ognizant Communication Corporation

FAILURE & LESSONS LEARNED IN INFORMATION AND TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT

ABSTRACTS
VOLUME 3

Failure & Lessons Learned in Information Technology Management, Vol. 3, pp. 1-22, 1999
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Copyright © 1999 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
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Failed IS Projects: Definition in Terms of a Neglect of Professional Ethics

Harjinder Rahanu,1 Jennifer Davies,1and Simon Rogerson2

1School of Computing and IT, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton WV1 1SB UK
2Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility, School of Computing Sciences, De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH UK

In the last few years there has been increasing concern in the UK computer industry about a neglect of professionalism that has become manifest in various "IS disasters." Examples of such IS disasters include the London Stock Exchange TAURUS project, the London Ambulance Service Computer-Aided Dispatch System, and the Wessex Regional Health Authority's Regional Information Systems Plan. By examining such past cases of failed IS projects it is possible to reflect on the neglect of professional ethics that contributes to such failures and hence future actions may be influenced accordingly. Case-based reasoning is a technique used in computer science to incorporate intelligent reasoning into a system. This article reports on the development of a case-based reasoner (CBR) computer system, which can offer ethical advice with reference to cases of failed IS projects. This was accomplished by ethically analyzing cases of failed IS projects, including and similar to those cited above, to determine whether and to what extent a neglect of professional ethics contributed towards their failure. This case library formed the basis for development of the base-cased reasoner.

Key words: Information systems failure; Ethical analysis; Case-based reasoning; Cultural factors; Critical success factors

Address correspondence to Harjinder Rahanu. Tel: 01902 321459; Fax: 01902 321491; E-mail: cm9045@wlv.ac.kr



Failure & Lessons Learned in Information Technology Management, Vol. 3, pp. 23-28, 1999
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A Direct E-Mail Advertising Firm's Failure: Lessons for Conducting E-Commerce in Developing Countries

Ook Lee

Department of Business Administration, Hansung University, 389 Samsun-dong 2-ga, Seoul, Korea

This article describes a South Korean direct e-mail advertising firm's failure due to inattentiveness to testing and implementation. Nowadays in South Korea, more businesses are established in the Internet and conduct marketing activities such as advertising. Consumers of cyberspace who are surfing the Internet every day are good targets for any kind of advertisement. An Internet business can advertise in the Internet through several means, including direct e-mail to massive numbers of potential customers. The direct e-mail advertisement can be used effectively as a tool for a direct Internet marketing, even though there are negative consequences due to legal and ethical reasons. This article presents a case of a direct marketing firm's failure, largely due to mistakes in testing and implementation, which can be traced back to the more profound reason such as a less-developed national IT infrastructure. The description of a South Korean firm's effort to implement a direct e-mailing system and the lessons from this firm's experiences are given, which can be considered to give useful insight in conducting electronic commerce in developing countries with less-developed national IT infrastructures.

Key words: E-commerce; Direct e-mail; Developing countries; IT infrastructure

Address correspondence to Dr. Ook Lee. Tel: +822-760-4412; Fax: +822-760-4217; E-mail: leeo@hansung.ac.kr



Failure & Lessons Learned in Information Technology Management, Vol. 3, pp. 29-35, 1999
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Case Study of an Artificial Intelligence Joint Project Gone Awry

Thomas P. Galvin

DISA CENT FWD, APO AE 09852

This article describes how mismanagement can undermine an artificial intelligence (AI) project involving multiple organizations such that the project serves to benefit only the most active participant. Joint projects are more difficult to manage because they require equal unwavering support of multiple leaderships and multiple sets of end users. This is exacerbated when the participants are also competitors in some way. The article uses a case study of an actual joint project that failed. One organization showed far greater commitment to the project than the other. Consequently, the project served the first organization very well while the second dropped it entirely, effectively laying to waste a great expenditure of resources. The article will use pseudonyms and pseudo-organizations to protect the participants.

