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Journal Article

Seven Ways to get Your Favoured IT Project Accepted — Politics in IT Evaluation  pp31-40

Egon Berghout, Menno Nijland, Kevin Grant

© Jan 2005 Volume 8 Issue 1, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp1 - 80

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IS managers are being put under increasing pressure to justify the value of corporate ITIS expenditure. Their constant quest for the 'holy grail' continues, as existing methods and approaches of justifying ITIS expenditure are still failing to deliver. The decision making process is not as objective and transparent as it is claimed or intended to be. This paper discusses seven commonly used tactics used by business managers to influence IT appraisals. The paper takes a 'devil's advocate' position and adopts some irony when looking at the area of power and politics in IT evaluation. Rather than promoting the use of these techniques, this article aims to raise awareness that IT evaluation is not as rational as most IT evaluation researcherspractitioners would want it to be or indeed claim it to be. It is argued that rationalisation or counter tactics may counteract influence techniques in an attempt to get behind the cloak and dagger side of organisational power and politics, but politics and power in decision‑making cannot and should not be filtered out. Due to dissimilarities of objectives, limitations of time and information, influence techniques will always be used. However, rather than being counterproductive, these techniques are essential in the process of decision making of IT projects. They help organisations reach better decisions, which receive more commitment than decisions that were forced to comply with strictly rational approaches. Awareness of the influence and manipulation techniques used in practice will help to deal with power and politics in IT evaluation and thereby come to better IT investment decisions.


Keywords: IT Evaluation, IT Decision Making, IT Assessment, Information Economics, Decision Making, Organisational Power & Politics Information Management


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