Perceived Importance of Systems Analysts' Job Skills, Roles, and Non-Salary Incentives

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System analysts are service providers who are required to work closely with users for the purpose of defining, developing and implementing computer-based systems. Analysts and users in private organizations may have different expectations and proficiencies than those in public organizations, in part due to the types of applications required. Beliefs about how others are supposed to perform and what motivates them contribute to a variety of behavioral responses. Conflict between analysts and users may have serious consequences that can be very costly, such as poorly developed systems, behavioral dysfunctions (e.g., mistrust, avoidance, rejection), and negative user satisfaction. An interesting research question is whether perceptual differences exist among systems analysts and users about how systems analysts perform their jobs, as well as whether the perceptions are the same for public and private organizations. In a survey of perceptual differences about job skills, job roles, and non-salary incentives of systems analysts, results from872 questionnaires show that analysts and users differ significantly in their perceptions of skills and roles for systems analysts. Public and private systems analysts and users differ significantly on perception of all three measures. The results provide evidence that analysts, more so than users, recognize the importance of behavioral skills for effective development. This difference may be a major source of conflict, with users expecting analysts to exhibit technical skills in situations where behavioral skills are required. Public and private sector differences suggest that even though the process of systems development may be very similar, users and analysts in public organizations may, in fact, be different than their counterparts in private organizations. An exploration of these sector differences should be addressed by future research. Information systems managers may use the results to guide educational programs for users, develop better assessment measures for analysts, and establish better mechanisms for providing important non-salary incentives for analysts.

Additional Details

Author Gary I. Green
Year 1989
Volume 13
Issue 2
Keywords Systems analysis, systems analysts, users, perceptions, public and private organizations
Page Numbers 115-133