Key words: Joint projects; Artificial intelligence; Multiple organizations

Address correspondence to Thomas P. Galvin. E-mail: DISAOIC@dhahran-emh3.army.mil



Failure & Lessons Learned in Information Technology Management, Vol. 3, pp. 37-44, 1999
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Critical Success Factors in Expert System Development: A Case Study

David Millett1 and Philip Powell2

1Senior Consultant, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, London, UK
2Department of Maths and Computing Sciences, Goldsmiths College, University of London, New Cross, London, UK

After a flurry of early activity stemming from high expectations, organizations involved in building expert systems are becoming more reticent to invest. Part of this reticence stems from an inability or unwillingness to evaluate current systems. This article presents an exploratory study in identifying measures for evaluating the success of expert systems in one organization. The organization is keen to compare its outcomes with those of others building expert systems. So, for purposes of comparison, measures derived for the organization are applied to a sample of other organizations all previously classed as successful users of expert systems. This research emphasizes that successful development is problematic; critical success factors include: the type of application, importance of the system to business strategy, and an early, key, successful development. Also of benefit is a champion and the existence of an information technology strategy. Organizational culture also has a marked effect. Factors contributing to failure include poor project control, insufficient resources for maintenance, and financial constraints. The experiences of one organization in relation to these is examined.

Key words: Expert systems; Evaluation; Success

Address correspondence to Philip Powell. Tel: +44 (0)171 919 7959; Fax: +44 (0)171 919 7853; E-mail: mas01pp@gold.ac.uk



Failure & Lessons Learned in Information Technology Management, Vol. 3, pp. 45-57, 1999
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Making Ideas Work: Obstacles for Successful Translation of the Integrated Approach of IT Management

Hans Doorewaard and Mark Van Bijsterveld

Nijmegen Business School, Faculty of Policy Sciences, University of Nijmegen, P.O. Box 9108, NL-6500 HK Nijmegen, The Netherlands

In the early 1980s a user-organization-oriented approach of IT management came forward focusing on both the integration of technological and organizational systems design and participatory organizational transformation, with special attention to user involvement. The integrated approach never settled down solidly. To intrude the mainstream managerial discourse, the integrated approach of IT management is presented as a seductive concept, promising to solve experienced difficulties of the former technology-led approach. But, paradoxically, the strength of its rhetoric is the weakness of its application, due to problems in the translation of promising core ideas into day-to-day practices of IT development. Translation is not just a matter of rational calculation. Translation often takes place unintentionally, as part of an ongoing and power-based process of implicit meaning formation. Hence, the translation of promising core ideas is always subject to the influence of slowly changing (implicit) power processes in organizations. Based on a conceptual model of translation processes, we detect major translation obstacles, as critical factors of success, in the introduction, adoption, and implementation of the integrated approach of IT management. We illustrate this process analyzing development and applications of the integrated approach of IT management in a large bank.

Key words: Success and failure of IT management; Technological and organizational redesign; Management fashion; Translation theory

Address correspondence to Dr. J. A. C. M. Doorewaard. Tel: 31-24 361 2332/2028; Fax: 31-24 361 1933; E-mail: H.Doorewaard@BW.KUN.NL



Failure & Lessons Learned in Information Technology Management, Vol. 3, pp. 59-65, 1999
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Management of Information Technology Within the Business: Lessons for Organizational, Educational, and International Issues

Walter Skok11 and Ray Hackney2

1Kingston Business School
2Manchester Metropolitan University

There is much interest and discussion concerning the concept of linking the activities of business strategy and objectives with the need for developing information systems and technology (IS/IT) management. There is also a recognized culture gap between users and systems developers that has been well documented in the literature from a number of perspectives in recent years. This article proposes concepts for future directions in view of the pervasive nature of these systems and the human resource approaches adopted for their exploitation. It briefly considers aspects of recent company, education, and international issues and makes observations for possible actions. The article also considers the background to managerial competence in this respect and also its current relevance in an attempt to achieve a closer congruence between the requirements of business and IS/IT.

Key words: Business; Strategy; IS; Organizational; Managerial; Competence

Address correspondence to Ray Hackney, Department of Business Information Technology, Manchester Metropolitan University, Aytoun Street, Manchester M1 3GH, UK. E-mail: r.hackney@mmu.ac.uk



Failure & Lessons Learned in Information Technology Management, Vol. 3, pp. 77-77, 1999
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Web-Based Expert Systems for elaws

Mario DiStasio,1 Roland Droitsch,1 and Larry Medsker2

1Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy, U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, DC 20210
2Department of Computer Science and Information Systems, American University, Washington, DC 20016

Since 1996, the US Department of Labor has developed over one dozen web-based expert systems as part of the Employment Laws Assistance for Workers and Small Businesses (elaws) initiative. From the perspective of managers trying to improve the operation of their organizations, rather than that of the IT professional trying to introduce a new technology, we have learned several lessons and developed a process for effectively developing this type of system. Our experience has shown that organizational barriers present greater obstacles to the successful completion of these systems than either the management of the content or the implementation of the technology. As part of the lessons learned, we present rules of thumb for the successful completion of expert systems and hope that other organizations can use this information to deploy this powerful tool more effectively.

