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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

The Institutionalization of User Participation for Systems Development in Telecom Eireann

The Institutionalization of User Participation for Systems Development in Telecom Eireann
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Author(s): Tom Butler (Telecom Eireann, Ireland) and Brian Fitzgerald (Executive Research Centre, University College Cork, Ireland)
Copyright: 1999
Pages: 19
Source title: Success and Pitfalls of Information Technology Management
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-878289-56-8.ch007


It was in 1984 that Telecom Éireann first introduced institutional mechanisms which facilitated employee participation in the formulation and execution of corporate strategy. However, almost ten years elapsed before the full benefits of user participation were realized in the development and implementation of organizational information systems. Two systems development projects that are perhaps exemplars of the manner in which user participation was and still is effected in Telecom Éireann, and which offer unique insights into this multi-faceted phenomenon, are described herein. This case study not only illustrates why user participation is important for systems development in organizations, it also provides evidence that user participation is insufficient for success in systems development if appropriate attention is not given to change management issues associated with the implementation of developed systems. The lessons learned by Telecom Éireann in addressing such issues helped it to evolve its participative policies into a partnership approach to organizational change that helped ensure the success of its strategy of IT-enabled organizational transformation.

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