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User Involvement and MIS Success: A Review of Research


  • Blake Ives

    (Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire 03755)

  • Margrethe H. Olson

    (Graduate School of Business Administration, New York University, New York, New York 10006)


User involvement in the design of computer-based information systems is enthusiastically endorsed in the prescriptive literature. However determining when and how much, or even if, user involvement is appropriate are questions that have received inadequate research attention. In this paper research that examines the link between user involvement and indicators of system success is reviewed. The authors find that much of the existing research is poorly grounded in theory and methodologically flawed; as a result, the benefits of user involvement have not been convincingly demonstrated. Until higher quality studies are completed intuition, experience, and unsubstantiated prescriptions will remain the practitioner's best guide to the determination of appropriate levels and types of user involvement; these will generally suggest that user involvement is appropriate for unstructured problems or when user acceptance is important. In order to foster higher quality integrated research and to increase understanding of the user involvement-system success relationship, the authors present the following: a conceptual framework into which previous research has been mapped that can provide direction to future efforts; a review of existing measures of user involvement and system success; a set of variables that have been proposed as potentially impacting the relationship between user involvement and system success.

Suggested Citation

  • Blake Ives & Margrethe H. Olson, 1984. "User Involvement and MIS Success: A Review of Research," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(5), pages 586-603, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:30:y:1984:i:5:p:586-603

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