Cognitive Elements in the Implementation of New Technology: Can Less Information Provide More Benefits?

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Abstract

Organizations have come to rely on technological innovation as a central component of their competitive strategy. While new technologies hold tremendous promise for enhancing organizations' efficiency and effectiveness, much of this potential is never realized. One study of 2000 U.S. companies found that 40% had not achieved the intended benefits from implementing an office technology. Significantly, less than 10% of these implementation failures appeared to stem from technical problems; most occurred for human and organizational reasons, such as poor technology management, including users' misunderstanding of the meaning and/or uses of the technology.

Griffith and Northcraft previously proposed a model of cognitive determinants of technology implementation success. That model emphasizes that differences in cognitions (e.g., thoughts, perceptions, and constructed understandings) among users, designers, and implementers are critical determinants of implementation success. Prior researchers have provided broader models of implementation the Griffith and Northcraft (1993) model focuses on the problematic human and organizational components of technology implementation success.

This research note explores the major mechanisms within the Griffith and Northcraft cognitive model. This model offers a fine-grained view of how user and implementer understandings influence implementation success. While broader implementation models suggest structural and process strategies for increasing the likelihood of implementation success, this model describes user and implementer understanding, and can be used to design appropriate implementation strategies.

Additional Details

Author Terri L. Griffith and Gregory B. Northcraft
Year 1996
Volume 20
Issue 1
Keywords IS implementation, user-analyst differences, IS implementation approaches, user training, user-analyst interaction, user expectations
Page Numbers 99-110