The project described here is a long term study of the assimilation of one particular type of emerging information technology (ID, imaging systems, in a financial services organization in the Southeast. It is possible that this information technology will facilitate substantial organizational challge and enable major resbucturing of workflow and work design as the technology is implemented. The research questions concern both the factors influencing the assimilation of this emerging IT and the actual process of assimilation. Our primary focus is process-oriented issues, including studying the effects of technological, organizational, and social constraints on the technology, organizational relationships, and work design. The association of individual level factors, contextual factors (management support. chainpions, user acceptance), and the perceived characteristics of the imaging system with the extent of implementation, including routinization and infusion, are being investigated. These research questions have led us to incorporate three different theoretical perspectives. Structuration theory addresses the assimilation process with emphasis on social and political effects. Innovation diffusion theory incorporates perceived technological characteristics and expectations of technology impact into the overall framework. Adaptation theory focuses on the alignment of organization and technology, emphasizing issues of internal and external pressures and constraining and enabling factors. This study is being conducted in five work units, with data collection beginning in March, 1991, and ending in the fall of 1992. Both quantitative data and qualitative data have been collected using survey instruments, structured interviews with multiple informants. frequent observation, and record reviews. The first phase established a baseline prior to the beginning of the implementation process and gained familiarity with and understanding of the key issues. The second phase consisted of monthly interviews with frequent observation and survey administration during implementation. The third phase, currently in process, is an analysis of all available information and data. Preliminary results indicate that factors related to strategic vision, championship, management support, and project leadership are important in establishing a positive context and direction for successful implementation. Individual expectations, compatibility of the technology with existing systems. and good project management appear to be critical for successful implementation of this emerging information technology. Challenges faced hy this intricate research project will be discussed, including the scope and intensive nature of the research design, researchers' iinpact on (he process being studied, and matiaging qualitative data collection and analysis.
Alexander, Mary B. and Wasala, Carol, "IMPLEMENTING EMERGING INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES: THE EXAMPLE OF IMAGING INFORMATION SYSTEMS" (1992). ICIS 1992 Proceedings. 45.