Senior executives' role in the computer-based information systems (CBIS) implementation process : the case of Malaysian government agencies
Senior executives often infuse their organisations with the values that they have inherited from prior socialisation as well as from their work experience. Because of their role as leaders at a critical juncture in an organisation's development, they are able to model an organisation's culture in unique ways. Thus, their support (or lack of it) will affect the impact of any major structural or procedural change in the existing organisation such as implementing a computer-based information system (CBIS). Yet the focus of most Information Systems Practitioners is mainly towards technical tasks, so that they pay inadequate attention to and are lacking in their appreciation of the social (organisational, cultural, political, and personal) aspects of the senior executive's role. The objectives of the research are to study and understand the social and technical phenomena that occur within a CBIS's implementation processes. The study seeks to identify the factors that cause these phenomena, their relationships, and the degree to which they influence practices, procedures, and outcomes during CBISs' implementations. The "multiple perspective" framework, adopted in the study, provides a total systems rationale, allowing due scope for both the formal-rational technical approach and the social parameters. It incorporates the multiple (organisational, technical, and personal) perspectives of stakeholders, and multilevel (context, process, and linkage) perspectives apparent within the processes itself. The research, therefore, focuses on the question, "What is going on in the CBIS implementation process?" rather than on the question "How should it be implemented?" Research data were collected using empirical research methods based on an exploratory pilot study through survey questionnaires and two in-depth case studies of Malaysian government organisations. A framework using the Multiview methodology is proposed to enhance the analysis of the role of senior executives in the CBIS implementation process. The study concludes that CBIS implementation can neither be understood nor undertaken independently of the multiple perspectives of its stakeholders and multilevel processes that affect its implementation, use, and development.