcomes included development of improved capabilities for identifying socio‑technical elements of distributed learning environments, suggesting that student beneficiaries can successfully reflect upon their experiences and provide valuable evaluation insights. In addition, when this evaluation is iterative, students' insights into project management, software needs, and services design can improve their technology‑enabled learning experiences. Concluding comments explore the efficacy of the POM model implementation for guiding other learning‑focused, user‑centric initiatives, which aim to promote interdisciplinary, or boundary crossing, exchanges concurrent with advancing team‑based knowledge creation proficiencies among project participants.

 

Keywords: interactive formative evaluation, learning commons, soft systems methodology, process for organisational meanings, POM, model, Ba, higher education pedagogy

 

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Journal Article

ERP and Functional Fit: How Integrated Systems Fail to Provide Improved Control  pp51-60

Fergal Carton, Frédéric Adam

© Jun 2008 Volume 11 Issue 2, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp51 - 108

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Abstract

Companies have been investing in integrated enterprise applications (such as ERP) for over a decade, without firm evidence of a return from these investments. Much research has centred on the factors which will lead to a successful implementation project (eg: Holland and Light, 1999; Shanks and Seddon, 2000), but to date there appears to be little research on the longer term impact of ERP systems on the organisation (Heili and Vinck, 2008). Although the greater level of system integration brought on by ERP has meant that there is more operational information available to managers than ever before, the information stored in ERP applications requires much off‑line manipulation in order to be meaningful to managers. The data held in ERP databases originate in physical processes that evolve over time, and thus inevitably a gap opens between the ERP system, and the reality it is designed to capture (Lee and Lee, 2000). Taking the evaluation of management performance against organisational objectives as research domain, and focusing on a case study in the pharmaceutical sector, this paper looks at the footprint of a global ERP system in the day to day decision making of managers both at a manufacturing site level and at Headquarters level. Although the ERP implementation resulted in major improvements in data integrity at an operational level, resulting in improved visibility of costs and traceability of transactions for head office, many of the benefits associated with exploiting the information thus collected have been compromised by the need to rely on non‑integrated tools for certain specific functions. Thus, for decision making purposes, managers must still download data to spreadsheets, where they are manipulated and combined with data from other, non‑integrated systems. Thus, this paper examines the role of ERP systems in supporting management activity in a manufacturing environment, highlighting the gap between management performance and the informational and decisional support provided by the ERP.

 

Keywords: ERP, decision making, data integrity, organisational goals, KPI, skills

 

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Journal Article

Outsourced Information Systems Failures in SMEs: a Multiple Case Study  pp73-82

Jan Devos, Hendrik Van Landeghem, Dirk Deschoolmeester

© Jun 2008 Volume 11 Issue 2, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp51 - 108

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Abstract

Since the 1980s, a number of frameworks have been proposed for understanding the concept of information system (IS) failure. Two approaches to IS failures seem particularly important: the concept of Expectation Failure and the concept of Termination Failure. We argue that there is an extra dimension to the problem that is not covered by those descriptive models, which we call the Outsourced IS Failure (OISF). To explain the OISF we draw on agency theory, which views the problems that occur in outsourced environments as the results of three factors: goal differences, risk behaviour differences and information asymmetry. Although the (positivistic) agency theory has already been used to describe phenomena of failure in IT relations there is still a lack of empirical evidence. This paper brings the results of the attempts of falsification of the agency theory in situations of OISF. A positivistic case study research was conducted based on multiple cases in SMEs. The choice for qualitative research is based on the accessibility of well documented secondary data in litigation files of failed IS projects. Eight cases of IS project failures subject to litigation were selected. We conclude that the agency theory has strong prediction and explanation power for OISF. However some adjustments are needed to the agency theory. The theory seems to work in two ways, opportunistic behaviour is also observed on the side of the principal. The findings indicate that lack of trust is a prominent determinant for failure.

 

Keywords: IS outsourcing, SMEs, IS failures, Principal Agent theory, Organisational and Personal Trust

 

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Journal Article

Organisation Profiling and the Adoption of ICT: e‑Commerce in the UK Construction Industry  pp67-74

Martin Jackson, Andy Sloane

© Jan 2009 Volume 12 Issue 1, ECIME 2008, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp1 - 118

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Abstract

This paper outlines the application of a model of business that has been developed from an amalgam of sources covering a wide range of research literature concerned with the relationship between electronic communication and the business. This model outlines what is termed an "organisational profile" profile and allows the analysis of the business with respect to its ability to perform in four distinct quadrants: management, processes, organisational culture and human resources. It is then applied to the adoption of ICT in the business and the supply chain using a case study of the UK construction industry. The results are analysed to show which elements of the model are important for success. The model shows that to be successful in the adoption of ICT a business must have threshold scores in each of these quadrants that show its make‑up or "organisational profile" (OP). It is this OP that is the most interesting point of the research. It has been found that certain OPs are more likely to succeed in this adoption than others and that the likelihood of success can be shown by the movement of the business in the four quadrants: thus the model can provide a rough prediction of the future success in various activities — such as adoption of ICT but can also be extended to other activities because of the widespread nature of the model developed. It is also planned to apply the model to different problems in the same domain in the near future so that further insights can be gained from the model and its application.

 

Keywords: e-commerce, ICT adoption, construction industry, business modelling, organisational profile

 

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