The track record for information technology (IT) implementation is not very good. MIT’s Management in the 1990s program concluded that the benefits of IT are not being realized because investment is heavily biased toward technology and not toward managing changes in process and organizational structure and culture. The authors draw on general change management literature to develop a framework for managing IT-enabled change. They argue that IT-enabled change is somewhat different from change driven by other concerns. Nonetheless, a number of models from the change management literature can be quite useful. Their framework provides a common language for managers implementing IT-based change and shows how technology, business processes, and organization must be adapted to each other for such change to be effective.
1. These schools are disguised cases of schools in Florida and New Mexico, where one of the authors has been consulting and doing research.
2. R. Benjamin and J. Blunt, “Critical IT Issues: The Next Ten Years,” Sloan Management Review, Summer 1992, pp. 7–19.
3. S. Zuboff, In the Age of the Smart Machine: The Future of Work and Power (New York: Basic Books, 1988).
4. See N. Venkatraman, “IT-Induced Business Reconfiguration: The New Strategic Management Challenge,” in The Corporation of the 1990s, ed. M. Scott Morton (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991).
5. R. Benjamin and J. Rockart, “The Information Technology Function of the 1990s: A Unique Hybrid” (Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Sloan School of Management, Center for Information Systems Research, Working Paper No. 225, June 1991).
6. See, for example, L. Markus and J. Pfeffer, “Power and the Design and Implementation of Accounting and Control Systems,” (Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Sloan School of Management, Center for Information Systems Research, Working Paper No. 78, September 1981); and
PlanPower, the Financial Planning System, Harvard Business School Cases 9-186-293 (Boston: Harvard Business School, 1986).
7. M. Scott Morton, ed., The Corporation of the 1990s (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), ch. 1.
8. B. Benjamin, “Managing IT-Enabled Change,” IFIPS Journal, in press.
9. R. Beckhard and R. Harris, Organizational Transitions, 2d ed. (Reading, Massachusetts: Addison Wesley, 1987); and
R. Walton, Up and Running: Integrating Information Technology and the Organization (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1989).
10. Beckhard and Harris (1987).
11. E. Levinson, “The Line Manager and Systems-Induced Organizational Change,” in Success Factors for Change from a Manufacturing Viewpoint, ed. K. Bloche (Dearborn, Michigan: Society of Manufacturing Engineers, 1988).
12. E. Mumford, “The Design of Large Knowledge-Based Systems: The Example of Digital Equipment’s XSEL Project,” Journal of Information Systems 5 (1991): 75–88.
13. A. Chandler, Strategy and Structure: Chapters in the History of the American Industrial Enterprise (Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1962).
14. Scott Morton (1991), p. 20.
15. M. Hammer, “Reengineering Works — Don’t Automate, Obliterate,” Harvard Business Review, July–August 1990, pp. 104–112.
16. Beckhard and Harris (1987), p. 60.
17. Walton (1989).
18. Beckhard and Harris (1987), p. 98.
19. E. Schein, “How Can Organizations Learn Faster? The Challenge of Entering the Green Room,” Sloan Management Review, Winter 1993, pp. 85–92.
20. W. Orlikowski, Changing Frames: Understanding Technological Change in Organizations (Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Sloan School of Management, Center for Information Systems Research, Working Paper No. 236, April 1992).
21. Walton (1989), p. 70.
22. Hammer (1990).
23. Walton (1989), p. 23.
24. Walton (1989).
25. The commitment analysis is based on:
Beckhard and Harris (1987), pp. 93–96.
26. See, for example, J. Forrester, “Models and the Real World,”ACM Conference on Critical Issues (New York: ACM Press, 1990); and P. Senge, The Fifth Discipline (New York: Doubleday/Currency, 1990).
27. Mumford (1991);
D. Leonard-Barton, “The Case for Integrative Innovation: An Expert System at Digital,” Sloan Management Review, Fall 1987, pp. 7–19; ExperTAX: Coopers & Lybrand Tax Accrual and Tax Planning Expert System, Harvard Business School Case 9-189-007 (Boston: Harvard Business School, 1989); and
I. Alarcon, J. Zaccagnini, and G. Alonso, “A Knowledge Engineering Approach to Overcome Elusive Problems in KBS Development,” in Personal Computers and Intelligent Systems: Information Processing, ed. F. Vogt, vol. 3 (Amsterdam: Elsevier, 1992), pp. 196–202.