Title page for ETD etd-05052004-150335

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Payne, Catherine
Author's Email Address cpayne@vt.edu
URN etd-05052004-150335
Title Organizational Decision-Making in Information Technology Choice: A Case Study and Investigative Approach
Degree Master of Science
Department Computer Science
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Carroll, John M. Committee Chair
McCrickard, Donald Scott Committee Member
Rothschild, Joyce Committee Member
  • organizational informatics
  • decision-making
  • information technology outsourcing
  • complex organizations
  • stakeholder conflict
  • power-process
  • structuration
Date of Defense 2004-04-23
Availability unrestricted
A significant amount of research has been done in the area of understanding how people use technology in the workplace. Included in this research is how social and technical systems of an organization interact and influence one another. Previous work in both Management of Information Systems and Computer Supported Cooperative Work show how the interaction between the social and technical systems of a workplace can lead to new technology uses and requirements, as well as adoption issues like resistance. One area that has not been extensively studied is how organizations select technologies to begin with. To understand how an organization makes a choice on technology, one has to investigate the underlying organizational decision-making processes. The subject of this research is a case study of a government IT project. Data on the decision-making that led to the selection of the IT solution is gathered through elite and specialized interviews of government officials who were involved in the selection. The data collected in the case study supports three conclusions about decision-making for organizational systems: 1.) sociopolitical dynamics constrain the design space, 2.) emergent requirements are likely and 3) organizational systems can have different levels of stakeholders and the levels reflect the power structure within the organization. Finally, general guidelines for conducting decision-making analysis are provided so that data from decision-making activities of other organizations can be collected and analyzed by researchers and practitioners.

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