The Electronic Journal of Information Systems Evaluation provides critical perspectives on topics relevant to Information Systems Evaluation, with an emphasis on the organisational and management implications
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Journal Article

A Chronic Wound Healing Information Technology System: Design, Testing, and Evaluation in Clinic  pp57-66

Antonio Sánchez

© Jan 2004 Volume 7 Issue 1, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp1 - 66

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Abstract

In the UK, chronic wound healing is an area of specialist clinical medicine that operates within the framework of the National Health Service. It has been the basis for the design, testing and evaluation of a prototype system of information and communication technology (ICT), specifically adapted to the domain. Different wound healing clinics were examined using a combination of 'hard' and 'soft' methods to allow a richer perspective of the activity and gain a deeper understanding of the human activity, its relation to the working information system, the existing information technology (IT), and the potential of a comprehensive IT system to manipulate live data in clinic. Clinicians and administration staff were included in all aspects of the process to enhance the design lifecycle and the understanding of the process. An observe, report, plan and act (ORPA) cycle, based on the dictates of action research, was established to accomplish the design and testing of a system that clinicians were comfortable enough with to consider its use in clinic. Three different strategies were applied to evaluate its use in participating clinics. Cultural historical activity theory was used as the main framework to analyse the activity system, and to interpret the clinicians and the systems performance, as well as their evaluation of the experience. Activity breakdown areas are suggested and reasons for them are considered in the light of wound care workers feedback, and the researcher's observations, notes, and analysis.

 

Keywords: Electronic data manipulation, clinical ICT, information technology evaluation

 

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Journal Article

Stock Price Reaction to Investments in Information Technology: the Relevance of Cost Management Systems  pp27-30

Narcyz Roztocki, Heinz Roland Weistroffer

© Apr 2006 Volume 9 Issue 1, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp1 - 43

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Abstract

The identification of conditions and factors under which investments in Information Technology (IT) can be expected to yield tangible returns is the subject of many productivity studies. Event study methodology, which examines the reaction in the stock price to announcements of different types of IT investments, is one approach to this kind of research. In the research presented in this paper, we use event study methodology to investigate the effect of cost management systems on payoffs from IT investments. The motivation for our research is based on the assumption that companies possessing reliable cost management systems, such as Activity‑Based Costing (ABC), are less likely to make expensive mistakes when investing in IT. Furthermore, the companies that use ABC and thus know the costs of their operation, are better able to single out those IT projects which positively impact the bottom line and competitiveness. In our study, we use a sample of three companies that are adopters of ABC, to examine the impact of 81 IT investment announcements on stock prices.

 

Keywords: Activity-based costing, cost management systems, event study methodology, information technology productivity paradox

 

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Journal Article

Creating Strategic Value through Executive Information Systems: an Exploratory Study  pp57-76

Elmarie Papageorgiou, Herman de Bruyn

© Jan 2010 Volume 13 Issue 1, ECIME 2009, Editor: Elizabeth Frisk and Kerstin Grunden, pp1 - 96

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Abstract

Over the past few years, information technology has grown so rapidly that businesses had to adjust very quickly to keep abreast of fast growing technologies and international trends. An increasing number of South African companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) have implemented Executive Information Systems (EISs) that have resulted in the widespread use of computers in companies. Users of EISs need systems that provide them with access to diverse types of information in order to take decisions, to solve problems and to compete with competitors. This article discusses whether South African companies create strategic value through the use of EISs. The strategic value of the business is explained as an advantage to improve businesses’ performances firstly, by gains in profitability and financial strength and secondly, gains in the businesses’ competitive strength and market standing. Executives and top management need to be aware of the opportunities available to them by using information technology as a business tool to analyse their businesses’ performance and competitiveness. This study is an exploratory study and the research method is quantitative of nature. A structured questionnaire was designed and was sent to 334 listed JSE companies in order to investigate the existence of an EIS, the gathering, selecting and use of information in companies in order to make decisions and to solve problems. Many businesses have chosen EIS technology to provide relevant and accurate information to top management and executives. Currently the EIS provides information that is only available to executives and top management, but the need exists to expand EISs to other users in the business. The research questions investigated in this study are to establish what EISs offer to fulfil the needs of users and to determine the impact on creating strategic value within the business in order to keep pace with on‑going changes in technology. In addressing these problems the existence of EISs was investigated to debate, express, and understand the role and use of an EIS and resulted in creating strategic value for businesses. The value of the study explains the vital importance of executives influence towards the adoption, commitment and use of EISs at strategic management levels, creating and adding strategic value in companies. The findings of the study add to the current understanding and awareness of EISs in listed JSE companies and therefore create an environment in which the business can enhance sustainability and strategic competitiveness. Responses were favourable since respondents requested a report on the outcome of the results as they expressed an interest in the underlying motivation of the study and how their company compares with their competitors in the industry. Conclusions drawn from the results are that EISs need to incorporate all the unmet needs of users in order for EISs to add strategic value and to be used as effective business tools in companies.

