What Is Organizational Culture Information Technology Essay

Sing the construct of IS information System, it must be said that its boundary line is a debatable, due to the diverseness of bing definitions, due to the legion names the construct is and has been given historically and, above all, due to the present uncertainness between this construct and that of Information Technology ( IT ) . These confusions show the great complication of an organisational factor with different facets, including proficient, human and organisational.

Most definitions of IS include the maps this system carries out as portion of the construct itself. Therefore, for Anderson, Raeburn and Beddie ( 1992 ) , an IS is a system which collects, records, shops and rearranges the information on the operations of a concern, and so offers the consequences of this procedure to the suited forces of a corporation under the form of information ; this information will be used to ease an efficient direction of the said concern, to command its operations and as a footing for efficient action. In a nutshell, an IS must assist corporations to do determinations.

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In order to transport out these maps, the system must hold a figure of constituents ;

Harmonizing to Davis ( 1995 ) and Gremillion and Pyburn ( 1988 ) , such constituents are: hardware, package, informations, people and processs. A longer list is provided by Turban, McLean and Wetherbe ( 1996 ) , who quote hardware, package, databases, people, processs, intents, webs and societal context. It can be observed that, among these elements, information sciences constituents are a must, which is a beginning of confusion ( for IS is equated to information sciences, and, finally, to IT ) ; hence, we suggest as an alternate list: information and information, people and back uping elements.

By information and information we mean the end product and the input of these systems. Refering people, The supporting elements are the physical resources used to transport out all the maps of the information system. Such resources may be informatics-based, but the abstract position of IS leads us to stress that computing machines are merely another support component, for which there are other mechanical or manual options ( telephones, registering cabinets… even write and paper ) .

So as to underscore this thought, it must be remembered that the construct of IS or MIS ( Management Information Systems ) was born before computing machines were, although computing machines have lead to a broadening of this construct ( Shave and Bhasckar 1982 ) . Besides, it would be a error to depict IS from a simply informatic point of position, for it would intend ignoring its organisational and human dimension. In short, an IS can non be efficaciously used and understood if these latter factors are ignored ( Laudon and Laudon 1991a ) .

On the other manus, it must besides be acknowledged that the contention about the impression of IS consequences from its different definitions. Until a few old ages ago, the most often used academic term was MIS ( Management Information System ) . However, MIS can besides be called Organizational Information Systems, Computer Based Information Systems or merely IS ( Ives, Hamilton and Davis 1980 ) . Of all these names, IS is the most general one, for it specifies neither which users it is addressed to ( CEO ‘s or non ) nor which engineering it requires ( computing machines or otherwise ) to transform informations into information.

To do this nomenclature even more complex, IT is often used as a equivalent word of IS, as I mentioned supra. This is due to the fact that, purely talking, IT concerns the technological constituent of an IS, as it includes hardware, databases, package webs and other resources suited for information processing. As such, it may be seen as a subsystem of an IS ( Turban, McLean and Wetherbe 1996 ) or, even better, as one of its constituents, which we discussed supra as a back uping component.

The term IT was foremost referred to by Leavitt and Whisler ( 1958 ) , who used it to depict the assorted developments appeared in different Fieldss ( from sociology to electronic technology ) sharing a concern for the systematic use of information by persons, groups or machines. The impression besides included all the engineerings and applications uniting informations processing and the hive awaying power of computing machines with the possibility of distance transmittal of telecommunications ( Child 1987 ) . Any engineering based on information sciences and telecommunications hardware and/or package would be included within this definition ( Cooper and Zmud 1990 ) .

hypertext transfer protocol: //rua.ua.es/dspace/bitstream/10045/1655/4/The_performance_of_information_systems.pdf ( viewed at 9/04/10 )

What Is Organizational Culture?

