ارتباط استراتژی فناوری اطلاعات و فرهنگ سازمانی : مطالعه تجربی از واحدهای بخش عمومی در هند
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|3979||2001||29 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||11500 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : The Journal of Strategic Information Systems, Volume 10, Issue 1, March 2001, Pages 29–57
This paper analyzes the relationships between selected aspects of organizational culture and IT-Strategy in public sector units (PSUs). Organization culture, which is treated as a shared set of norms and values, is analyzed with respect to IT-Strategies. Organizational culture is assessed in terms of innovative, supportive and bureaucratic cultures. IT strategy is viewed as comprising six generic strategies, namely, centrally planned, leading edge, scarce resource, necessary evil, monopoly and free market. The data on which conclusions were drawn arises from a nation-wide survey covering 72 public sector organizations in India. In addition to the survey research, we conducted an in-depth case study of State Bank of India. This yearlong study commenced in 1996. Statistically significant findings show that it is the innovative element of a PSUs organizational culture that is associated with a delineable IT strategy. Leading edge, free market, and monopoly IT-strategies are found to be related to innovative components of organizational culture. Monopoly and scarce resource strategies are associated with supportive and bureaucratic cultures, respectively. Our case study validates some of these findings in a large bank. Implications for practice as well as research are provided.
Information, emerging within and outside the organization, takes its final form and is used according to the structural, socio-psychological and geographical setup of organizations. The socio-psychological setup, better known as ‘organizational culture,’ and its encounter with IT, results in unique uses, problems and intriguing issues. For linking IT use to organizational effectiveness the need arises for a well thought out and appropriate strategy. Until the early 1990s, public sector organizations or units (PSUs) in India dominated the Indian economy in almost all the core sectors. With the advent of economic liberalization, PSUs are facing stiff competition from the private sector that consists of both multinational as well as domestic organizations. In order to remain viable and competitive, PSUs have identified the role of IT (Kholi, 1994, Neogy, 1994 and Kutty, 1994) as one of the key determinants of organizational renewal. While there is a comprehensive research base that documents the rationale for IT-enabled organizational effectiveness in the industrialized world, a more limited research base is available for the developing economies. Palvia et al., (1992) do provide a basis for this research and their research shows that strategic IT planning is considered among the least important elements of IS by managers in Indian PSUs. This research base suggests that, in most instances, investments in IT have not translated into organizational effectiveness and that there is plenty of scope for improvement. Studies from India (Gupta, 1996, Goyal, 1994 and Rau and Rao, 1993) have also revealed that while some PSUs have used IT to drive productivity increases and derive organizational benefits, many are yet to use IT effectively. While prior research shows us that the role and the nature of the association of IT with other organizational variables has not been studied in the PSUs of India (Bannett, 1992 and Singla, 1992), organizational culture of public sector units (PSUs) in India has been used as an explanatory variable (Bhal, 1996, Sinha and Singh, 1993 and Bhaduri, 1991) for organizational success or for less successful performance. Therefore, there is a felt need to develop a better understanding of the relationship between organizational culture and IT strategies. Consequently, in this paper we have attempted to develop a better understanding of selected aspects of organizational culture and the strategies involved in the installation, implementation and use of computer systems. This is so because insights gained from IT experiences elsewhere (Heeks, 1995, Caudle et al., 1991 and Mohan et al., 1990) cannot necessarily be translated directly into local Indian contexts. This is so because, while IT is argued to be culturally neutral, IT use is certainly not (Pacey, 1983). Pacey argues cogently to distinguish technology from technology-practice and relates culture, technology, and organizations to demonstrate the cultural influence on technology use. This research is an attempt to map empirical relationships between organizational culture and IT strategy. Section 2 presents a review of the literature and the background for this study. In it we discuss the concept of IT strategy, organizational culture and the relationship between the two constructs. Section 3 is devoted to the research method adopted for this study and Section 4 contains the results of statistical analysis on the data collected. Section 5 provides a discussion of these results. Section 6 contains a case study that captures qualitative aspects of the relationship between IT strategy and organizational culture. Section 7 concludes the paper. In it we summarize the results and present the learning issues and implications for practitioners, and implications for theory.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
As a result of this research, we have been able to demonstrate a relationship between innovative cultures and IT strategy. Innovative cultures tend to have well-defined strategies in place. Both innovative and supportive cultures are either positively correlated with IT strategies or show no relationship. On the other hand, the bureaucratic culture is associated with a scarce resource strategy. The bureaucratic culture should also be noted for showing negative (though not statistically significant) relationships with the leading edge and free market strategies. This means that bureaucratic cultures have a tendency to discourage progressive IT strategies. The case study has aided in validating aspects of the quantitative findings. 