 

Keywords: competitive advantage, executive information system, information technology, performance, strategic value, sustainability

 

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Journal Article

Reward Systems in the Post Digitization Era: Possible Benefits and Risks  pp51-58

Pontus Fryk

© Jan 2009 Volume 12 Issue 1, ECIME 2008, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp1 - 118

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Abstract

The last decades have been characterized by extremely intense digitization — in the shape of investments in administrative and embedded IT together with advanced Internet solutions — as regards companies and organizations worldwide. Today, however, most establishments are already highly digitized, which affects the conditions for work and organizations' forms and functions. Thus, based on an empirical investigation of the health care sector, this paper addresses the notion of the post digitization era through specifically examining IT‑based reward systems. This, of course, is not a novel phenomenon, but new ways of using the reward system concept — together with IT and original ideas — in order to increase efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity are considered. This, in turn, might have great implications concerning core strategies and the organization of work. In order to fulfill the paper's purpose of identifying possible benefits and risks associated with digital reward systems, especially in health care, a case study built on semi‑structured interviews was performed. The findings of this study indicate that there are several possible fields of innovative application — including both developments of existing solutions and potential future utilizations — concerning digital reward systems in health care. Moreover, in order for reward system implementations to be successful, organizations have to define, measure, valuate and evaluate input, output and performance appropriately, and the process of doing so is also affected by the present stage of digitization. This too is contemplated throughout the paper. Finally, important associated matters such as risk‑ reward trade‑offs and quantity versus quality are discussed. The results presented in this paper are based on a limited material. Still, they are valuable and original because of the empirical foundation derived from an important industrysector. Furthermore, they illustrate modern implications of reward systems in highly digitized contexts, and put forth novel views on possible fields of application of IT‑based reward systems, and associated potential benefits and risks.

 

Keywords: reward systems, post digitization, information technology, health care

 

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Journal Article

IT Outsourcing in the Public Sector: Experiences Form Local Government  pp193-203

Michael Cox, Martyn Roberts, John Walton

© Sep 2011 Volume 14 Issue 2, ICIME 2011, Editor: Ken Grant, pp167 - 281

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Abstract

This paper examines the approach taken to Information Technology (IT) outsourcing in four local government councils in the UK. This is important because, whilst outsourcing has become a significant issue in the restructuring of organisations and is increasingly used within both the private and public sectors, there has been a lack of research into IT outsourcing in the public sector and particularly within local government. This paper provides an in‑depth study into how outsourcing is managed in local councils and how successful it has been; especially considering its sometimes controversial nature and the mixed press results it receives. To complete this study, interviews, containing both qualitative and quantitative questions, were conducted with key people at the four councils. These interviews examined the rationale for IT outsourcing. The findings from the interviews were then compared to the current literature on IT outsourcing to identify best practice. This research shows that, whilst cost savings remain important, councils focus on achieving best value when outsourcing IT rather than simply lowest cost. Indeed, it shows that whilst outsourcing can result in improved efficiency, councils that focus primarily on cost savings are often less successful. However, whilst the results revealed that IT outsourcing was more successful at councils who focused on long‑term strategic goals, the interviewees considered the strategic benefits of outsourcing less important than improving the service. The structured selection process that is imposed by legislation allows council managers to gain a better understanding of the outsourcing requirements and make informed decisions to achieve best value, however the need for cost efficiency can result in a more short‑term focus. The cost of the process and its inflexibility makes it more difficult for councils to focus on long‑term goals. The study concludes that, whilst councils recognise that both the contract and trust are important to ensure that outsourcing is successful, the culture of risk aversion in the public sector tends to lead to a play it safe mentality resulting in an overemphasis on the contract. This can lead to a short‑term focus that could make it difficult for the council and the provider to work together to meet long‑term goals. The councils were generally skeptical of developing partnerships; however, the research reveals that councils who focused predominantly on the contract were less successful than those who developed partnerships with their providers. The authors therefore recommend that, in order to achieve greater success, councils should develop partnerships and focus on best value and long‑term strategic goals when outsourcing IT.