Key words: Web-based expert systems; Department of Labor; Employment advisors

Correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to Larry Medsker. Tel: (202) 885-3306; Fax: (202) 885-1479; E-mail: medsker@american.edu




Failure & Lessons Learned in Information Technology Management, Vol. 3, pp. 81-93, 1999
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Lessons in Electronic Commerce: The Case of Electronic Transportation Markets*

Rainer Alt1 and Stefan Klein2

1Institute for Information Management, University of St. Gallen, Müller-Friedberg-Strasse 8, CH-9000 St. Gallen, Switzerland
2Institute for Information Systems, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Steinfurter Strasse 107, D-48149 Münster, Germany

Over the past 20 years a variety of electronic markets have been set up to improve the allocation of capacities in road transportation. Although existing inefficiencies and cost pressures provide a strong rationale for electronic market solutions, most attempts have failed so far. Based on an overview of the so-called electronic transportation exchanges we will analyze the factors that were involved in the repeated failures. By using a multilayer framework that integrates established research approaches for interorganizational systems (IOS), we argue that the failures provide valuable insights for the configuration of electronic commerce (EC) systems in general and in particular for the transportation exchanges that are currently emerging on the Internet.

Key Words: Electronic commerce; Transportation, Interorganizational systems

Correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to Rainer Alt. E-mail: Rainer.Alt@unisg.ch

*An earlier version of this paper has been presented and included in the Proceedings of the 31st Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Vol. IV, pp. 102-111, 1998. Los Alamitos, CA: IEEE.




Failure & Lessons Learned in Information Technology Management, Vol. 3, pp. 95-100, 1999
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E-Commerce and the Inevitability of Failures

Joseph Williams

Computer Information Systems Department, college of Business, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523

This article identifies and categorizes the many failures that have already plagued electronic commerce and that are likely to continue to do so. These types of failures are categorized by source and type of technology failures involved.

Key Words: E-commerce; Disaster recovery planning; Outages

Correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to Dr. Joseph Williams. E-mail: drj@lamar.colostate.edu




Failure & Lessons Learned in Information Technology Management, Vol. 3, pp. 101-110, 1999
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The Nature and Structure of Impediments to EDI Adoption and Integration: A Survey of Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Deepak Khazanchi

College of Business, Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights, KY 41099

Electronic data interchange (EDI) is a key enabling component of business-to-business electronic commerce. As firms adopt and integrate advanced information technologies such as EDI, it is important to understand the nature of challenges faced by them. This becomes especially important given the fact that nearly 99.7% of all businesses in the US can be classified as small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). As costs and risks associated with implementing new information technologies decrease, these firms will surely need to focus their attention on managing impediments associated with new technology implementation and learn from the failures or successes of their peers. Consequently, this article reports the findings of a study conducted to understand the characteristics, seriousness, and structure of impediments faced by SMEs. A survey of 353 EDI-capable firms was used to assess the impediments faced by SMEs adopting and integrating EDI. Analysis of data revealed that SMEs face many serious challenges when implementing EDI and cite high startup costs, difficulty of learning a new technology and methodology, and high cost of integration and expansion of EDI use as among the three most significant impediments. Further analysis also produced an eight-factor latent structure that best describes the nature of EDI impediments. These results have implications for both SMEs and researchers.

Key Words: Electronic data interchange; E-commerce; Small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

Correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to Deepak Khazanchi. Tel: (606) 572-6408; E-mail: khazanchi@nku.edu



 Failure & Lessons Learned in Information Technology Management, Vol. 3, pp. 111-119, 1999
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Natural Gas Industry: The Effects of Public-Private Partnership on E-Commerce Standards in the Commodity Market

Wita Wojtkowski1 and Diane Walker2

1Computer Information Systems and Production Management, Boise State University, 1910 University Drive, Boise, ID 83725
2Intermountain Gas

The natural gas industry, in comparison to other US industries, has rapidly adopted standards for electronic commerce. We examine factors that contributed to the rapid progress toward electronic commerce. Specifically, we ask this question: has the public-private partnerships contributed to the building of a base for reliable electronic commerce that benefits both the natural gas industry and the energy consumers? We conclude that contributory factors include deregulatory push towards open markets, current industry's requirement for instantaneous data exchange, and the establishment of an industry standards board (GISB) that enabled cooperation between government and private industry. We conjecture that the key to the industry's implementation of electronic commerce was the early agreement to use the already accepted ANSI ASC X12 standards, and the choice of the public Internet as the network, thus creating a new marketplace that is open to any North American natural gas company willing to follow the industry standards.