7.1. Implications for research By using both quantitative and qualitative research we were able to go beyond mere description and explore aspects of organizational dynamics and change. Quantitative assessment of culture accorded us the opportunity to explore and analyze the deduced relationship between organizational culture and IT strategy across different organizations. However, since a quantitative culture construct requires us to start with a set of constructs decided a priori, researchers will need to be aware of the inevitability of the exclusion of certain constructs of interest. This limitation of quantitative analysis — which is generally limited to answering the ‘what’ aspect of a phenomenon — can be compensated for by qualitative research that allows us to explore the meanings associated with significant relations from the more broadly-based quantitative studies. Qualitative research helps us answer the ‘why’ and ‘how’ (for a specific context) questions that underlie relations verified by broad-based studies. While results from quantitative studies can be generalized and replicated, it may not be desirable or possible to accomplish that using qualitative methods. Our study has been able to demonstrate that culture is related to IT strategy. Past research has shown that formal strategic IT planning can be a crucial critical success factor for information systems within public agencies (Bajjaly, 1998). The eventual link between organizational culture and IS effectiveness is, therefore, open to further investigation. We believe that if researchers move away from focusing on specific culture themes and aspects of IS activities in organizations and attempt to cover a fuller range of cultural and IS constructs, the link between organizational culture and IT strategies and consequences of those strategies will be better understood. Our experience with using two research approaches was rewarding. While we were able to uncover both broad-based relations and SBI-specific insights, we believe that a significant amount of additional research is required to fully appreciate the relationship between culture and strategy and their interplay and the organizational consequences of that interplay. For instance, the bureaucratic and innovative dimensions of culture emerged as relatively clear correlates of selected IT strategies. However, we found that the supportive dimension of culture could emerge as an important co-determinant of IT strategy. In the case of SBI, selected aspects of the supportive dimension were evident. They included ‘safe’, (risk-averse in decision-making) ‘equitable’, (batches of employees, not individuals are promoted) and ‘relationship-oriented’ (strong unions at most levels). Additional research is required to investigate whether centralized planning at SBI was undermined by this particular strain of supportive culture. Alternate culture constructs need to be used just as alternate conceptualizations of IT strategy need to be explored. Within the context of information systems, it needs to be recognized that culture includes cognitive, emotional and behavioral aspects. We believe, therefore, that other research approaches that incorporate these premises should be used. For instance, one approach could be treating culture as a metaphor for organizational life (Smircich, 1983) instead of treating culture as an intervening or causal variable. In using this approach, when looking at organizations as if they were cultures, symbols and meanings would be emphasized. Other approaches to find the hidden meanings, consequences, and motives behind acts, decisions and social behavior could include cultural anthropology, psychoanalysis, and hermeneutics. 7.2. Implications for practice Most IT strategies in PSUs in India can be considered emergent. In other words, they have not been outcomes of proactive management concern that has led to formal deliberation and thought and resulted in a formal strategy document. On the other hand, the pressing need to computerize the organization (within the backdrop of governmental directives to improve productivity and organizational performance) has created pressures for most PSUs that typically result in the setting up of departments or responsibility centers for IT at the corporate level. The major implication for PSUs is to formalize the presence of a coherent IT strategy. Since the role of Indian PSUs is being radically redefined in the wake of economic liberalization (Singh, 1994) they are faced with the very real prospect of restructuring (Sushil et al., 1995). The Government of India has constituted a Disinvestment Commission with the primary aim of financial restructuring of PSUs through the sale of equity to both institutional investors (Krishna, 1996). Most opinion leaders and policy makers strongly recommend the need to break away from the system of bureaucracy (Singh, 1994) and suggest that PSUs should involve employees and the investors in the management of PSUs (Khatri and Macus, 1994 and Biswas et al., 1994). The formulation of such implicit demands already started to result in a transformation of the organizational culture of PSUs. These directions of change appear to indicate an increase in the supportive and innovative components of organizational culture. One clear implication from this study is that Indian PSUs can no longer afford to neglect the cultural dimensions of their organization while formulating IT strategies. These strategies should be consistent with the culture of PSUs to successfully leverage IT resources for organizational effectiveness. PSUs will have to develop clear-cut (formal and unambiguous) IT-strategies as they are being forced to shed their bureaucratic style of functioning and change toward innovative and supportive cultures. A possible road map for IT strategies in these organizations would be to migrate from a scarce-resources strategy (associated with bureaucratic culture) to either a monopoly or a free market IT strategy (associated with innovative and supportive cultures). PSUs that opt for free market IT-strategy are likely to migrate to a monopoly or leading edge IT strategy (associated with innovative and supportive cultures). This is shown in Fig. 2.The formalization of strategies is required to foster such cultural change, especially given the absence of security of tenure for individuals at the top levels in a PSU. This leads to short tenures for top management. Since PSUs are characterized by transferable jobs, a delineable and well laid out IT strategy will provide a sense a continuity and permanence for IT related organizational processes and actions. The absence of an IT strategy encourages ad-hoc IT decisions and disoriented efforts. As Saxena (1996) reports, the transformation of PSUs requires a coordinated effort on the technological, structural, cultural and strategy fronts. Most PSUs are large multi-location organizations and the development of an integrated IT-strategy will not only help provide a synergy for IT efforts but will also, in the longer run, enable cultural transformations in PSUs. Given that IT is more ‘interpretively flexible’ (Robey and Azevedo, 1993) than some technologies, it may be reinterpreted and reinvented in its development and use. IT strategy formulation in an organization is a prime example of such technological interpretation. Hence organizational strategists should continuously look for meaningful linkages between aspects of culture that support IT use in addition to ensuring that IT is introduced and used such that unwanted aspects of cultural persistence are weakened. For example, it is clear that drastic IT-enabled reengineering approaches can come up against cultural blocks (Harrington et al., 1998). On the other hand, patient and longer-term approaches, which may appear to make incremental improvements, characterized by being non-threatening and meaningful to the eventual users may need to be given priority (Sauer, Yetton et al., 1997). Therefore, those PSUs that can identify methods to nurture the innovative dimensions of their culture in a person-centered manner will be more likely to treat culture as a meaningful organizational process that fosters the concomitant growth of IT.