Gareth Morgan has described organisational civilization as: “ The set of the set of beliefs, values, and norms, together with symbols like dramatized events and personalities that represents the alone character of an organisation, and provides the context for action in it and by it. ” Beliefs and values are words that will start up often in other definitions, every bit good. Norms might be described as traditions, construction of authorization, or modus operandis.

hypertext transfer protocol: //www.organizationalculture101.com/definition-of-organizational-culture.html ( viewed at 12/04/10 )

Organizational Culture and IS

The construct of organisational civilization as a general for depicting how things are done in a corporation is besides interlinked with IS an IT aloso tells us about the behavior of people in the face of IS.

By refering the people who are the portion of an IS, the civilization of the organisation will act upon the besides will be influenced by the technicians ( coders ) and Users ( End-Users ) Even they are within organisation or persons straight related to it are the portion of the organisation and buzzword B excluded from the analysis of organisational behavior in the face of IT. In other words harmonizing to EI Saway ( 1985 ) “ Culture Implicates ” .

Harmonizing to some other bookmans like Pliski, Romn, Lee and Weber ( 1993 ) IS may hold different chance and significance for different people in organisation on different degrees e.g. System Analyst will take in different manner and End users will take it in different chance.

So we can state users is besides the portion of IS and should play their function in execution of IS. Harmonizing to Ward ( 1987 ) technicians or coders should construct the system to pull off information in which users are besides have their involvement non merely for computing machines.

Unfortunately, In most of instances IS is implemented with merely merely coders ( technicians ) consideration and analysis non with users ( end-users ) .it may do operational degree jobs, civilization struggle could originate with users if they have non been involved in execution procedure Lin and Ashcraft ( 1990 ) besides argued that terminal users have meaningful influence in achievement if IS because they are the portion of the organisational civilization.

hypertext transfer protocol: //rua.ua.es/dspace/bitstream/10045/1655/4/The_performance_of_information_systems.pdf ( viewed at 14/04/2010 )

so we can state terminal users engagement is necessary in nidation procedure to minimise the struggle within and out of organisational civilization.


Claver and et al presented a theoretical account for influence among IT, IS, and organisational civilization ( Figure1 ) . This theoretical account is a good starting point to understand how information ( whether suitable or non ) is generated so that a house may do determination. Sing the information, If we bear in head that IS is responsible for transmutation them into information, It follows that the sum and quality of this information will be a cardinal factor. Southem and Murray use the term “ information-based civilization ” to show the demand for all those involved in informations aggregation to portion the thought that an IS must be supported by a good information system. In add-on to these It should be said that when these informations are processed, ethical rules must be considered, which are in bend a consequence of the general civilization bing in the house.


Although Claver and et Als focused on the qualitative and human side of the procedure, they admitted that a necessary requirement for a suited execution of an IS is the fiscal and proficient feasibleness of the acquisition or invention of this IT. However strong the organisational reading within the civilization may non be every bit seeable as it might be ab initio expected.

In many surveies about information engineering and organisational civilization, the engineering under probe is assumed to be a fixed artifact or a fixed signifier as deployed in a given scene. Many of these surveies have neglected seldom acknowledged.

Early surveies suggested that IT exerts specific impacts on organisations, therefore doing alterations in Organizational civilizations, norms, construction, public presentation, and other concern properties in deterministic manner. Although this position is now mostly rejected by most IS bookmans. For illustration, in modern surveies of GroupWare acceptance, some writers have employed deterministic logic to explicate how GroupWare impacts employee communicating, coaction, and productiveness. Gallivan and Srite regarded these surveies as deterministic, since they assume that certain results will needfully follow IT acceptance, without sing directors ‘ or employees ‘ motivations or their actions in determining how the IT is used. Like earlier fatalist surveies, these writers assume that IT non merely will hold a pre-determined consequence on the people and organisations following it, but mostly independent of the context in which it is adopted how it is used or the specific purposes and actions of its users.

A 2nd set of beliefs about the relationship between IT and Organizational Culture is that IT is a tool that can be leveraged to accomplish whatever alterations in organisational pattern directors ‘ sabotage. The interaction position assumes that both the IT and the Organizational Culture are fixed in the short tally. Research workers have cautioned directors to see Organizational Culture as a binding constrain when implementing IT. The adhering constrain position is illustrated by advice offered by Pliskin ( 1994 ) . Who warned directors against seeking to alter a house ‘s civilization.

