Using Metaphors for Making Sense of End-User Attitudes and Behavior during Information Systems Development

Using Metaphors for Making Sense of End-User Attitudes and Behavior during Information Systems Development

Zahid Hussain (University of Bradford, UK) and Khalid Hafeez (The University of York, UK)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 27
DOI: 10.4018/joeuc.2009040101
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Abstract

This paper describes our use of Morgan’s (1997) metaphors for making sense of end-user attitudes and behavior in an information systems development project, in a UK National Health Service hospital. We employ a case study approach, within which we elicit the attitudes using a questionnaire and infer the behavior using observations and interviews. We present the results in the form of a journey, tracking the metaphorical shift for each end-user, over the project duration. We show how individual journeys can be combined to capture organizations’ shift in metaphorical position. Our results show that within a space of eighteen months the organization’s overall metaphorical stance shifted from the organism to the machine metaphor. This reflects the end-user’s initial optimism for the change to enable ease of working to that of efficiency dictated by the senior management towards the end. We also found that this shift was due to organizational conditional factors.

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