Change Agentry -- The Next IS Frontier

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Abstract

We wrote this essay to stimulate IS specialists’ efforts to become more effective -- and more credible -- agents of organizational change. The essay describes what we believe to be a view of the IS specialists’ change-agent role that is very commonly held by IS specialists. We believe this role, while well-intentioned and supported by structural conditions in IS work, often has negative consequences for organizations and for the credibility of IS specialists. Further, it does not fit the emerging structural conditions of IS. We describe two alternative models of what it means to be a change agent, their potential consequences, and the structural conditions that support or inhibit behavior in that role. We conclude that increased behavioral flexibility of IS specialists -- the ability to switch roles in different circumstances -- would improve organizational effectiveness and IS specialist credibility. Finally, we discuss the implications of our analysis for research, teaching, and practice.

Additional Details

Author M. Lynne Markus and Robert I. Benjamin
Year 1996
Volume 20
Issue 4
Keywords Change management, change agent, IS function, IS personnel, IS management, IS implementation, IS education, future IS professionals
Page Numbers 385-407