High Sierra Industries: IS Gridlock

High Sierra Industries: IS Gridlock

Stephen G. Kerr (University of Nevada, USA), Janna M. Crews (University of Nevada, USA) and Simon Jooste (Westminster Theological Seminary, USA)
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/jcit.2007070101
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High Sierra Industries (HSI) is a not-for-profit (NFP) organization with the dual purpose of being a competitive light manufacturer, while also providing productive jobs for physically and mentally disabled members of the community. This case documents how HSI’s accounting information system (AIS) failed to evolve with organizational needs. Throughout the case, HSI was able to rely upon temporary system fixes each time it faced a system failure. Each temporary fix brings them closer to a debilitating loss of information and business functionality. The case places the reader in the shoes of a student/consultant (SC) who was called upon to help HSI plan its next revision of the AIS. Analysis confirms the need for new software and renewed attention to internal controls. A legitimate debate among corporate directors and officers about priorities resulted in decision-making gridlock. This case consequently draws attention to the role of governance in a NFP and the leadership dynamics necessary for a systems project. The five key stakeholders are the chief executive officer (CEO), operations manager, accountant, an executive board member, and the SC. They need to find a way to move forward. The SC decides to use an evaluation matrix to organize the competing perspectives to help HSI decide on the goals of its first planned system development life cycle.

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