Though the need for user participation to successfully develop information systems is a commonly accepted MIS axiom, empirical studies have failed to consistently establish the benefits of user participation. To resolve this paradox, we reconsider the underlying premise that business knowledge must be provided by business workers. Instead, as IT is embedded in the business, IT workers necessarily learn both domains in the act of work, and the integration of the two can be achieved through experienced IT workers. To examine this proposition, we studied a group of IT workers who implemented an IS in forty-seven sites over a two year period. Through learning curve methods and change-point analysis, we find that the IT workers achieved greater success as their experience increased while concurrently user participation activities decreased. These findings, consistent with the main proposition, suggest a new approach to valuing the IT workers’ contributions.