Integrating Information Technology into the Corporate Culture and Processes

Integrating Information Technology into the Corporate Culture and Processes

Norita Ahmad (American University of Sharjah, UAE) and Alanoud Alhaj (American University of Sharjah, UAE)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-048-8.ch010
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Abstract

Most of the Information Systems (IS) literature discusses the importance of managerial problems in the field such as how to evaluate Information Technology (IT) needed for effective intra-organizational communication and how to measure the value of changes influenced by IT. This paper uses a literature review detailing the importance of understanding the components of IS and how they affect one another and on the importance of the selection of IT by managers. This paper builds a case study on a large company in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with approximately 35,000 employees world-wide represented in approximately 100 countries. We analyze the reasons behind the failure of integrating IT with the culture, people, and processes in a Market Research Department of this company. Finally, the case study discusses the consequences of failing to understand IS and provides recommendations for a better integration of IT within the department.
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Background

Literature related to Information Systems (IS) and Information Technology (IT) has been published for the past 50 years mainly in the area of Management Science simply because IS and IT affect all functions related to management (Banker & Kauffman, 2004). Most of the IS literature discuss the important managerial problems in the field such as how to evaluate IT needed for effective intra-organizational communication and how to measure the value of changes influenced by IT (Banker & Kauffman, 2004). In addition, many researchers focus on studying the link between information systems and managerial performance (Hamilton & Chervany, 1981a; Hamilton & Chervany, 1981b; Lucas, 1975).

Enterprise Information Systems are vital to the operation and management of every organization but the field is known to have constant technological change, therefore, organizations often find themselves struggling to keep up with changes when maintaining existing systems or evaluating new systems (Benbasat, Goldstein, & Mead, 1987; Díez & McIntosh 2009). Often, when investing in IS, organizations are interested in the benefit that they will gain from the investment. However, IS investments are hard to justify (Ragowsky, Ahituv & Neumann, 2000). Many researchers suggested that in order to justify an IS investment, organizations should look at specific functions instead of the entire entity (Gerstein & Reisman, 1982; Ragowsky, Ahituv & Neumann, 2000). In addition, it is also very important for organizations to change the fundamental nature and structure of their work so that better use of IS can be realized (Keen, 1981). In fact, improving the efficiency and effectiveness of organizations, the traditional domain of the IS function (Bawden, 2008; Rockart & Morton, 1984). Keen (1981) predicts that IT and telecommunication systems will be the backbone of corporations and therefore they need to be properly managed. McFarlan and McKenney (1981, 1983) also point out the importance of proper management for the successful deployment of IT.

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