Internal Cultural Barriers to E-Commerce Implementation: A Case Study of How Ineffective Leadership Doomed XYZ's Online Transaction System

Brian Still (Texas Tech Universtiy, USA) and Kirk St. Amant (Texas Tech University, USA)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 45
EISBN13: 9781599044637|DOI: 10.4018/ijcec.2006010102
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This case study examines the impact of organizational culture on an e-commerce application. In examining the failed efforts of a Minnesota (MN), USA organization, XYZ, to design and implement an online transaction system, this study explores what happens when departmental infighting, inadequate planning, poor communication, and other negative influences stemming from organizational dysfunction can sidetrack a project. Often the success or failure of an organization’s efforts to adopt new technology rests less with the quality of that technology and more with the quality of the organization’s leadership. Just as strong leadership champions the productive change that technology can bring to an organization, weak leadership promotes resistance to such change by not providing the vision and message necessary to keep internal divisions within organizational culture from fomenting failure. Despite the best technology and practices available, and the fact that the best people are sometimes brought in to lend their expertise, an array of internal barriers brought about by the absence of strong leadership often stymies and eventually dooms technology efforts within organizations. It offers a detailed example of how ineffective leadership and the long-festering internal barriers that result from it at one organization, XYZ, can lead to the failure to implement an online transaction system. Even though this system was budget-approved, was pushed for adoption by the XYZ board of directors, and was staffed with outside experts to lend their expertise, weak leadership, and the by-product of it, namely a divisive internal culture resistant to change, meant that XYZ’s online transaction system never had a chance to be successful.
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