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Successful Information System Development in Relation to Situational Factors Which Affect Effective Communication Between MIS-Users and EDP-Specialists

Listed author(s):
  • B. De Brabander

    (State University Centre, Antwerp, Belgium)

  • G. Thiers

    (State University Centre, Antwerp, Belgium)

Registered author(s):

    The paper describes the results of an experimental test of a theoretical model which explains under what circumstances the interaction between MIS-users and EDP-specialists during the design of an information system will lead to success (i.e., efficient task-accomplishment). The research also includes an experiment about the influence of a third party playing different kinds of mediating roles. The results confirm the theoretical model. They are also corroborated by the findings in two case studies in a car-manufacturing firm, briefly discussed at the end of the paper. It appears that the users of the information system who have to deal with EDP-specialists having sanctionary power over them (a case of power asymmetry) are less inclined to implement the system exactly as the user and the specialist had agreed upon, than users not so dependent upon the EDP-specialist (i.e., no power asymmetry). This effect seems to be more pronounced when there exists a semantic gap between the user and the specialist (i.e., when they use different concepts for the task). Moreover, such defective implementation behavior (i.e., not adhere to the plan) seems to entail less efficient task-accomplishment. As predicted by the model, the presence of a third party which stimulates the user to neglect the possible implications of power asymmetry so that effective communication among the parties is reestablished nullifies the disturbing effect of power asymmetry and semantic gap mentioned above. Some organizational design implications of the findings are discussed.

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    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 30 (1984)
    Issue (Month): 2 (February)
    Pages: 137-155

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    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:30:y:1984:i:2:p:137-155
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