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Title: An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Corporate Communication During Large-Scale Information Technology Changes
Authors: Drum, Dawna M.
Issue Date: 17-Mar-2011
Abstract: The success rate of information technology implementations remains low, despite decades of scholarly research and popular advice. Whether success is defined by spending within the budget, on-time completion, functionality of the final implementation, or satisfaction of the users, few projects are deemed to be complete and resounding successes. One possible reason is inadequate communication during the change process, and many studies have examined aspects of change communication such as media choice, message content, and timing of the messages. What has been missing, however, is an assessment of these items‟ effectiveness across hierarchical levels within an organization undergoing an important technology change. Most previous studies have focused on the perceptions and actions of managers, even though it is the non-managerial employees who determine the ultimate success of the implementation in daily use. The intent of the current study was to evaluate the effectiveness of organization-wide change communication at all hierarchical levels to determine differences in perceptions as well as differences in actual effectiveness, through the use of established quantitative tools and qualitative methods. Employing a modified case study approach, two organizations (a mid-sized public university and a food processing organization) were studied during the implementation of a major IT change. It was hypothesized that the perceived effectiveness of media, content and timing that had been used when communicating about change would have an effect on the actual effectiveness of communication, as measured by several questions specific to each organization‟s current project. Results revealed that perceived effectiveness of media was the only factor that had a significant effect on the actual effectiveness of communication. Contributions of this study include formalizing a mechanism for evaluating employee preferences for communication and the actual effectiveness of change communication, as well as providing potential insights into ways to improve communication practices during large-scale IT implementations.
In Collections:Technology Management

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