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


  • B. De Brabander

    (State University Centre, Antwerp, Belgium)

  • G. Thiers

    (State University Centre, Antwerp, Belgium)


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.

Suggested Citation

  • B. De Brabander & G. Thiers, 1984. "Successful Information System Development in Relation to Situational Factors Which Affect Effective Communication Between MIS-Users and EDP-Specialists," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(2), pages 137-155, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:30:y:1984:i:2:p:137-155

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    Cited by:

    1. Christophe Boone & Walter Hendriks, 2009. "Top Management Team Diversity and Firm Performance: Moderators of Functional-Background and Locus-of-Control Diversity," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(2), pages 165-180, February.
    2. Tine Buyl & Christophe Boone & Walter Hendriks & Paul Matthyssens, 2011. "Top Management Team Functional Diversity and Firm Performance: The Moderating Role of CEO Characteristics," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1), pages 151-177, January.
    3. Gelderman, M., 1995. "Factors affecting the success of management support systems: analysis and meta-analysis," Serie Research Memoranda 0020, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
    4. Rajiv D. Banker & Robert J. Kauffman, 2004. "50th Anniversary Article: The Evolution of Research on Information Systems: A Fiftieth-Year Survey of the Literature in Management Science," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(3), pages 281-298, March.
    5. repec:spr:annopr:v:255:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10479-016-2202-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Gelderman, Maarten, 1997. "Task difficulty, task variability and satisfaction with management support systems: consequences and solutions ˜," Serie Research Memoranda 0053, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.


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