 

Keywords: Information Technology, IT, Information Systems, IS, outsourcing, public sector, local government

 

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Journal Article

IT Outsourcing in the Public Sector Local Government: Experiences of the management and selection of IT service providers.  pp231-243

Michael Cox, Martyn Roberts, John Walton

© Nov 2012 Volume 15 Issue 3, ICIME, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp230 - 287

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Abstract

Abstract: This paper looks at issues in Information Technology (IT) outsourcing in public sector local government in the UK, to determine how successful they have been and to establish any best practice. This is important because, whilst outsourcing has become a significant issue in the restructuring of organisations and is increasingly used within both the private and public sectors, there has been a lack of research into IT outsourcing in the public sector and particularly within local government. Thi s paper provides an in‑depth study into how outsourcing is managed in local councils and how successful it has been; especially considering its sometimes controversial nature and the mixed press results it receives. This paper focuses in particular on an analysis of the risks of IT outsourcing and the management of the outsourcing contract. The research shows that a thorough risk assessment must be completed before an outsourcing contract is agreed. Local government tends to adopt a very cautious approach to outsourcing based on risk minimisation. Hidden costs are one of the greatest risks when outsourcing. Hidden costs occur in selection, managing the contract, and making changes to the contract, all of which can offset any cost savings identified at the start of the outsourcing contract. The research shows that local councils recognise the importance of the contract and that it has the largest single impact on the success or failure of the outsourcing agreement. Having a well written contract is necessa ry to minimise the risks posed by outsourcing. However, the local government bodies recognised that it is impossible to cover every detail in the contract, particularly where needs are fluctuating, and that an element of trust is required to manage the co ntract successfully. The research suggests that contracts need to be strict enough to motivate the provider but should be realistic and achievable so that they do not inhibit the development of a working relationship. The paper also addresses issues in th e selection of outsourcing providers and more recent developments since the new UK governments austerity programme The study concludes that, whilst councils recognise that both the contract and trust are important to ensure that outsourcing is successful , the culture of risk aversion in the public sector tends to lead to a play it safe mentality resulting in an overemphasis on the contract. This can lead to a short‑term focus that could make it difficult for the council and the provider to work togethe r to meet long‑term goals. The councils were generally skeptical of developing partnerships; however, the research reveals that councils who focused predominantly on the contract were less successful than those who developed partnerships with their provid ers. The authors therefore recommend that, in order to achieve greater success, councils should develop partnerships and focus on best value and long‑term strategic goals when outsourcing IT.

 

Keywords: Keywords: Information Technology, IT, Information Systems, IS, outsourcing, public sector, local government

 

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Journal Article

Bases of Intra‑Organizational Power: An Analysis of the Information Technology Department  pp88-102

Andrew J. Setterstrom, J. Michael Pearson

© Nov 2013 Volume 16 Issue 2, Editor: Shaun Pather, pp86 - 161

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Abstract

Abstract: Power is an important aspect of the social systems that make up organizations. The concept of power helps to explain how organizational decisions are made and executed, despite opposition that results from competing goals and desires amongst tho se in which a given decision affects. Using resource dependence and strategic contingency theories for guidance, we identify potential sources of intra‑organizational power for the information technology (IT) department and its members. The comprehensiv e list of propositions developed in this paper will provide researchers potential hypotheses to test in future research, as well as a means to assess overall IT departmental power. While power plays an important role in facilitating the execution of the a ctivities by an organization⠒s IT department, it is often pursued by self‑interested individuals, due to the fact that it provides the ability to influence decisions, such as resource allocation, as well as providing a sense of control over organization al outcomes and personal satisfaction. Based on the propositions developed in this paper, we demonstrate how power considerations provide one plausible explanation for many of the poor organization outcomes that occur with respect to the IT function, incl uding technology for technology⠒s sake, a lack of user preferences being integrated into IT systems development projects, resistance to using of knowledge management systems, and resistance to IS outsourcing. Our discussion of power‑gaining activities p rovides practitioners an explanation of dysfunctional behaviors that previously may have been perceived as irrational, or even undetected. In our discussion section, we provide suggestions for researching the propositions we have developed. In particular, we suggest that a longitudinal or multi‑case study approach may provide the best method for researchers to test our set of propositions. At the same time, we caution that results from case studies would be difficult to generalize, as the configuration of IT solutions adopted by organizations tend to

 

Keywords: Keywords: Information Technology Department, Strategic Contingency, Resource Dependence, Dysfunctional Behavior

 

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Journal Article

Measuring the Performance of the IT Function in the UK Health Service Using a Balanced Scorecard Approach  pp1-10

Maurice Atkinson

© Jan 2004 Volume 7 Issue 1, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp1 - 66

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Abstract

This paper explores how the Balanced Scorecard approach might be applied to measuring the performance of an IT department. Sample measures have been developed for each dimension of the scorecard for two key IT functions. A performance measurement record sheet has been developed to show how these measures would work in practice. The paper also outlines approaches to implementing, monitoring and reviewing these measures. Furthermore the benefits of such a performance management system and process have been identified.

 

Keywords: Information Technology, Balanced Scorecard, Performance Measurement

 

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