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Design and evaluation of an integrated change lifecycle model to explore multiple dimensions of successful information technology enabled public services initiatives

Fallon, P. J. (2020) Design and evaluation of an integrated change lifecycle model to explore multiple dimensions of successful information technology enabled public services initiatives. DBA thesis, University of Reading

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To link to this item DOI: 10.48683/1926.00115582


Investing in information technology (IT) to enable change in organizations is an abundantly researched subject. Academic literature and practitioner publications have emphasized critical success factors and reasons for failure in change initiatives. Recent studies in the private sector highlight major challenges with these undertakings that diminish shareholder value. There is also mounting evidence that government agencies have had similar experiences, resulting in the loss of public trust and confidence. Many prior investigations have recommended improvements to one aspect of change, such as project management diligence or overcoming organizational resistance to change. Other investigations contend that success is inhibited by inadequate understanding of the multi-dimensional nature of change and by the application of prescriptive models that are incomplete. In response to these shortcomings, this thesis iteratively designs and develops a theoretical model that integrates multiple dimensions, which originate as the process, content, and context of change. The resulting model offers an extensive set of factors, conditions, and practices within all three dimensions that should be considered during the lifecycle of IT-enabled change. The thesis evaluates this integrated change lifecycle model (ICLM) empirically by exploring how two public sector organizations have managed the contribution of IT to produce positive results and benefits. Empirical evaluation of the ICLM focuses on the question, “How are successful IT-enabled public services change initiatives governed, managed, and performed?” The evaluation uses two cases: (1) a new service delivery channel initiative, and (2) an operational process improvement initiative. Both are located in a transportation program area of a U.S. state government. Thematic analysis of multi-faceted stakeholder interviews, survey results, and change initiative documentation was employed to determine findings for each change dimension and each change lifecycle stage. This multi-dimensional ICLM contributes to the theoretical body of knowledge in the fields of (1) public services management; (2) organizational change and development; and (3) information systems and technology. The ICLM offers an extensive elaboration of solution content domains, project performance processes, and organizational change environment aspects across five lifecycle stages: (1) public policy and strategy formulation; (2) public service improvement definition; (3) change solution delivery; (4) project results determination; and (5) public benefits realization. The methodology employed to produce and evaluate the ICLM corresponds to the design science research (DSR) paradigm and is consistent with DSR guidelines for contributing to research knowledge. The objective of the research is to develop a technology-oriented solution to an important and relevant management and organizational problem. The research has produced, via multiple iterations, an advanced artifact in the form of the ICLM. The viability and utility of the ICLM has been evaluated and rigorously demonstrated via two in-depth case studies. The ICLM, and its evaluation findings and implications have been presented to technology-oriented and management-oriented academics and practitioners in research colloquia, conferences, and leadership sessions. Participating program and system managers accept that the multi-dimensional ICLM could benefit their agency in two ways: (1) as a diagnostic tool to assess existing change initiatives; and (2) as a strategic tool to plan and organize new initiatives. Of particular interest is the finding that no individual manager was tasked to orchestrate solutions to meet the requirements of all change dimensions. Instead, each initiative organization employed a collaborative approach with well-defined accountabilities for each change dimension. The ICLM could help system owners to understand the complex responsibilities of the information system integrator role to ensure fit for purpose and integrative compatibility of technical components from all sources. The ICLM also defines a public services integrator role for government change initiatives to ensure that the IT components fit with redesigned laws, rules, regulations, policies, processes, preferred practices, and duties. The findings confirm the value to management practice and theory of a unifying model that integrates the three change dimensions within a prescribed change lifecycle. Based on these results, it is recommended that the ICLM be evaluated in other public sector program areas as well as in private sector business environments to further its contribution to management, organizational change, and information systems theory, and to increase its value to researchers and practitioners.

Item Type:Thesis (DBA)
Thesis Supervisor:Manwani, S.
Thesis/Report Department:Henley Business School
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Henley Business School > Business Informatics, Systems and Accounting
ID Code:115582
Date on Title Page:November 2019


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