A study of the implementation of an information system in a college of education
Syed Abedi, Northern Illinois University, United States
Northern Illinois University . Awarded
Current economic conditions of higher educational institutions make it necessary to discover means through which the available scarce resources are better utilized to achieve the goal of maintaining high standards of education. Educational institutions are looking toward technology for help. One possible solution to resolve the problem seems to lie in implementation of an information system, which could improve productivity as well as reduce costs. A high percentage of these endeavors have proven unsuccessful due to various reasons. Understanding the factors involved would facilitate the diffusion of innovation process in higher educational settings.
This qualitative study focused on examining evidence from the users' perspectives regarding various forms of resistance during the process of implementation of an information system, to what degree it was expressed and how it changed over time. A grounded theory approach was applied in analyzing the available qualitative data, obtained through interviews, observations and documents. The site chosen for the study was the College of Education Northern at Illinois University, DeKalb, where an information system named Student History and Record Keeping (SHARK) was recently implemented. Thirteen participants out of a total population of thirty SHARK users were selected for the study. These participants were comprised of two groups: secretaries and advisors. The study was conducted over a period of eighteen months. Eight of the original participants were interviewed a second time after one year to determine changes in their perceptions and attitude over time.
The findings of the study confirmed the existence of resistance to the diffusion of innovation. Its causes, and the impact of various strategies (training, keeping users informed, gradual implementation) employed by the change agent/SHARK administrator to counter resistance and gain users' acceptance, were documented. Data analysis resulted in the emergence of themes. These themes were interconnected with each other and with resistance, portraying the diversity of needs, characteristics and perceptions of the two groups.
Abedi, S. A study of the implementation of an information system in a college of education. Ph.D. thesis, Northern Illinois University.
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