Organizational Culture and IS. A Specific Relationship

An organisational civilization, as we argued above, consists in the values shared by the members of a house ; this is why there will be specific beliefs sing any corporate construction and behavior. When such beliefs are widely shared, the civilization is said to be a strong or powerful one ; nevertheless, when a certain value has been accepted by a really specific group merely as the informatic section ( for case, the thought that an IS is a really of import factor for a house ‘s fight ) , so it is said that there is besides a subculture. We have introduced this differentiation in order to underscore that we shall chiefly depict the dominant civilization of a house, for the two options we shall discourse ( informatic and informational civilization ) affect the whole organisation and may ensue in two different positions of IT/IS within the activity of a house.


Once these differences have been established, we may place two organisational places in the face of IT. A foremost, less complex one, would imply accepting that utilizing IT is of import for a house ( informatic civilization ) ; a 2nd, more progressive one, envisages IT as the foundation for the creative activity of an IS enabling the house to do right determinations ( informational civilization ) .

The first one, an informatic civilization, is easy identified by the members of a house, for it is a material symbol of the civilization ; nevertheless, the informational civilization is a much more complex one, for it includes the other one, but besides the people -through the organisational behaviour- , the information and the information. There is no uncertainty that, when it is a shared value, an informational civilization is more enriching for a house ‘s fight, because it is non merely a resource ( IT ) but besides a capableness ( IS ) . All these thoughts are summarized in Figure 2.

As Figure 2 shows, an efficient transmutation of IT into a suited IS can non take topographic point without altering the informatic civilization into an informational 1. More specifically, it should be said that, more than changed, the set of values should be expanded ; in such a manner that an informational civilization, in add-on to informatic beliefs, should besides hold its ain construct of support to IS in the procedure of providing decision-making information.

A farther of import issue in Figure 2 is the analysis of how the informational vision will impact the planetary organisational civilization ( in Figure 2, it is the transmutation of organisational civilization ( I ) into ( II ) . The reply is that all members of the house must accept the utility of the informational civilization. If these values generate a higher fiscal net income for a house, they will be favorably received by CEO ‘s. In this line, Byrd and Marshall ( 1996 ) stress the of import function played by civilization within EIS ( Executive Information Systems ) . At the same clip, if they cut down anxiousness and increase the satisfaction of users, IS technicians, and the whole organisation, they will besides be accepted.

Therefore, if these conditions are fulfilled, we could believe that there will be a non traumatic alteration ( in the form of an development ) of the organisational civilization through the informational values, towards a state of affairs where the IS plays a more of import function within corporate beliefs. Of class, the opposite procedure might besides happen, and so the progressive incorporation of the IS into the house ‘s construction would be a much more complex one. This leads us to the thought that any managerial determination bettering civilization in this manner will let a positive credence during the execution of IS/IT within a house.

In order to understand this favorable relationship between informational civilization and the execution of IT/IS, we can non bury the advice by Romm, Pliskin and Weber ( 1995 ) , who warn us that any cultural alteration determination must be a long term one, whereas the execution of IT/IS may be made in the short term, which increases the trouble in instance of dissension between them. However, in the last subdivision we shall propose some guidelines to accomplish an integrating.

Features Of Informatic And Informational Culture

Once we have outlined the old construct, I need to notice on in deepness the features of an informatic and an informational civilization, in order to make up one’s mind which sort of managerial intercession is required to transform the former into the latter.

An informatic civilization can merely see the demand to do tactical or short term determinations in the IT country ; hence, its values lie in dividing such engineerings both from the house ‘s strategic planning and from an IS bring forthing strategic determinations. Other characteristics of this civilization are that the betterments created by IT are ever measured in quantitative footings ; the information sciences section is seen as a cost centre. As in this vision IT is a short-run construct, there is no investing program in this country. This is why Mirvis, Gross saless and Hackett ( 1991 ) point out that houses may do errors when buying equipment, misestimate the cost/profit benefit ratio or stop up passing more and gaining less than expected.

