Reframing, Retooling, and Reskilling: Coping with Change in the Internet Age
Eugene Cash (New Zealand Food Safety Authority, New Zealand), Pak Yoong (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand) and Sid Huff (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand)
Copyright: © 2007
An IS professional’s ability to perform in his or her role is vital to the utilisation of information systems within an organisation. The introduction of e-commerce has opened a new set of challenges for the IS professionals who are most frequently tasked with developing e-commerce solutions. However, they often do not have the competencies required to successfully execute these e-commerce projects. This competency deficit raises an important question: to what extent have the competency requirements of IS professionals changed because of the introduction of e-commerce? Furthermore, how do IS professionals managed the changes in their work environment due to the implementation of e-commerce in their organisations? Fifteen IS professionals, who are employed in businesses implementing or maintaining e-commerce strategies, were interviewed. The results indicate that the implementation of e-commerce in organisations has introduced three main areas of change to their internal work environment: (a) business changes – the perceptions of senior managers on their current role, (b) project changes – the realization that IS projects have to be managed differently and finally (c) competency changes – the need to acquire new skills and knowledge. As a consequence to these changes, the IS professional developed the following coping skills: (a) reframing – the changing of mental models that determine how we make sense of the world and how we take action based on these models, (b) retooling – the restructuring and reorganising of IS processes, especially around project management and (c) reskilling – the learning of new competencies in the e-commerce environment.