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Understanding barriers to IT implementation: a case study of `rationality,' human error, and undiscussable issues

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2 Author(s)
H. G. Levine ; California Univ., Los Angeles, CA, USA ; D. Rossmoore

It is pointed out that much of the technology and practice of organizational information technology (IT) implementation assumes that organizational decisions are consequences of individuals and organizations objectively using information in a rational manner. However, recent data from case studies on IT implementation suggest that rationality may be the exception, rather than the rule. Research on decision makers under stress suggests that they typically act in ways that create error and misunderstanding. These errors are never discussed, nor are they discussable. It is noted that the consequences of this style of thinking and action can be disastrous for IT management. The authors' primary goal is to understand how a large financial services firm was inhibited from implementing a major IT effort in a timely and error-free way because of the action routines of these charged with implementing the system. The authors conclude with a discussion of an alternative framework, based on action science, for IT intervention

Published in:

System Sciences, 1993, Proceeding of the Twenty-Sixth Hawaii International Conference on  (Volume:iv )

Date of Conference:

5-8 Jan 1993