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Surfacing Occupational Threats to Electronic Government - A Neglected Role for Organization Development?

Surfacing Occupational Threats to Electronic Government - A Neglected Role for Organization Development?
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Author(s): Joe McDonagh (University of Dublin, Ireland)
Copyright: 2003
Pages: 4
Source title: Information Technology & Organizations: Trends, Issues, Challenges & Solutions
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-066-0.ch102
ISBN13: 9781616921248
EISBN13: 9781466665330


Throughout much of the last four decades the introduction of new information technology (IT) based systems has posed formidable challenges for many organizations, both public and private sector alike (Dearden, 1972; Clegg et al, 1996). While each new decade has witnessed significant investment in both administrative and technological innovations, with the lure of achieving significant efficiency and economic gains, it remains that outcomes from such investment programmes have been continuously disappointing (McDonagh and Coghlan, 1999; 2000). Indeed, it appears that underperformance and failure are common experiences with as little as ten percent of IT-enabled change initiatives delivering promised business value (McDonagh, 1999). Investments in eGovernment initiatives are prime examples of how administrative and technological innovations coalesce with the implicit promise of significant benefits for all stakeholders involved. Yet, it remains that eGovernment initiatives are fraught with difficulties (OECD, 2001; Performance and Innovation Unit, 2000). Furthermore, such difficulties evoke memories of ongoing pathologies that have routinely derailed the effective introduction of IT in work organizations over the years. Drawing from both the information systems domain and its reference disciplines, this paper presents a detailed critique of this enduring dilemma and in particular explores the role of occupational groups in its perpetuation through time. This paper concludes by way of noting that effecting an integrated approach to the introduction of IT that accounts for economic, technical, human, and organisational facets of change is inordinately difficult since the requisite knowledge and expertise are widely dispersed among diverse occupational groups.

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