Managing the Impact of Rapid IT Change

Managing the Impact of Rapid IT Change

John Benamati (Miami University, USA) and Albert L. Lederer (University of Kentucky, USA)
Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/irmj.2010102601
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Abstract

Rapidly changing information technology is increasing the complexity of IT management. Research has suggested that such change causes nine different problem types for IT managers. It also suggested that these problems cause IT managers to use five categories of coping mechanisms to alleviate the problems. The current study used responses from 246 IT professionals to a survey about the problems and coping mechanisms related to rapid IT change. As examples, new integration refers to the incompatibility or need for interfaces between multiple ITs, and Education and training refers to staying informed of new IT as it becomes available and instructing or providing guidance for its use. The study developed and found support for an overarching hypothesis stating that the more extensively organizations experience the problems of rapid IT change, the more extensively they use coping mechanisms to address them. It also found support for ten specific sub-hypotheses about the effect of individual problems and on individual coping mechanisms. For example, organizations appear to address the problem of new integration needs with the increased use of the coping mechanism of Consultant support. They also cope with User resistance via Vendor support, and with Vendor oversell via internal procedures. The findings provide IT managers, vendors, and consultants with alternative perspectives about the problems of rapid IT change and how others address them. Future research should focus on how specific coping mechanisms ameliorate specific problems.
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Theoretical Basis

A considerable amount of research has investigated the effects of IT on different aspects of organizations. Examples of areas of interest include business process reengineering (Attaran, 2004; Paper & Simon, 2005; Wastell et al., 2007), economic outcomes (Davamanirajan et al., 2006; Mahmood & Mann, 1993), resistance to change (Ferneley & Sobreperez, 2006; Wong & Tate, 1994), and virtual organizations (Larsen & McInerney, 2002; Warkentin et al., 1997). However little research has directly addressed the effects of changing IT on IT management, and how IT management copes with them.

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