Key Words: Electronic commerce in natural gas industry; Natural gas industry; Industry standards; Regulation and deregulation; Public-private partnership; Industry standards board

Correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to Wita Wojtkowski. Tel: (208) 426-1372; Fax: (208) 426-3779; E-mail: riswojt2@cobfax.idbsu.edu




Failure & Lessons Learned in Information Technology Management, Vol. 3, pp. 121-125, 1999
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Failing for the Wrong Reasons: A Case Study of Electronic Commerce at Neural Music*

Lee A. Freeman,1 Leonard M. Jessup,1 and Richard B. Kettner-Polley2

1Department of Accounting and Information Systems, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University, 1309 East 10th Street, Bloomington, IN 47405
2Jones International University, 9697 East Mineral Avenue, Englewood, CO 80112

In this case study we describe the creation, success, and ultimate failure of Neural Music,** a small music retailer with sales both on-line and in a physical storefront. Neural Music was successful in selling cutting-edge, hard-to-find music, increasingly over the Web, to a set of small, but growing, loyal customers. New owners took over and ran the business poorly. Most important, the new owners failed to see the promise of electronic commerce. As a result, they deemphasized the Web side of the business and literally ran the business into bankruptcy. Among the lessons learned from this case study is that, in addition to basic, sound business practices, a small start-up firm in a rapidly changing, consumer-oriented, retail industry can best compete with larger rivals by staying nimble, finding a niche, and selling to a wide audience via the Web. Indeed, Neural Music developed this as its competitive advantage and then, in a strategic blunder, turned away from this source of advantage only to fail within a matter of months.

Key Words: Electronic commerce; Case study; Strategy; Business failure; Internet

Correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to Lee A. Freeman. E-mail: lefreema@indiana.edu

*Order of authorship is alphabetical. Each author contributed equally to this work.
**The company, people, and events described here are real, but the name of the company has been changed to preserve anonymity.




Failure & Lessons Learned in Information Technology Management, Vol. 3, pp. 127-135, 1999
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Internet Usage of International Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises: Lessons Learned From a Multiple Case Study

Laurent Ramelet and Christian Bauer

Electronic Commerce Network, Curtin Business School, PO Box 6469, East Perth 6982 Western Australia

Recent research on the business use of the Internet for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) suggests that Internet-based electronic commerce reduces barriers to enter international markets. More than an opportunity, the Internet may represent a new strategy of internationalization, and as such is likely to have its own determinants of success. While the critical success factors of the export venture, which is the predominant strategy of internationalization for SMEs, are well understood for traditional distribution systems, these factors are likely to differ and others are likely to emerge when the Internet comes into consideration. This article explores the way in which the Internet can be used and more particularly what specific factors SMEs must address when contemplating going international with the Internet. For this purpose, a multiple case study research based on a qualitative and inductive approach was conducted with five international SMEs. The study is based on an ``outcome-based'' model of Internet use, which provides a framework for assessing failures and successes among the case companies. From these observations, a number of conclusions (lessons learned) on human, organizational, and strategic factors are drawn.

Key Words: Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); Electronic commerce; Internet usage; Export; Internationalization

Correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to Christian Bauer. Tel: ++61 8 9449.8647; Fax: ++61 8 9449.8464; E-mail: BauerC@cbs.curtin.edu.au




Failure & Lessons Learned in Information Technology Management, Vol. 3, pp. 137-147, 1999
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Information Systems Technology: An Assessment of Corporate Knowledge Requirements

Jeretta Horn Nord and G. Daryl Nord

Management Information Systems, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078

The use of computer-related technology in business continues to increase at an explosive rate. On the academic side of the IT spectrum, however, there is concern of whether IS curricula provides students with the knowledge base necessary to keep pace with the reality of corporate information technologies. This study provides an assessment of lessons learned from the corporate world regarding information systems technology knowledge requirements including desired coursework at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Information Systems job-related opportunities and challenges from the employer's perspective are also addressed.

Key Words: Information systems technology; Knowledge requirements

Correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to Jeretta Horn Nord. Tel: (405) 744-5090; E-mail: njord@okway.okstate.edu