Organizational context and the IS implementation process: an integrated research framework
Lyons, Gerard J.
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Lyons, Gerard J. and Geraghty, Tom (2000) 'Organizational context and the IS implementation process: an integrated research framework' Technical Report NUIG-IT-270801: IT Journal 2007, National University of ireland, Galway, .
Good IS managers have an intuitive grasp of the complex organizational and project dynamics required for successful implementation of large information systems. Years of hard-earned experience have taught them that IS implementation requires simultaneous attention to the political and structural contexts of the host organization as well as to the execution of a well planned IS project. Yet, much of the research on IS implementation has focused on narrowly bounded, individual dimensions of this multi-faceted real-world phenomenon. The work described here attempts to integrate these various perspectives into a robust research strategy, and evaluates its application in a comparative case study. Broadly, research on information systems implementation can be classified into two distinct groups: Factors Studies and Process Studies. These offer valuable academic insight into separate aspects of IS implementation concerned, respectively, with the underlying factors affecting IS success or failure and the dynamics of the implementation project. However, the practitioner must grapple with both of these dimensions simultaneously, attempting to achieve a pragmatic balance between business objectives, organizational and political dynamics and the implementation process itself. This paper presents an integrated methodology for studying systems implementation within its organizational and business contexts. The approach uses a number of models and techniques to formulate an holistic view of the implementation process, to enable its examination and subsequent interpretation in an organizational framework. Development of the methodology involved the selection and adaptation of key elements from cognate areas such as IS investment analysis and success criteria, techno-structural approaches to organization development, and IS implementation research. The methodology was successfully tested in a comparative case study on the implementation of a major information system in two separate business units of an electrical utility. This integrated approach provides an holistic IS implementation framework for practitioners and helps to knit together much valuable earlier work into a coherent research strategy.