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Change Management Strategy M.L. Markus and R.I. Benjamin. Purpose. To stimulate information systems specialists’ efforts to become more effective and credible agent of organizational change

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Presentation Transcript
purpose
Purpose
  • To stimulate information systems specialists’ efforts to become more effective and credible agent of organizational change
  • To improve organizational effectiveness in order to avoid IT implementation failures at great cost in money, organizational competitiveness, and individual careers.
introduction
Introduction
  • Why do IS specialists need to become better agents of organizational change?
  • Reasons
    • New IT is an organizational intervention
      • Need to know how to market
      • How IT is implemented is a major factor in the results organizations achieve from new ITs.
    • Change Agentry will become a large part of IS work
      • Outsourcing of in-house technical IS work
      • Organization-specific knowledge stays in-house
      • IT Implementation and change management issues are unlikely to diminish
introduction cont d
Introduction (cont’d)
  • Reasons (cont’d)
    • To improve IS specialist credibility
      • Strong mutual relationship between credibility and change management skill
      • Effective IS specialists act ‘out of the box’
      • Transform not only their interpersonal relationships with clients, but also behavior of managers and users in IT projects and decision making
issues
Issues
  • Disagreement in both theory and practice
  • 3 models on what change agents do and why
    • Traditional IS model
    • Facilitator model
      • Identified in various Organizational Development (OD) text, (Schwarz (1944)and Cummings and Huse (1989))
    • Advocate model
      • Originated from the innovation, management, and change politics literatures, (Kanter et al.,1992; Rogers, 1995)
traditional is model
Traditional IS model
  • Technology causes change
  • No change responsibilities beyond building technology
  • The manager’s pair of hands
  • Not responsible for achieving change or improvements in organizational performances
consequences
Consequences
  • Widespread systems failures for social reasons
    • Perspective in handling users training
    • Groupware Implementation
  • IS inhibiting change
    • Technology standards
    • Personal/group interest: Learning & Costs
  • Low IS credibility
    • Outsourcing: Poor financial performances
    • Poor interpersonal skills
      • ‘Heterophilous’ (different in background, beliefs systems & interests
      • Lack ‘value congruence’
structural conditions
Structural Conditions
  • IS specialists are sole providers of services
  • Clients have limited technical and sourcing options
  • Low budget pressure exists
    • Lack of external competitions
  • IS specialists rewarded based on functional unit goals
the facilitator model
The Facilitator model
  • Clients make change using technology; technology does not
  • Facilitators
    • Promote change
    • Avoid exert power/other power over clients
    • Serve interests of all clients
    • Not responsible for changes; clients are responsible
consequences1
Consequences
  • Greater attention to building user capacity
    • To increase project success and IS credibility
  • Emphasis on client self-sufficiency
    • To reduce client resentment & increase IS credibility
  • New information technologies provide greater opportunities to IS specialists as facilitators than as experts/builders
structured conditions
Structured Conditions
  • Facilitator
    • Not a client group member
    • Lies outside the hierarchical chain-of-command
    • Not formally responsible for business results
    • Valuable expertise will be negated
    • Authority for organizational control
      • Sending mixed messages
    • Authority for technical outcomes
    • Concerns about locus of employment
the advocate model
The Advocate Model
  • People make change
    • Identifying and direction of change
  • Advocate influence change target as desirable
  • More flexible in accepting change
  • ‘Whatever works’
  • Serve the organizations’ best interests even there are personal or professional conflicts
consequences2
Consequences
  • Benefits from using advocate model
  • ‘Managers unaware of how IT can be deployed ‘
  • Sharing traditional IS specialist’s belief
    • Technology to create organizational change
    • IS specialists to add business value
      • Advocating process change & user skill training
  • ‘Emphasis on communication’
    • Lack of communications
      • CIOs, CEOs, Managers, IS analyst and users
    • Change agentry is a contact sport
      • Increase Credibility and communications
consequences cont d
Consequences (Cont’d)
  • The advocate role may fit the issues of IT infrastructure
  • Today’s challenge
    • To ensure levels of commonality
    • Interoperability to support internal/external communication & future flexibility
    • Public goods problem
  • Advocate uses consensus decision-making approach
    • To negotiate the political shoals of IT infrastructure development
structural conditions1
Structural Conditions
  • 2 assumptions to define the change agents role
  • 1st assumption
    • Involve in gov’t funded/public organizations
    • Tactics:
      • communicating/empathizing with change targets
      • Gaining target’s confidence (social station & attitudes)
      • Working through the targets’ ‘opinion leaders’
structural conditions2
Structural Conditions
  • 2nd assumption on change agents role
    • Advocates are line managers
    • Mandate and enforce changes do not work
    • Applying behavior modeling, changing organizational symbols, displaying of power
    • Problems:
      • Lack of line mgmt authority
      • Lack of direct authority over users and the managers who funded the project
      • Require Senior executive to initiate and support the change project
implications
Implications
  • IS specialist have different levels of skill in client contact & involvement in bringing organizational change
  • Suggestions:
    • Intellectually familiar with, behaviorally skilled in, and highly adaptable to the 3 models
    • To increase credibility and contribute to organizational success with IT
research agenda
Research Agenda
  • Educational Reform
    • To improve interpersonal or ‘soft skills’
    • Debate about the place of soft skills training in IS and other technical curricula.
    • Proposed a change in the relevant content and outline a program structure in IS academics.
    • Role plays using case scenarios are the best ways to foster affective and behavioral learning.
    • ‘computers and society’ course be the first course in the track.
    • Effectively engage them in the intellectual level, setting the stage for later behavioral and affective growth.
research agenda cont d
Research Agenda (cont’d)
  • Educational Reform (cont)
    • Promotes the development of insight and perspective before the student takes more technical subjects later on.
    • Second course will focus on interpersonal skills in the IS context to complement cognitive skills development.
    • It will cover individual differences (cognitive, affective, behavioral) and the student’s own personal style.
    • Active listening skills, interpersonal conflict, interviewing techniques.
    • Recognition of, and intervention in, group and intergroup dynamics.
    • The last course will be the course in change agentry, the last in the soft skills track.
research agenda cont d1
Research Agenda (cont’d)
  • In-house training and development
    • is necessary because the structural aspects of their jobs are likely to jeopardize their credibility.
    • Partner with ‘neutral’ internal training staff or academics to design/conduct training.
    • Make participation voluntary and avoid including bosses and their subordinates.
    • Don’t worry excessively about the training materials at first.
    • Document and disseminate the key lessons learned to build interest in others in attending subsequent trainings.
research agenda cont d2
Research Agenda (cont’d)
  • IS professional ethics
    • Ethical dilemma arises from their change agent roles: when interests differ, whose interests are to be served?
    • Ethical codes prepared for computer science community did not address these issues.
    • IS community needs a separate code that specifically addresses the ethical dilemmas faced by in-house IS professionals, to tackle in house change agentry role in particular.
conclusion
Conclusion
  • Obstacles
    • Differing views about what it means to be a change agent, inhibiting progress.
    • Many IS specialists do not see any need to change.
    • Structural barriers to change in the change agentry role, esp. over-reliance on technical expertise, control authority, and an inappropriate reward system.
  • Positive Prospect
    • IS managers and executives’ structural abilities as effective change advocates
    • Voluntary efforts on the part of IS departments to relinquish or share the control that their clients resent.