Successful technology management : cultural and organisational dimensions of MIS implementation in SMEs
The aim of this thesis is to provide an original interpretative rationale of the role and effect of culture which may influence the development of a modern Small to Medium sized Enterprise (SME). Substantively, the research is two-fold: firstly, to examine organisational culture and, secondly, its relationship with IT implementations, specifically computer-based Management Information Systems (MIS). An extensive literature review has revealed a lack of synthesis between organisational culture and computer-based implementations, particularly in the SME environment. The research uses an approach based on ethnographic methods from qualitative research within inductivist confines. A thirty-month ethnographic study at a small engineering firm, verified and validated by triangulation techniques, has been used to form a Conceptual Model for successful MIS implementation. This new Model has been validated in several, unconnected, external organisations. The main case-study is supported by smaller studies which has provided a holistic (and therefore more realistic) view of the complexity of organisational culture. It is emphasised that achieving a change in organisational culture is a deeply political and turbulent process. Due regard must be given to managerial, cultural, organisational, human, technical, psychological and political issues. The research takes full account of these factors and discusses the importance of core competency, both from the organisation and its actors, to facilitate and realise effective cultural change. The Model proposed is one methodology for implementation in organisations with cultural and organisational difficulties. Due to the intricacies and complexity of culture, the implementation strategy is potentially a lengthy process. Contributions are made to knowledge in a number of different arenas. Firstly, a contribution is made in the area of IT change management by proposing a new Model for MIS implementation. The Model is given credibility having been verified and validated at several external organisations. Secondly, a contribution is made in the area of organisational theory as the SME focus provides this vital sector of the business community with additional, pertinent, information when undergoing IT implementations. Finally, the research contributes to knowledge in the area of research methodology as the novel combination of diverse paradigms has resulted in a new research approach for use in the SME environment.