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The organizational implementation of information systems: towards a new theory

Magalhaes, Rodrigo Manuel (1999) The organizational implementation of information systems: towards a new theory. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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Abstract

This dissertation provides fundamental conceptual building blocks for a new theory of IS implementation. The main argument presented is for a new perspective to supplement and complement the main existing perspectives on IS implementation: the technological determinist perspective, the managerial imperative perspective, and the socio-technical interactionist perspective. in this the research seeks to overcomes identified shortcomings of these existing approaches to understanding IS implementation. The research methodology emphasizes multidisciplinary theory-building, based on the resource-based approach to strategy, using autopoiesis as the key organizational epistemology. The research explores the concept of organizational climate dimensions as the shapers of organizational contexts, and relates these to information systems research in implementation. The new perspective developed emphasizes managerial action and organizational contexts as a mid-level approach, bridging the gap between top-down, rationalist methods and bottom-up, emergent approaches. Based on this conceptual framework, the context for IS corporate governance is operationalized and presented as a causal model with five independent variables - IS Intent, Discipline, Trust, Support and Structural IS-related factors and one independent variable. IS-Organizational Learning. Data collection is carried out in large Portuguese companies by means of a postal questionnaire. The empirical data is supplemented by five short case studies. The key conclusions of the thesis are: (1) The duality managerial action - organizational contexts opens up whole new possibilities for research and practice of IS implementation. (2) The use of the notion of organizational contexts dimensions as a research tool allows the analysis to go deeper than the vague generalization about organizations found in most current literature. (3) The use of quantitative methods to investigate IS-related organizational contexts is not suitable, except for descriptive purposes; semi-structured interviews and in-depth case studies are recommended. (4) Two specific dimensions of IS-related contexts are suggested as topics for further investigation: IS Intent and IS structural factors.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 1999 Rodrigo Manuel Oliveira da Silva Ponciano de Magalhães
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Sets: Departments > Information Systems and Innovation Group
Supervisor: Angell, Ian and Introna, Lucas
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/284

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