As a consequence of what we have described, the execution of IT within the house is merely carried out by proficient forces, the users are disregarded and the senior direction does non go involved in its development ; everything is left to the information sciences section and operations directors. This is clearly illustrated by the term “ IT specializers civilization ” , coined by Coombs, Knights and Willmott ( 1992 ) .

Compared to an informatic civilization, an informational civilization goes much further, for it understands the utility of IS for strategic and tactical determinations ( in the short, medium and long term ) . Besides, within this corporate values IT/IS is measured quantitatively ( fiscal cost/profit ratio ) , but besides qualitatively ( usefulness for all members of the house ) ; the information sciences section is seen non merely as a cost centre, but besides as a profit-creating section. Of class, since there is besides a long-run position, the IS besides requires an investing program.

Finally, within these corporate beliefs it is assumed that the execution of IS/IT requires the intercession of technicians and users in an organisation ; the direction must besides be involved by supervising the procedure.

Although their nomenclature differs from ours, Bensaou and Earl ( 1998 ) besides have analyzed this thought, which they relate to the Western and Nipponese manner IT is managed.

I believe that it is overly simplifying to set up state stereotypes, for in these qualitative issues each organisation has its ain state of affairs ( we can non bury that a house ‘s civilization is like an person ‘s personality ) . In other words, the thought is theoretically interesting, but it is hard to pull generalisations from it.

As a effect of all this, we can see that we are non covering with two opposed civilizations ; instead, the informational civilization represents a more advanced place than the informatic civilization, in fact the first includes the 2nd and goes beyond it, in order to better net income from IT through a utile IS which is valued and accepted by an organisation ; in this IS, developing dramas a important function, non merely refering technicians, but besides users.

At the same clip, it should be pointed out that between an informatic civilization in its most rigorous significance and an informational civilization, with its clearly defined features, there is a broad scope of possibilities which may use to any house and it is necessary to cognize.

In some instances, there may non be even a minimal informatic civilization, for it is believed that IT resources are non utile to a house ; although this is exceeding in the market place, the possibility can non be ruled out. In this manner, a diagnosing of the values accepted by all the organisational members as respects IS/IT will reflect the place of the house in this issue, and besides how intense the attempt must be until a to the full profitable informational civilization can be reached.

Implementing IS and cultural demands

From what has been said so far, it follows that an informational civilization is the 1 leting a better use and succesful execution of an IS. However, non all organisations portion these beliefs ; hence, in this subdivision I will discourse the guidelines for an IS to be most efficient in a house through proficient use, but particularly through a clear motive among the people related to them. This is a complex issue, which requires, to get down with, the survey of the factors of opposition to their execution ; so, we shall seek to happen ways to get the better of these obstructions.

Therefore, we may name the chief grounds to oppose IS/IT by doing a differentiation between direction and non direction staff.

Non Management Staff

It may affect modus operandi procedures, with the negative effects they entail ( Walton 1989 ) .

An unequal use is likely to make communicating barriers, because they isolate tactical users.

In general, they may bring forth negative psychological procedures, such as deficiency of committedness, motive and satisfaction amongst the organisation, as the houses become less dependent on these persons and more dependant on the IS ( Ives and Olson 1984 ; Markus and Robey 1983 ; Taggart and Robey 1981 ) .

B. Management Staff

It may make resistance as directors have to utilize a keyboard, which they consider a secretarial occupation.

Directors may non see the IS as something utile, for the information it offers does non appeal to them.

A non user-friendly IS may do directors be afraid of doing a sap of themselves by being unable to larn.

Refusal will originate if it is felt that the IS may take to an unwanted redistribution of power.

As a whole, whatever the degree within the organisational hierarchy, the execution of an IS may make “ techno-stress ” ( Brod 1988 ) , as a state of affairs ensuing from all these negative feelings.

A manner to extinguish, or at least cut down, these obstructions, is by analysing the civilization and accommodating it to the execution of the IS. In this sense, Lu ( 1995 ) has pointed out that, if the bing civilization emphasizes invention and determination devising in hazard environments, the debut of IS/IT will run into a lower resistance by all the organisation.

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