Determining User Satisfaction from the Gaps in Skill Expectations Between IS Employees and their Managers

Determining User Satisfaction from the Gaps in Skill Expectations Between IS Employees and their Managers

James Jiang (University of Central Florida, USA), Gary Klein (University of Colorado, USA) and Eric T.G. Wang (National Central University, Taiwan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-128-5.ch016
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The skills held by information system professionals clearly impact the outcome of a project. However, the perceptions of just what skills are expected of information systems (IS) employees have not been found to be a reliable predictor of eventual success in the literature. Though relationships to success have been identified, the results broadly reported in the literature are often ambiguous or conflicting, presenting difficulties in developing predictive models of success. We examine the perceptions of IS managers and IS employees for technology management, interpersonal, and business skills to determine if their perceptions can serve to predict user satisfaction. Simple gap measures are dismissed as inadequate because weights on the individual expectations are not equal and predictive properties low. Exploratory results from polynomial regression models indicate that the problems in defining a predictive model extend beyond the weighting difficulties, as results differ by each skill type. Compound this with inherent problems in the selection of a success measure, and we only begin to understand the complexities in the relationships that may be required in an adequate predictive model relating skills to success.
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Past studies on information system skills focused on the identification of the ideal skill set for information system (IS) personnel. From this slant, the viewpoints of different stakeholders have been explored (Lee, Trauth, & Farwell, 1995; Trauth, Farwell, & Lee, 1993). It should not surprise one that there exists a significant difference of thought among stakeholders (users, IS managers, and IS employees) in their expectations on skill sets. Depending on the stakeholder, some studies argue technical skill is most important (Duncan, 1995; Todd, McKeen, & Gallupe, 1995), while other studies argue that business and interpersonal skills are more important (Leitheiser, 1992). One fundamental assumption of these IS skill studies is that there is a positive link between skills expectation and success measures. However, this fundamental assumption has never been fully established in the literature (Jiang, Klein, Van Slyke, & Cheney, 2003).

Studies found that satisfaction of any stakeholder is likely determined by the gaps between their own perceived skill expectation and skill proficiency (within a stakeholder) (Byrd & Turner 2001). These studies, however, tend to apply equal weights to expectations and performance. Other empirical IS skill studies show there to be expectation gaps among different stakeholders (Klein, Jiang, & Sobol, 2001). These studies naturally lead to question if the interaction of expectations among stakeholders will impact the final outcomes, such as user satisfaction. More specifically, can the existence of this skill expectation gap between two (or more) stakeholders serve as a predictor of user satisfaction?

Some researchers have argued that a “shared vision” of skill requirements among stakeholders is necessary to achieve success (Trauth et al., 1993). An understanding of how skill expectation gaps among stakeholders (between IS managers and IS employees in this study) impact user satisfaction ratings is crucial, as user satisfaction ratings are often used in organizations as the basis for IS employee promotions, terminations, transfers, and reward distributions. In addition, ratings that are obtained as part of job analyses can be used to specify the skills required of a job incumbent. Such ratings require judgment of the relative importance of skills by IS employees and IS managers (Wexley & Latham, 1991). This evaluation often is used concurrently in personnel and human resource decisions such as personnel planning, training needs analysis, employee selection, and the design and administration of compensation programs. In spite of its importance, to our best knowledge, research on IS skills has not explored the impacts of the perceived skill expectation gap between IS employees and IS managers to determine if these measures may be at all predictive of user satisfaction.

The purpose of this study is, therefore, to investigate the relationship of the expectation gap between IS managers and IS personnel and user satisfaction. Social interaction theory provides the foundation for examining the relative weights on IS managers’ expectation and IS personnel’s expectation on determining user satisfaction. The results of this study will provide knowledge in two areas: 1) the existence of skill expectation gaps between IS employees and IS managers; and 2) the impact of gaps in these expectations to user satisfaction allowing for the components of the gaps to vary in weight.

