استفاده تعاملی و تشخیصی سیستم های کنترل مدیریت در پروژه های IS : مقدمات و تأثیر آن بر عملکرد
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Information & Management, Volume 50, Issue 6, September 2013, Pages 265–274
We attempted to determine how formal management control systems (MCS) are used by project managers in IS development (ISD) contexts. This involved investigating the antecedents of two types of project MCS use (interactive and diagnostic), and their direct and moderated impact on project performance. PLS analysis of data collected in a survey of 93 projects indicated that project managers’ level of discretion positively affected their level of interactive use of project MCS but did not influence their diagnostic use. Our findings also showed that interactive use of MCS enhanced performance when task uncertainty (task novelty and complexity) of an ISD was high, but worsened it when task uncertainty was low. Finally, diagnostic use of MCS apparently increased project performance when an ISD task uncertainty was low, but did not reduce it when task uncertainty was high. Overall, these results were stable across different size projects.
Projects are often seen as social settings where there is tension between the need to use a sufficient level of control and the necessity to remain flexible in order to manage factors that contribute to uncertainty. This is particularly true in IS development (ISD) projects where changes in user requirements and/or in technology characteristics frequently occur and usually require alteration of the initial project plans and estimates. According to , proper management of an ISD project requires clear task boundaries and well understood individual responsibilities, and the specification of expected outcomes and behaviors. However, Ref.  argued that putting too much emphasis on controlling behavior may have deleterious effects by making project team members focus on completing pre-specified tasks and objectives while overlooking the much needed understanding of, and adaptation to uncertainty. Thus, this tension is a major task that project managers often need to undertake, but little empirical research exists about how they do so. Management control literature suggests that managers can satisfy their need to closely monitor project activities by using management control systems (MCS) in a diagnostic manner, while creating flexibility and change management by using other MCS interactively. Project MCS are defined as formalized procedures and systems that use information to maintain or alter a project activity , and they incorporate planning systems, reporting systems, and monitoring procedures for the project activities. The diagnostic use of MCS closely corresponds to the traditional monitoring role attributed to formal control mechanisms and aims to ensure that a project's predetermined objectives are met and that corrective action is taken whenever a gap between planned and actual results is detected. On the other hand, interactive use of project MCS refers to using the information provided by a given MCS as a basis for frequent formal discussions between the project's participants. The main objective of this type of MCS use is to identify sources of uncertainty, to challenge initial plans if necessary, and to encourage the proposal of new ideas which may in turn result in revisions to the project's initial estimates. Hence, when used interactively, MCS allow managers to deploy control information as a tool for managing uncertainty and enhancing a project's flexibility. Thus, the objective of our paper was to address the following three research questions: - What factors influence the levels of diagnostic and interactive use of project MCS by ISD project managers? - What impact does diagnostic and interactive use of MCS have on project performance? - Is the impact of diagnostic and interactive use of MCS on project performance moderated by the novelty and complexity of an ISD task?