Research Papers

Abstract

Managers choose and implement controls to promote employee behavior that contributes to IS development (ISD) project success. Still, ISD project failure rates remain high, suggesting that project controls employed are often not effective. In this regard, existing IS project control research commonly considers how managers configure controls (in terms of control modes and degree) and enact them (control style), whereas the role of employees’ perceptions of the legitimacy of enacted controls remains largely neglected. To address this shortcoming, we conducted a vignette study with 232 participants to quantitatively test a set of hypotheses on how different control modes, degrees, and styles impact employees’ legitimacy perceptions, and ultimately their compliance intentions. Our analysis reveals a significant impact of all three control dimensions on legitimacy perceptions. Moreover, we identify a positive link between legitimacy perceptions and compliance intentions. To increase control effectiveness, our results thus suggest that managers should choose and implement ISD controls in a way that employees perceive as being just and providing them with autonomy.

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