Complete Chapter List

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Associate Editors
Table of Contents
Mehdi Khosrow-Pour
Chapter 1
Manuel Mora, Ovsei Gelman, Guisseppi Forgionne, Doncho Petkov, Jeimy Cano
A formal conceptualization of the original concept of system and related concepts—from the original systems approach movement—can facilitate the... Sample PDF
Integrating the Fragmented Pieces of IS Research Paradigms and Frameworks: A Systems Approach
Chapter 2
Steven Alter
The work system method was developed iteratively with the overarching goal of helping business professionals understand IT-reliant systems in... Sample PDF
Could the Work System Method Embrace Systems Concepts More Fully?
Chapter 3
Alfonso Reyes A.
This chapter is concerned with methodological issues. In particular, it addresses the question of how is it possible to align the design of... Sample PDF
The Distribution of a Management Control System in an Organization
Chapter 4
Phillip Dobson
This chapter seeks to address the dearth of practical examples of research in the area by proposing that critical realism be adopted as the... Sample PDF
Making the Case for Critical Realism: Examining the Implementation of Automated Performance Management Systems
Chapter 5
Jo Ann Lane
As organizations strive to expand system capabilities through the development of system-of-systems (SoS) architectures, they want to know “how much... Sample PDF
System-of-Systems Cost Estimation: Analysis of Lead System Integrator Engineering Activities
Chapter 6
Kosheek Sewchurran, Doncho Petkov
The chapter provides an action research account of formulating and applying a new business process modeling framework to a manufacturing processes... Sample PDF
Mixing Soft Systems Methodology and UML in Business Process Modeling
Chapter 7
Aidan Duane, Patrick Finnegan
An email system is a critical business tool and an essential part of organisational communication. Many organisations have experienced negative... Sample PDF
Managing E-Mail Systems: An Exploration of Electronic Monitoring and Control in Practice
Chapter 8
Stephen V. Stephenson, Andrew P. Sage
This chapter provides an overview of perspectives associated with information and knowledge resource management in systems engineering and systems... Sample PDF
Information and Knowledge Perspectives in Systems Engineering and Management for Innovation and Productivity through Enterprise Resource Planning
Chapter 9
Gunilla Widén-Wulff, Reima Suomi
This chapter works out a method on how information resources in organizations can be turned into a knowledge sharing (KS) information culture, which... Sample PDF
The Knowledge Sharing Model: Stressing the Importance of Social Ties and Capital
Chapter 10
Jijie Wang
Escalation is a serious management problem, and sunk costs are believed to be a key factor in promoting escalation behavior. While many laboratory... Sample PDF
A Meta-Analysis Comparing the Sunk Cost Effect for IT and Non-IT Projects
Chapter 11
Georgios N. Angelou
E-learning markets have been expanding very rapidly. As a result, the involved senior managers are increasingly being confronted with the need to... Sample PDF
E-Learning Business Risk Management with Real Options
Chapter 12
C. Ranganathan
Research on online shopping has taken three broad and divergent approaches viz, human-computer interaction, behavioral, and consumerist approaches... Sample PDF
Examining Online Purchase Intentions in B2C E-Commerce: Testing an Integrated Model
Chapter 13
Nicholas C. Georgantzas
This chapter combines disruptive innovation strategy (DIS) theory with the system dynamics (SD) modeling method. It presents a simulation model of... Sample PDF
Information Technology Industry Dynamics: Impact of Disruptive Innovation Strategy
Chapter 14
Shana L. Dardan, Ram L. Kumar, Antonis C. Stylianou
This study develops a diffusion model of customer-related IT (CRIT) based on stock market announcements of investments in those technologies.... Sample PDF
Modeling Customer-Related IT Diffusion
Chapter 15
Bassam Hasan, Jafar M. Ali
The acceptance and use of information technologies by target users remain a key issue in information systems (IS) research and practice. Building on... Sample PDF
The Impact of Computer Self-Efficacy and System Complexity on Acceptance of Information Technologies
Chapter 16
James Jiang, Gary Klein, Eric T.G. Wang
The skills held by information system professionals clearly impact the outcome of a project. However, the perceptions of just what skills are... Sample PDF
Determining User Satisfaction from the Gaps in Skill Expectations Between IS Employees and their Managers
Chapter 17
James Jiang, Gary Klein, Phil Beck, Eric T.G. Wang
To improve the performance of software projects, a number of practices are encouraged that serve to control certain risks in the development... Sample PDF
The Impact of Missing Skills on Learning and Project Performance
Chapter 18
Leigh Jin, Daniel Robey, Marie-Claude Boudreau
Open source software has rapidly become a popular area of study within the information systems research community. Most of the research conducted so... Sample PDF
Beyond Development: A Research Agenda for Investigating Open Source Software User Communities
Chapter 19
Milam Aiken, Linwu Gu, Jianfeng Wang
In the literature of electronic meetings, few studies have investigated the effects of topic-related variables on group processes. This chapter... Sample PDF
Electronic Meeting Topic Effects
Chapter 20
A. Durfee, A. Visa, H. Vanharanta, S. Schneberger, B. Back
Text documents are the most common means for exchanging formal knowledge among people. Text is a rich medium that can contain a vast range of... Sample PDF
Mining Text with the Prototype-Matching Method
Chapter 21
Francis Kofi Andoh-Baidoo, Elizabeth White Baker, Santa R. Susarapu, George M. Kasper
Using March and Smith’s taxonomy of information systems (IS) research activities and outputs and Newman’s method of pro forma abstracting, this... Sample PDF
A Review of IS Research Activities and Outputs Using Pro Forma Abstracts
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